English pronunciation can be challenging, especially if you’re not a native speaker. For non-native speakers, it can be even harder to pronounce English words correctly. Because we are so used to hearing English spoken with a North American accent, there are some sounds that have completely slipped our minds as being something that could be challenging for other people. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on pronouncing English words correctly and continue making silly mistakes every time you open your mouth in front of someone from another country. The good news is that it is never too late to practice your pronunciation skills. Here are some useful tips on how you can practice English pronunciation by yourself and become confident about speaking the language fluently.
Tip 1: Record yourself and listen to your voice
It is not easy to hear yourself when you’re speaking, and even if you have a really good ear for pronunciations, your brain will always find ways to fool you into thinking that you are correct, no matter how many times you make the same silly mistakes. If you are serious about pronouncing English words correctly and want to develop a good sense of hearing yourself as you speak, you should try recording yourself as you practice pronunciation. In this way, you can review your recordings and try to identify the pronunciation patterns and mistakes that you’re making. Then, you can try fixing them and practicing pronunciation with the help of a recording device. This way, you can hear yourself the way others hear you and be able to identify the weak spots in your pronunciation.
Tip 2: Learn the mouth shapes of English vowels
Vowel sounds are the most important sounds in English and the ones that most non-native speakers struggle with. The best way to master the pronunciation of English vowels is to learn the mouth shapes that these vowels are formed with. There are 10 vowel sounds in the English language, and each of them is formed with a different mouth shape. If you learn these mouth shapes and try to form these vowel sounds with your mouth, you’ll find it easier to pronounce words correctly, no matter how difficult they may seem.
Tip 3: Use flashcards to practice recognizing words
Learning the mouth shapes of English vowels is a very useful tip, but you will have to practice pronouncing words with these different mouth shapes. For example, if you want to practice pronouncing /o/ (as in “fog”), you can take a flashcard with that word written on it and try to pronounce it a few times with the “o” sound. Next, try pronouncing it with a different mouth shape and see if you can still pronounce it with the same sound. You can do the same with other vowel sounds and use flashcards to practice pronouncing words with these different mouth shapes. In this way, you will become better at recognizing the vowel sounds in English words and pronouncing them correctly.
Tip 4: Compare your Pronunciation with Native Speakers
Another great way to improve your pronunciation in English is to record native speakers’ speeches or podcasts and then compare your own pronunciation with theirs. You can use a voice recording app on your phone or computer to record yourself while reading a text and then compare the recording with that of a native speaker. In this way, you can compare your pronunciation with that of a native speaker and find out what you need to improve on and what you do well. You can do this with as many speeches or podcasts as possible, and try to record yourself as often as you can.
Tip 5: Watch videos with native speakers’ speeches
The best way to practice your pronunciation is to listen to real-life conversations between native speakers and learn from the way they pronounce their words. If you can’t find any podcasts or speeches that you can record yourself and compare your pronunciation with, you can find videos on YouTube with real-life conversations between native speakers. You can also find video lectures in which native speakers talk about specific topics, such as their areas of expertise. By watching these videos, you can listen to real English conversations and learn from the pronunciations of native speakers.
Tip 6: Use apps and games to practice pronunciation
You can also practice your pronunciation by using apps and games designed to help you improve your pronunciation. For example, there are apps that allow you to choose a word from a list and then pronounce it. For every word that you pronounce correctly, you get points, and for every word that you pronounce incorrectly, you lose a few points. If you want to improve your pronunciation in a fun way, you can use these apps and games for pronunciation practice. Among the pronunciation apps available in the market, ChatterFox is the best; it gives you instant detailed feedback on your pronunciation by scores, colors, and charts.
The pronunciation of a language is extremely important and often overlooked because it’s not always seen as something that can be changed. The fact is that pronunciation can be learned, and even if you’re a non-native speaker, there are always ways to improve your pronunciation and speak English more accurately. If you start practicing pronunciation as early as possible, you will become more confident in your speech and sound more like a native speaker. With the help of these useful tips and techniques, you can improve your pronunciation in no time.