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The Importance of Correct Pronunciation

NATIVE-LIKE PRONUNCIATION? WHY?

Did you study English, or are you now an English student? You must have realized that sometimes, during a conversation, one can live with simple words. There are situations when you can live with simple grammar. There is no such thing as simple pronunciation. The opposite of good pronunciation is bad pronunciation and this means ineffective communication, misunderstanding and a negative impression.

How do you know that you need to work harder to improve your pronunciation? Do you make one of these errors?

– you talk too fast

– you skip the last sounds

– you misplace the stress

– you use the wrong sounds in a word, especially if the sounds are very different from the correct sounds

– you confuse two different sounds

– you have a strong foreign accent

Any of the examples above makes understanding difficult. How do you react when you realize that it is not easy for your interlocutors to understand?  You become shy and reluctant to communicate.

Do the tests scores prove that your grammar, syntax and vocabulary are satisfactory, and your listening and reading skills are good? It means you have built your knowledge brick by brick, but it is time you added one more to become really confident: GOOD PRONUNCIATION.

You can do it in a fun way by teaching yourself. There are podcasts and videos, web and mobile apps you can use after classes. They will teach you:

  • how to learn to listen
  • to notice how your mouth and lips move
  • to pay attention to your tongue
  • to break words down into sounds
  • to add stress to sounds and words

There are only 26 letters in the English language, but approximately 44 unique sounds (phonemes). Only by using them correctly will you convey accurate meaning by distinguishing one word or meaning from another.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

I will first introduce you to IPA,  the oldest representative organisation for phoneticians, and their charts. here’s the IPA charts to use:  http://www.internationalphoneticalphabet.org/ipa-sounds/ipa-chart-with-sounds/

Are you familiar with the symbols? You can go on and choose from different activities on YouTube, or play games, answer quizzes, use sounds charts for all ages, or even practise listening and reading:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeny_lvdURk

http://languagelearningbase.com/92119/best-apps-to-improve-your-pronunciation

http://www.macmillaneducationapps.com/soundspron/

http://cambridgeenglishonline.com/Phonetics_Focus/

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/adam/files/phonetics.ppt.pdf

Reading and Listening Activities

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-podcasts

Before you start the activity, find out your English level HERE :

Now, search for suitable CONTENT BY LEVEL OR TOPIC

If there is something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for further explanations or more activities.

Improve your pronunciation!

Train your intonation!

Speak English like a star!

Have fun!