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Learning pronunciation

Correct pronunciation is important so that other people can understand you properly. The best way to improve your English pronunciation and to eventually adopt an English accent is to stay abroad in an English-speaking country for a longer period of time. If you are not able to do so, there are still many ways to practise and improve your pronunciation. Consider the following tips.

Suggestions for practising and improving your pronunciation

  • Listening is essential. Listen to authentic language use to get an impression of the pronunciation: for example listen to English music, radio stations or audio books.
  • Get the melody of the language by listening to songs you like and singing them. You can reduce your accent and almost unconsciously memorise a lot of phrases in the foreign language.
  • Watch English films and TV. You can also read subtitles and listen for their correct pronunciation.
  • While listening, try to identify how the people's pronunciation is different to your own.
  • Talk, talk, talk! Practise your pronunciation in conversations with native speakers or other language learners.
  • When learning new vocabulary, also consider the pronunciation: look up the words in a dictionary and read their IPA transcript. Then try to pronounce them properly. Some online dictionaries also provide audio files with the pronunciation of single words.
  • Study special English sounds that may be difficult, like th, v, w, s, z, f, …, and practise them. Look for words that contain these sounds and practise their pronunciation.
  • Also consider stress and intonation. Listen to audio books, read along with the texts and try to imitate the speaker's intonation.
 
 

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