5 ways to improve English pronunciation

When learning a foreign language, the lessons of a traditional course are generally based on teaching grammar and writing. This is because those who know a language are often more confident in writing than in speaking.

This happens because sometimes the teaching methods are not complete: many times we rely too much on grammar and writing, and as a consequence, the writing skill will be excellent, but there will be shortcomings on fluency, that is, on oral production. However, other times, some people are much better at communicating than remembering this or that rule.

This disparity derives from the tendency to teach too much or exclusively the grammar rules without allowing the student to relate to spoken language.

After all, not all primary or secondary schools require an English teacher focused only on conversational aspects of the language. Nevertheless, such an instructor is a helpful figure for the student to get involved with the oral and spoken language having a tailored tutor ready to help him with both fluency and pronunciation.

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The importance of speaking and pronunciation

Grammar is undoubtedly a vital part of teaching a foreign and non-foreign language. After all, buildings are built from the foundations. However, speaking and pronunciation can not be left behind, especially when English is an opaque language. An opaque language is a non-transparent language in which there is no correspondence between graphemes and phonemes, therefore between written and spoken.

Consequently, speaking and pronunciation need to be treated and practiced just like written production, even more, because, in this historical period, English is the international lingua franca, the language used for private and business purposes between people who do not speak the same language.

Accordingly, it is easy to understand why all jobs require English at least at a reasonable level: to communicate, whether it is with foreign companies or with tourists visiting the city. Therefore, knowledge of English is an essential element nowadays, especially at the oral level, to communicate better.

Learning to speak English is possible, and it is also possible to practice your pronunciation. So let's see together how to do it, following these simple tips for everyone:

If you are currently in your country, you can start by taking a dedicated English course to improve your speaking and pronunciation. This must be held in schools with a certified method and by qualified tutors. And even if it is true that there are as many pronunciations as there are English speakers, it is also true that getting used to understanding them a little at a time never hurts and will take us a step further. However, over time it will get easier and simpler.

If it falls within your possibilities (both from an economic point of view and in terms of the time you have available), one of the best tips is undoubtedly to go abroad. Staying abroad for a shorter or longer period will help you improve. Especially if you are alone, you will immediately learn that you can't do anything if you can't communicate.

And being always among native speakers (in this regard, large cities are not recommended, those full of non-native speakers, whose pronunciation is heterogeneous), it will be easy to learn to understand them and try to imitate them! Or better yet, you could take a general or speaking-focused English course directly in an English-speaking country.

Another tip for improving both listening comprehension and pronunciation is to listen to audiovisual products in English. It will be just like being abroad, with the advantage that you will hear - and therefore make your own - different types of pronunciation starting from the typically English one to get to the American one, passing through the Australian one. This way, you will realize how many differences there are in a language that is always the same base.

This comes from the fact that English is spoken by so many people that everyone has their idol, something that characterizes it. But what to listen to in English? What you like best: watching movies and series is usually recommended, but there are many other alternatives such as songs, documentaries, podcasts, videos on platforms.

After listening to others, listen to yourself: to understand what you have learned and made your mistakes and what to improve, it is essential to know where you are. Then, by recording and listening again, you will be able to make self-criticism, and therefore you will force yourself to improve more and more. For example, you will notice the pronunciation errors that you did not see during the discussion - concentrated as you were - and next time, you will correct them.

If necessary, also look in the mirror: some English phonemes could not exist in your native language, so you must understand how to pronounce these new sounds.

Give yourself time: Don't speed things up and take the right amount of time to assimilate the previous topic before moving on to the next. After all, it is only in this way that you will truly understand what you are doing, and in this way, you will not forget it easily.

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