The correct pronunciation is the key to learning any language and that’s the most important thing when you’re learning English. The way you sound and the way you speak, show whether people can understand you and will also set an initial impression of you. If you think pronunciation is just about acquiring knowledge, then no it’s not, pronunciation is about the physical skill that you need to practice regularly. You might have heard tricks or shortcuts for mastering anything but to perfect pronunciation, there are no shortcuts but there are a few steps or ways that you can practice to improve your skills effectively.
A few steps that can help you take a step closer towards perfect English pronunciation are as follows.
Listen to yourself. It’s a bit difficult to hear pronunciation errors when you speak because you’ll be concentrating on communicating rather than the sound. Hear out to what you say by recording your own speech and listening to it. Make a note of the specific areas you need to improve.
Get physical. Pronunciation requires physical skill because you’ll be teaching your mouth a new way to move using different muscles. You can focus on difficult sounds each day. Practice a lot because you cannot master pronunciation with just mere knowledge.
Watch yourself. You can stand in front of a mirror and observe the placement of your tongue, lips, and shape of your mouth while you articulate certain words and while you make certain sounds. Compare this with the video of the native speaker saying the same thing.
Practice alone. The pronunciation problem continues when you’re afraid to make mistakes. Try creating your own scenarios such as meeting a person, ordering at a restaurant, and then prepare your own dialogues and act it out. Don’t be shy and that’s important.
Watch out for intonation and stress. Good pronunciation is way more than just mastering sounds. You have to understand the intonation and stress in words as well. To practice this, you’ll have to read more poems, speeches, and English songs.
Pronunciation is important in speaking test and the examiner will mark you based on how well you talk, your vocabulary as well as pronunciation. So follow the above steps to improve your pronunciation and score well.