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5 Steps to Better Pronunciation

It is sometimes frustrating to be misunderstood or having to repeat yourself several times just to give a simple message. The good news is there are lots of ways to improve your pronunciation.

Here are 5 easy steps to try at home:

Step 1 – Become friends with the mirror

Making the correct shape with your mouth and the positioning of your lips, teeth, and tongue is very important to improving your pronunciation. To see if you are making the shape correctly, sit in front of a mirror and watch your mouth to see if you are moving it in the right way. Once you have the correct mouth position, practice making the sound at least 20 times. You will feel very silly, but this is one of the best ways to improve.

Step 2 – Listen to yourself

To find out where your pronunciation is weakest, it’s a great idea to record yourself and then listen to your own voice and hear the parts that are incorrect or not clear. It can be embarrassing to listen to your recorded voice but you could imagine that it is a different person that you are listening to.

Step 3 – Be a parrot

Parrots learn to mimic the sounds of humans by repeating the phrases over and over again. This is a great way for you to practice rhythm and stress. When you are watching English TV or movies, try to copy the exact rhythm of the speaker. Like this, “OH my GOD! WHAT are you DOING!”

Step 4 – Make it BIG!

The key when you are practicing pronunciation is to make the sounds much bigger than normal. You have to exaggerate and enunciate the sounds. So when you are practicing the sound ‘Ei’ like in ‘Day’ you should open your mouth very big and make the sounds loudly and clearly.

Step 5 – Sleep, Eat, Pronounce, Repeat

This is probably the hardest tip. To improve your pronunciation, you have to work hard and practice often. It won’t happen overnight so focus on 1 or 2 sounds per week and spend at least an hour a week using the different techniques to practice.

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