Unfortunately, the correct English pronunciation is infrequent even among teachers of a foreign language. This is due to the initially irrational choice of teaching methods. Many people still prefer the grammar-transfer system, which consists of the mechanical memorization of words and the study of rules. In fact, it is necessary to practice English pronunciation from the very first acquaintance with this language. Otherwise, correction of the fixed errors will be quite difficult.
The sound of a specific word, already fixed in the mind, will pop up every time you try to insert this word into your speech. And even if in parallel you will know the rule associated with the proper utterance of this word, the language memory will work faster than the brain will bring the necessary information to the mouth. For most people, the brain centers responsible for understanding and reproducing speech are located in the left hemisphere. At the same time, different speech processes are controlled by different sections of the brain. There will simply be no time to correct the already sounded error.
Recommendations for Beginners
- The main thing is the regularity of classes. You do not need to spend hours every day studying phonetics and practical exercises. By giving lessons at least half an hour a day, you will soon see positive results;
- Do not limit yourself to textbooks and computer resources. Try to approach the task creatively. Many experts say that even singing in a foreign language helps improve English pronunciation;
- Use the recorder. When listening to small texts written by native speakers, try to repeat the speech as accurately as possible. This is necessary to improve the intonation, which is significantly different from any other language. Perform such a simple exercise at least a couple of times a week;
- Watch movies and TV shows. Listen to how people on the screen pronounce consonant and vowel sounds, which syllables are particularly prominent in their speech. Also, it is worth paying attention to what form the mouth of the lead or actor takes in the process of conversation or monologue;
- Listen to the radio. The standard of high-quality English pronunciation, undoubtedly, is the BBC;
- If possible, be sure to involve a member of the family or friend. This will allow you not only to practice the skills of oral speech but also to notice mistakes in pronunciation;
- Practice in front of the mirror. During the study of phonetics, you will understand that the pronunciation of sounds, seemingly identical in various languages, is radically different. You will have to constantly monitor the position of the lips and tongue;
- Use several proven sources of information. Be sure to combine textbooks and Internet resources, communicate with real people and video lessons. Also, you may be interested in tongue twisters, which will help develop the necessary pronunciation speed without losing quality;
- Choose only one pronunciation option. There are many variants of the English language: American, English, Australian and so on. From the point of view of "correctness", the best solution is the English of Oxford and Cambridge. Having studied in detail one accent, proceed to the next. Several options should not be studied at the same time;
- Read aloud. Especially useful in this regard are a variety of dialogues (allowing you to train intonation);
- Pay attention to the stress. Note that English pronunciation allows 2 accents in one word;
- When learning new words, remember them right away with the correct pronunciation and accent;
- Learn to write transcription. Many textbooks are equipped with an audio course with phonetic dictations. Do not neglect this monotonous, but incredibly useful exercise: working on errors will definitely help you learn not only to talk beautifully, but also to better understand the interlocutor. You will no longer confuse the words that are pronounced almost the same.
Practice Is the Key to a Good Result
Naturally, only exercises will not give the desired result: you should always practice. For this we recommend:
- Find a community that wants to improve English pronunciation on the Internet. Different websites regularly organize such groups;
- There are social networks for finding an interlocutor for improving pronunciation skills. The free system allows not only to practice your knowledge but also have fun.
Thus, you can improve your own pronunciation in just a couple of months of regular classes. Try not to hurry, because it is much easier and better to remember small amounts of information. And remember: the final result largely depends on the organization of training activities.