When learning English, students usually face a problem related to pronunciation. Russian accent sounds scary! Even if you have perfect knowledge of grammar and vocabulary of the English language, this does not solve the problem with an accent. If you want to learn how to improve your English pronunciation, this article will be a great helper and mentor for you. The following are effective ways to achieve flawless pronunciation.
Want to speak perfect English? Then it's time to work on articulation!
It is known that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and the number of sounds is almost twice as many - 44. While in many languages 1 letter means one sound, English letters can reproduce up to 4 sounds, and in exceptional words - the number of sounds per one letter reaches seven.
If your native language is Russian, then the difficulties in pronunciation are quite justified and logical, because articulation has huge differences. The sounds are similar, but the organs of articulation function differently during pronunciation. And yet how to learn to pronounce words correctly? Here are some helpful tips for you.
Contents [ Hide ]
- Articulation Tips: How to Improve Your English Pronunciation
- Learn English smartly
- Practicing English pronunciation on the computer
- A selection of useful videos for practicing the correct English pronunciation
A small test for similar-sounding words
- Similar-sounding words
- Similar-sounding words - part 2
Articulation Tips: How to Improve Your English Pronunciation
Articulation is a set of work of the pronunciation organs. When we pronounce any sound of speech, all active organs are involved (uvula, palate, teeth, lips, tongue). When learning English, the primary task is to tame the language, set it up in the right way.
Mastering the pronunciation of English is not as easy as it might seem at first. If you are wondering how to improve your English pronunciation, let's try to break down the main points that can help you build a base of pronunciation habits. Consider the features of English pronunciation:
- There is a bump behind your upper front teeth, touch it with your tongue. Then you need to pronounce consonants: n, d, t, l. After that, say the same sounds in Russian: n, d, t, l - during pronunciation, your tongue is at close range to your teeth. Do the exercise several times to feel the difference. Repeat the exercises using them as a tongue trainer.
- Now let's analyze the sounds [ð] and [θ] (in the text they are denoted by the letter combination "th"). Standing in front of a mirror, stick out the tip of your tongue and bite it lightly. Then say the phrase: “This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Be thankful for this thing, that thing, and those things.”
There are no analogues to these sounds in Russian. You can not replace these sounds with Russian "s", "z", "f". Remember to stick out the tip of your tongue when speaking.
The sound [ð] is pronounced as voiced using the voice, and the sound [θ] is deaf, barely audible when pronouncing.
For example, words with the sound [ð]:
- [ðei] they - they;
- [ðen] then - then;
- [weðə] weather - weather.
Words with sound [θ]:
- [tenθ] tenth - tenth;
- [miθ] myth - myth;
- [feiθ] faith - faith.
A big misconception is the fact that in words with the ending ING it is necessary to pronounce the sound [g]. There is only the ending [iŋ] with a nasal sound [ŋ]. The image below shows where the back of the tongue and palate are located. Now you need to touch the back of the sky and say the right word, for example, waiting or looking.
Let's talk about the sound [æ]. In order to understand the pronunciation of this sound, open your mouth as wide as possible, lower your chin and say "a". This is how this English sound sounds, it appears when “a” is between consonants. Speaking in Russian, we don't open our mouths that wide. For comparison, we suggest you pronounce two words: “car” and its English translation “car”. Feel the difference?
While making the “h” sound, just imagine that you are warming your hands in the cold of winter. During exhalation, you should get a light, almost silent sound [h]. Now say the word "house".
The pronunciation of the sound [w] is carried out as follows. Curl your lips into a position like you're reaching out to kiss someone, or like you're about to whistle. Then prepare a lit candle and try to blow it out while keeping your lips in the above position while making a sound. If the candle goes out, then you did everything absolutely right! Examples of words: wet, well.
Sound pronunciation [r]. English differs from the pronunciation of the Russian “R” in softness and the absence of a specific Russian “growl”. When pronouncing a sound, the tip of the tongue must be raised to the tubercle behind the upper teeth. The tongue should be immobile, but tense. You can also lightly pinch your cheeks with your fingers and pronounce the Russian sound “r”, trying to rid the sound of growling and vibrations with your tongue. Use the word rat as a trainer.
