Pronunciation entails more than just listen and repeat. Language features, as well as skills, are included in the pronunciation. We pronounce by recognizing and knowing the rules and patterns underneath the surface of speech, just as we do with vocabulary and grammar.
Most people experience some difficulties in pronouncing some English words. As a result, the sentences that they speak sometimes come out unclear and misinterpreted by the interlocutors. Therefore, developing your pronunciation skill can be so beneficial for you. It will also help you to improve your speaking skill. There are some ways to improve your pronunciation skill.
- Listen to yourself
The first step to improve your pronunciation skill is to listen to how you pronounce the word then compare it with how other people pronounce it. Usually, we often focus on the meaning instead of how people pronounce the words when they speak. Instead of listening to the meaning, we can listen and observe how other people pronounce the words.
You can start the practice by listening to some music while reading the lyrics to understand how to pronounce the words.
- Watch yourself
Try to stand in front of the mirror and watch your mouth, lips, and tongue when you pronounce certain words. Then, compare with how the native speaker pronounces the words as well. Stay focus on how good you can control your mouth when making the sound of certain words since pronunciation is a physical skill.
Besides watching yourself in the mirror, you can record yourself when speaking and pronouncing the words later to compare with the native speaker’s audio or video.
- Beware with the intonation and stress.
Pronunciation is more than simply knowing how to pronounce individual sounds. It is also essential to understand intonation (the rise and fall of the voice) and stress (some sounds in words and some words in sentences are louder or more apparent than others). You can practice by reading aloud some poems, speeches, and songs, then paying attention to word tension and intonation.
- Speak calmly
No need to be rush! Many English learners assume that speaking fluent English means speaking fast. However, this is a wrong concept because speaking too quickly encourages bad habits and makes the speaker seem anxious and confused. Meanwhile, speaking English steadily allows you to fully breathe and think about what you want to say next or how you pronounce the next word. Since it helps you to consider while speaking, you can feel more comfortable and focus on making your English sound great.
- Find an observer
Find a language buddy to observe your pronunciation skill. Your friend can give feedback about how far your pronunciation skill has improved. You can probably also try to exchange the recorded message so you can listen closely to each other’s pronunciation.
English pronunciation is indeed challenging, and sometimes you can find some words with a similar pronunciation but no need to be worried! You can try those tips to improve your pronunciation skill better.