What’s the most effective way to improve your English pronunciation?

migliorare pronuncia inglese

What’s the most effective way to improve your English pronunciation?

Now that you have familiarised yourself with the last post’s top advice and exercises for improving listening and writing; today we are going to look at another topic which all English students are particularly fond of: pronunciation.

Based on the assumption that it’s not enough just knowing how to spell a word, the following factors are fundamental if you want to improve pronunciation: 

  • Intonation, or rather how your tone of voice changes whilst delivering a sentence;
  • Emphasis, or rather which words, syllables or diphthongs need to be accentuated more within a sentence.

Below are some more top tips from the professionals on how to improve your English pronunciation.

Why is it so important to improve your English pronunciation?

First of all, it is a good start to have a clear idea in your mind why having good English pronunciation is such a huge benefit. 

Without a doubt, improving your pronunciation will help eliminate many communicative barriers and therefore be understood better by a mother tongue speaker. This will allow you to travel (almost) all over the world avoiding any problems linked to linguistic misunderstandings.

Secondly, having a high level of English – and therefore excellent pronunciation – is fundamental within the working world. In today’s business landscape where having good knowledge of the English language can’t be overlooked, improving your pronunciation will help reduce your foreign accent and as a result, sound as neutral as possible.

It is a skill that is very much appreciated by employers, especially if you want to work abroad. You can also add it to your CV to give your language profile an extra boost.

How to improve your English pronunciation

Now you have understood all of the above, let’s get to the point: what can you do on your own to improve your English pronunciation?

In my opinion, the most important piece of advice I can share with you is this: record yourself. When you practice speaking, use your phone or computer to record yourself and then listen to the recording. This is the only way to really hear, understand and then correct any errors.

Another very useful exercise is to listen to English songs and watch English films with subtitles (in English obviously). Following on from listening to songs and films, you should also practice shadowing: this means listening to a sentence and then trying to repeat it, whilst focusing on imitating the exact sounds and the pronunciation.

Finally, if your goal is to sound as similar as possible to an English mother tongue speaker, you must also study the phonetic framework: the International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA which is basically the visual representation of sounds. To do this you must find a classic English dictionary, under every word entry you will see the word expressed in phonemes. Once you have learnt to recognise these symbols, they will be an invaluable tool in helping you to improve your English pronunciation in no time.

If you want to receive more tips on how to improve your English pronunciation, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It will be my pleasure to guide you on your English learning journey!