Speaking clearly and confidently is vital for communication in any language. That’s why practising pronunciation is very important if you want to communicate in English. You can master grammar and know hundreds of words, but if you can’t speak clearly and with excellent pronunciation you will not be understood.
What’s the best way to practice pronunciation?
I recommend you invest in taking some private lessons. This can be with a teacher or with a friend. What’s important is that you have your teacher or friend correct you and work hard with you on your pronunciation. Most teachers at Eikaiwa schools won’t spend enough time correcting your pronunciation. They will be more concerned with helping you in other areas of your English. And correcting pronunciation is also hard work for teacher.
Find someone who is willing to help you to do this privately. Group lessons may offer some benefit, but in most cases they will not be able to address the problems of each individual. Taking private lessons is the way to go.
Improving your pronunciation on your part will require a lot of effort and practice. You will need to break bad habits, such as stopping yourself from saying words in “Katakana English”. You will need to be aware of what you’re saying and how you’re saying it when you’re speaking and practising English.
Your teacher will have to be patient and diligent with their correcting. So what you really need is a pronunciation coach – someone who will correct you and drill you until you can say words and phrases with a clean accent. If you invest the time and money to do this the reward will be great.
Where should you practice pronunciation?
Practising pronunciation should be done in a quiet room where you will not be distracted. You can’t really practice pronunciation at cafe or in a public place where you’re going to be heard by other people, because you’ll need to speak loudly. When you practice pronunciation you will be saying words and phrases over and over again. Sometimes, you will have to practice sounds and make strange movements with your tongue. So, you might be a little embarrassed doing this in front of other people.
Something else to consider is the type of English pronunciation you want to develop. Do you want to develop an North American accent, and English accent or an Australian accent? This is up to you and your needs, but I recommend you consider learning the English accent. I think the English accent is easy to understand and he’s universally recognised. You could consider it the mother accent of English.
I will be adding some pronounce lessons to the blog soon. So make sure you sign up for my emails and I will let you know when I have posted a lessons.