Can you hear your own accent

8 tips on how to improve your English pronunciation

Every day our teachers get dozens of messages from students asking them the same question over and over, how to improve their pronunciation. “I want to have good pronunciation” is one of the greatest wishes of all students starting to learn a language.

English is basically a language that is actually not difficult to learn, but it is also true that pronunciation has its pitfalls, starting with its vowels, which can have more than 20 different sounds depending on the dialect! If you want to know more about the vowels in English, you can read this post.

But that's no reason to despair, because we are here to help you achieve your dream and to speak English fluently.

1. You don't have to have a 100% perfect accent

First, there are hundreds of different accents and dialects in the English language. And your accent, whatever it is from, is just one of many, even if it's a foreign accent. Having an accent is perfectly normal, so make sure you don't try to get rid of it at all costs.

2. Phonetics will definitely help you

Phonetics, or the phonetic alphabet, is very useful because it helps you understand the pronunciation of a word by simply looking it up in the dictionary.

You may have a little difficulty learning the symbols of the phonetic alphabet at the beginning, even if you have certainly seen many of them before, but this alphabet has the advantage that it is international and universal, and you can do it, exactly learn how to pronounce a word in any language. You can find various exercises and free tools to learn the phonetic alphabet on the Internet if you are interested.

3. Talk to yourself

It is a good idea to record your voice when you speak English as you can hear yourself afterwards and identify any mistakes or weaknesses that could be improved. It is best to first listen to a sentence being spoken by a native speaker, then repeat the sentence, trying to mimic the native speaker pronunciation as best you can. And that's exactly what we're in the sectionSpeak of our online English course: we hear the dialogue, we repeat it and we record it; and then we listen to our pronunciation and compare it to the pronunciation of the native speaker. And if we are still not satisfied with our pronunciation, we just repeat the dialogue as often as necessary.

4. Not only the pronunciation is important

Always remember that the intonation or speech melody is also important, and that every language, form of speech or dialect has its own. In addition, correct intonation will also make your English sound more natural, even if your pronunciation may not be the best. Therefore, pay particular attention to how questions, exclamations, approvals, etc. are intoned in English, you may find that the intonation is completely different than in your native language.

5. Try to imitate the pronunciation

This may sound like a bad joke, but we'd be happy to explain it to you: you've surely already imitated a foreign accent in your language, for example the accent of a person from England or the USA. Well, here it is actually the same, you imitate the accent, only in this case you are speaking their language; that is, you speak English, imitating the British or American accent. This way, you will find that your pronunciation sounds much more authentic.

6. Little by little

It is always better to articulate well and speak slowly than badly and rashly. Please always remember: the most important thing is that they understand you. The rest will come naturally with time and a lot of practice.

7. Music to your ears

It's a trick that actually always works. Download the lyrics of your favorite songs from the Internet and read them while you listen to them. Listen carefully to the pronunciation of each note and, if necessary, rewind if you think you need to listen to a section again.

8. Movies and series are your allies

We don't get tired of repeating it over and over: the best way to get used to an accent is still to fully expose yourself to it by watching movies and series and listening to the radio or podcasts, etc. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, we have access to a wide range of audiovisual content in English, so we have a huge choice.

In the ABA English course, 144 ABA Films are available to you, these are short films inCinema quality with English subtitles in your language. Each unit begins with one of these short films, which forms the basis for the remaining exercises and sections of the unit.

If you want to try a definitive way to improve your pronunciation in English, our course is sure to be your best choice. Would you like to try it out yourself?

2017-07-30