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The Ultimate Hack: English Pronunciation for Non-English Speakers

One sure way to slay your TEFL course is through exceptional English pronunciation. Imagine conversing in English like a native after taking your TEFL classes?

For people born in English-speaking nations like the UK, Australia, or the USA, proper English pronunciation starts at home as early as a child learns how to talk. For people who would like to learn English as a second language, it takes time, effort, and a good general English class at school.

With the coronavirus pandemic making us stay at home for a very long time, why not use it as an opportunity to enhance your English pronunciation?

With that in mind then, here’s the third part of Anglia Education’s Ultimate Hacks series! Study, relax and become a better English speaker as you apply these valuable tips. 

  1. Listen.

Listening has always been an integral part of learning, especially if you want to sharpen your English pronunciation skills. Here are some audio-visual resources that you can watch and listen to, to learn English properly:

  • Films – If you are into American modern movie classics, David Fincher’s social media movie The Social Network is the best one for you. Why? Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-filled screenplay provides you with an enjoyable and easy-to-watch experience that will better your English pronunciation and English in general, especially if you want to improve your business English.

If you prefer to improve your British English pronunciation (we are British after all!), Tom Hooper’s Oscar-winning The King’s Speech will help you. A royal and ulifting drama, Colin Firth stars, in this story of King George VI’s struggles with a stammer. As English pronunciation is a focal point throughout the film, who would not like a lesson with a King?!

  • Songs – Did you expect to learn English pronunciation through the art of music? Well, if you have the perfect song to sing, you’ll definitely sharpen your pronunciation within days.

Do you love musicals? We have two options for you! The Sound of Music’s Do-Re-Mi and Rent’s Seasons of Love. Why? If you are a beginner in learning how to pronounce and enunciate English words and phrases properly, Julie Andrews AND the cast of Rent will help you.

Here are some lyrics from these songs:

“Doe, a deer, a female deer

Ray, a drop of golden sun

Me, a name I call myself

Far, a long, long way to run.”

-Do-Re-Mi, The Sound of Music

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

-Seasons of Love, Rent

Other than films and songs, you can also learn English pronunciation through podcasts and the radio.

  1. Articulation and pronunciation exercises

Other than listening to various types of audio-visual resources, you can also rely on educational psychology pioneer E.L. Thorndike to improve your English pronunciation. According to Thorndike, what you have learned can be improved through constant practice (the law of exercise). Whether a native English speaker or a second language learner, the learner needs to use proper English pronunciation every day. It’s an application of the statement ‘use it or lose it.’

Here are some exercises you can do at home:

  • Vowel sound exercises – learn the difference between /i/ and /I/ and /æ/ and /ɑ/ and so on. There are 15 main vowel sounds that you need to study to familiarise the English language.
  • Consonant sound exercises – just like vowels, pronouncing consonants is one step closer towards a higher level of proficiency in English pronunciation. 
  • Stress and intonation – proper stress and intonation are essential to make your listeners understand your thoughts better. 
  • Mouth exercises – A good old mirror is a great partner in improving your pronunciation. Watch your mouth as you try to follow sounds, words, phrases, and statements from the movie you watched or a song you listened to. You’ll know if you nailed it through the movement of your mouth. Trust me.
  1. Speak English as much as you can

Speaking English as much as you can works well with a partner, so encourage a friend or a family member to learn English with you. Talk about topics that you love to talk about in your native language. Take every opportunity to speak English as it will help you build confidence and become a better English speaker along the way.

For learners who want to learn English as a second or third language, the path towards proficiency in the English language is hard, but with confidence and exercise, you will certainly reach your goals.

Are you looking for an excellent partner in becoming a better English speaker? Choose Anglia Education. We offer reliable general and business English courses powered by AI. We will also help you improve your grades in English, especially in higher education. Visit our website today for more!

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