Use all the recommendations provided as a simulator, and to consolidate, watch the video tutorial in which you can learn in practice how the organs of articulation work. More voluminous information on phonetics and pronunciation of English sounds is available at the link below:
Learn English smartly
Follow the correct and useful tips on how to improve your English pronunciation:
1. Regular classes. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on lessons related to learning English. Then you will definitely succeed in consolidating and improving your skills. Do not waste time and conduct regular classes on your own or in a group. Spend more time in English, then you will certainly master it!
2. Books alone are not enough! While the book only gives us theory, practice is more than important. Many practice English speech by singing foreign songs - take note of this method. Everyday communication in English is also very useful.
3. Decide on pronunciation options. The most common pronunciations are American and British. Explore this aspect and remember that it is not worth learning several types of pronunciation. In the video below you can get acquainted with the British and American pronunciation of English:
4. Watch movies in English. Today, on the Internet, there are many films with subtitles that help both in learning new words and in reinforcing the rules of pronunciation. Listen to the pronunciation of consonants and vowels. Observe the articulation of the speaker's mouth and tongue as the words are spoken.
5. To put the English pronunciation, listen to audio recordings of the dialogues of native speakers, and then try to reproduce the dialogue. Record your speech on a voice recorder, and then compare it with the original recording. This will help you improve your English pronunciation.
6. Listen to radio podcasts, such as the BBC, which are benchmarks for literacy and pronunciation.
7. If possible, enlist the support of another person, such as a member of your family. Practice speaking together! One head is good, but two is even better, because this way you can correct each other's mistakes and improve together. Learning to pronounce English will give you more positive emotions in tandem with other people.
8. Learn the transcription of words. Use transcription to better understand the pronunciation of words.
9. Learn words correctly. Learned a new word? Immediately check its phonetic composition or listen to its pronunciation several times on the Internet. This is more than useful, because at the same time you learn not only the speech aspect, but also the rules of reading in English.
10. When studying phonetics, be sure to practice in front of a mirror. Watch the position of the lips and tongue. Study materials on sounds as much as possible, a characteristic for each sound will help you study pronunciation issues in detail.
11. Instead of endlessly asking yourself the same question: “How to deliver English speech?” - practice and force yourself to learn a few tongue twisters. Tongue twisters have always had a positive effect on the development of English pronunciation. Be sure to put them into practice. Start with a simple patter: “I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.”
If interested, there is one good tongue twister: "She sells seashells on the seashore" .
12. Grammar and practical tasks - reading - speech - work on mistakes - this is the ideal formula that will lead you to success!
13. Read aloud and practice intonation with dialogue.
14. Always pay attention to stress: unlike Russian, English words can contain two stresses.
15. When learning new words, remember their correct pronunciation and stress. Do not write English words in Russian transliteration.
16. An audio course full of phonetic tasks is the most useful thing in working on the perfect accent. Do not neglect it and diligently work through each exercise. With the help of phonetic exercises, you can achieve beautiful speech and a correct understanding of words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings. For example, sheep (sheep) and ship (ship).
17. Discover the secrets of perfect pronunciation from native speakers themselves! Find conversational circles with a native speaker in your city.
18. Use mobile apps like EnglishPronunciation. Listen to how certain English words sound, and then take tests - the delivered pronunciation is guaranteed.
19. Speaking in English, don't even think about rushing. Pronounce words slowly and correctly, pronouncing each syllable and sound. Use competent publications for pronunciation.
Practicing English pronunciation on the computer
We live in the era of information technology, and it would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunities that the Internet provides us. Below we have prepared for you a list of resources that can be of great help to you.
We recommend to use:
- Even on your favorite social network, there is a group that practices English pronunciation. Join one of these groups and practice with like-minded people!
- To improve pronunciation, there is even a separate social network - totalingua.com. Using the service is absolutely free. And how nice it is to improve your speech skills with a true native speaker, right?
- interpals.net is a social network where people communicate in the language you are learning. Do not miss the opportunity and get knowledge directly from a native speaker.
Now you know how to improve your English pronunciation, study hard and reach the top in learning English! We sincerely hope that with our advice, the pronunciation of the English language will no longer be your weak point!