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How to improve your pronunciation (in any language)! Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Adir Ferreira

Many students, throughout my teaching career, have asked me show they can improve their pronunciation. As a learner I have come up with some techniques and practices that have helped me learn the pronunciation of new words and today I am going to share some of them with you.

The first key element to have a good pronunciation is to listen! Listen, listen and listen some more! Now let me explain how you can make the most of your time. One of the things that I learned is that when we listen to something way out of our level it is a waste of time. For example, if you are a beginner student learning English it is a waste of time to watch news on CNN, right? Start with something easier, like beginner podcasts or even the audio from your coursebook (if you are studying at a language institute). And don’t settle for being “kind of good”, be excellent, listen analitically, challenge yourself in the pronunciation of every sound!

Imitate! Remember that each language is different and even though sometimes you may find it ridiculous to imitate a native speaker’s intonation, this is the only way you will achieve the fluency that you want so badly and improve your pronunciation. Start slowly and remember to listen to materials in your own level or a little bit more challenging.

I always say that speaking another language is like going to the gym on the first day. After working out you get home all sore because you worked with muscles that weren’t used to being worked with. When you get used to the workout, things will improve naturally. The same happens with your face muscles and your vocal tract, which will produce sounds they have never produced before but, with practice, very good results will come from that.

To finish, remember that improving your pronunciation requires practice and patience. If possible, ask a teacher to help and correct you. Don’t settle for being good, be excellent and make a difference!

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.


Comments:

  1. Sean Young:

  2. andreas:

    Hello, Adir!
    Just the things I always say to my students. Though for every particular pair of languages there are special exercises for mastering articulation and intonation. I know them only for Russian versus English, French(my languages at university).My Spanish pronunciation was learned with a teacher many years ago, so I don’t remember them precisely, and definitely imitating native speakers has improved it considerably.
    Andreas