Learning English can be a deeply satisfying experience both intellectually and professionally. When you learn English, new avenues open for job opportunities, you becomes more aware of the social and cultural identities of people around the world and how the English language has become the facilitator of communication among people in different countries.
However, there are also some pitfalls of learning the language as you find it increasingly difficult to pronounce the words in the correct manner. There are many factors to this, with mother tongue influence being a leading cause among people in the eastern states of Bihar and U.P., where there is a tendency to utter ‘sh’ as ‘s’.
There are different ways through which you can improve your English pronunciation. There is no short cut and you will have to work diligently on these steps for an extended duration of time to witness long-term gains. Here are some highly effective and useful tips that will help you a lot:
1. Record Yourself Speaking English
A fairly standard method of analyzing your pronunciation is to record yourself speaking and listening to it. Even better? Listen to a passage narrated by a native English speaker and record yourself saying the same passage. Notice the difference between the two pronunciations. Keep practicing and recording until you take the same time and speak in nearly the same manner as the native speaker.
2. Think, Sleep and Breathe English
Immerse yourself completely in learning the English language. Spend as much time possible listening to podcasts, music, TEDx talks, watching movies and TV shows with subtitles and note how their diction varies from yours. Every passing moment, whether you are at home or out with friends, you need to think, sleep and breathe English.
3. Focus on Intonations and Stress
Good and effective pronunciation not only means mastering individual sounds but is also concerned with understanding intonation and stress i.e. the rise and fall of voice, and making certain words sound more loud and clearer than others. For this, you can read poems, speeches and songs in a declamatory manner, either alone or in front of friends.
4. Break Down Into Syllables
Words are made of syllables. If pronouncing a word seems like a difficult task for you, break it down into syllables and try pronouncing each of them separately. Then say it all together slowly and you will eventually find it much easier to speak the word as it is meant to. A good source to study syllables in detail is How Many Syllables.
5. Don’t Try Too Hard, Be Natural
Sometimes, people try too hard to sound every syllable and sound perfectly. This can mess up your confidence and do more harm. Remember, native speakers don’t fret over every vowel or sound but just let it flow naturally. You should also strive to do the same else your vocal chords and mouth will become tensed up when you have to speak.
Read More5 Useful Tips To Sound More Confident In Front of Strangers 5 Public Speaking Mantras To Overcome Stage Fright