Do I Need to Take an American English Pronunciation Course?
Do you have a hard time pronouncing words in English? Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves because you didn’t understand what they said? Are you afraid that people might laugh at your accent when speaking English? If so, an American pronunciation course for non-native speakers might be the answer. Many non-native speakers of English struggle with the intricacies of pronouncing certain vowels and consonants. Fortunately, there are a number of online courses designed specifically for this purpose. Before signing up for one, though, ask yourself these three questions first:
What is causing you to have difficulties pronouncing English words?
There are a number of reasons why a person may have trouble pronouncing English words. It could be that the person’s mouth isn’t shaped properly for making certain sounds. Or, it could be that the person is struggling with certain vowel or consonant sounds that don’t exist in his or her native language. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to understand it before signing up for an English pronunciation course. If you don’t know what’s causing your pronunciation difficulties, how can you expect an online course to help you? The only way to know what you’re struggling with is to record yourself speaking English. You can do this with your phone or computer by setting it up in front of a mirror so that you can see yourself. Pay special attention to how you’re making sounds. Are you making the same mistakes over and over again?
How much time are you willing to invest in a course?
Most online pronunciation courses last between four and eight weeks. That’s a lot of time to be dedicating to one thing, so you’ll want to make sure it’s worth your while. Ask yourself: “Will I have enough time to fit this course into my schedule?” If not, you might want to look into a shorter course. If so, though, you’ll also want to ask yourself: “What sacrifices am I willing to make in order to complete the course?” You’ll have to find the time to sit down and study. Depending on the course, you may have to set aside one or two hours a day. If you’re willing to take the time to complete the course, though, it could be well worth it.
What’s your pronunciation goal?
What’s your ultimate goal in pronunciation? To speak English like an American? Posing this question to yourself is vital. Identifying what you want to achieve from a course sets the stage for success. If, for instance, you struggle with certain English vowel sounds, a course designed for native speakers may not be your best option. You might be better served by a course tailored specifically for non-native speakers. Conversely, if you’re finding it difficult to articulate certain consonant sounds, a more general pronunciation course could be the right fit. Knowing your objectives will guide you to the best resources to achieve them.
Learning how to pronounce English words correctly and aiming for accent modification can be challenging, especially if you’re a non-native English speaker. This is especially true if you have trouble making certain vowel or consonant sounds that don’t exist in your native language. Before signing up for an English pronunciation course, ask yourself these three questions. Do you know what’s causing you to have pronunciation difficulties? Are you willing to take the time to complete the course? What is your pronunciation goal? Only once you’ve answered these questions should you sign up for an English pronunciation course.