It is clear that one of the main reasons for learning English is to be able to express ourselves in that language and spelling words to be understood.
English pronunciation is something that generally worries us little when we start to learn, but it is important to perfect as soon as possible to avoid acquired vices that are difficult to correct over time.
The main problems when it comes to pronouncing English correctly are two:
- English is not written as it is pronounced.
- There are sounds in English that do not exist.
The most important basis that you should have when considering expressing yourself with a certain fluency in English is having a wide vocabulary and understanding spoken English. We recommend that you read our guides on “How to learn and improve my vocabulary in English” and “How to improve listening and comprehension in English” if you have not consulted them yet.
In this article we give you a series of recommendations that will help you improve your pronunciation.
Listen To English
Listen to all the English you can. Podcasts, listening, radio in English, videos in English, movies, songs in English (you can easily find them on YouTube), conferences, talks, meetings, documentaries, news, books with audio, etc.
It’s necessary for kids pronunciation to use any time and place to listen to English. For example, podcasts or listening in English to learn and improve your vocabulary will allow you to record them on any portable device (smartphone, pen drive, CD, etc.) and listen to them in your car, when you walk or exercise, etc. In addition, many of the podcasts place special emphasis on pronunciation and include tips for correctly pronouncing phonemes or words that are difficult to pronounce.
When you listen to English, in addition to the meaning of what you hear, try to pay attention to the following aspects:
- Observe the nuance in the pronunciation of similar words (example: “beer” and “beard”, “ship” and “sheep”, etc.).
- Note that in English there are syllables that are pronounced with greater emphasis (example: “PHOtograph”, “phoTOgrapher” is similar words that are pronounced with greater emphasis in different syllables). You also notice that there are words that are pronounced with greater emphasis (generally nouns, adjectives, etc. that convey the “important” information) and others that are pronounced more weakly (generally connectors, such as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, etc.).
- Look at the intonation of the phrases, the rhythm. In the pronunciation is very flat; however English has a certain “musicality”.
- Observe that some words are joined, concatenated within a sentence as if they were a single word.
- Note that in certain cases, some letters in English are not pronounced (for example the “e” at the end of a word when it is preceded by a consonant, such as “write”, “drive”, etc).
Read texts aloud. Try to choose texts that incorporate audio (such as audio readings, audio books, dictations, or audio comprehension exercises with transcriptions). Listen to the audio and imitate the pronunciation of phrases and words. Take into account intonation and “stress” (emphasis on pronunciation).
If the text is long, divide it into small sections. Use the “pause” of your player to listen and compare your pronunciation with the original pronunciation. Try to be thorough with the details, you must ensure that your pronunciation corresponds to the correct pronunciation, you should not settle for “sounding similar”.
Record yourself. Do it regularly. Try to listen to listening and audios that you can use as a model and record what you hear. Listen to the recordings later and compare them with the original pronunciation.
Also give a friend with a good level of English or your teacher some recordings so that he can correct the aspects of your pronunciation that require it and advise you on how to improve.
When you have difficulty pronouncing a word, divide it into syllables and try to imitate the pronunciation of each syllable. Pronounce each syllable separately and then the whole word.
Speak English whenever you can. Speak slowly, especially when you have a conversation in English. Speaking quickly will only make it harder for other people to understand what you are saying.
To avoid doubts with the spelling and pronunciation of the words, make vocabulary lists with the terms that you learn and listen to their pronunciation until you associate it with its written form (you can consult each word along with its meaning and listen to its pronunciation in the online dictionary).
- Download and print online English Sheets. You will learn the necessary and essential concepts in English in a summarized way, so that you can always have the most important information you need to learn or remember at your fingertips.
On our website SpellQuiz.com you have many of the necessary resources to improve your understanding of English. Access our guidance guide to get to know them.