Pronunciation Tips

  • Read out loud 15-20 minutes a day.

reading aloud

The more you practice forming the sounds, words, and sentences in American English, the more your tongue and lip muscles will become accustomed to producing the sounds of American English.

 

  • Listen to audio books recorded in American English.

audiobook

Audio books recorded in American English are a great way to familiarize and immerse yourself in the American accent.  Listen on your commute to work, relaxing at home, or anywhere you have the time.

 

  • Use a mirror to watch how your lips and tongue are forming the sounds.

mirror

Learn how the lips are formed and how they move for all the vowel and consonant sounds  Use the videos in these lessons, or any other supplement you find useful for a visual reference.  Then, observe and compare your lip movements in the mirror as you practice.

 

  • Try recording yourself and pay attention to particular sounds that you want to work on.

Headphones

Record yourself speaking or reading aloud and then focus on those sounds that you want to work on for that week.  Don't focus on too many structures at once, just two to four each week and work on those.  Listen to the rhythm and intonation of your speech as well.

 

  • Watch American T.V. programs, such as those of Broadcast Network Standard.

newsimage

Broadcast Network Standard is the dialect typically used by most national radio and television broadcasters and reflects the pronunciations used by most dictionaries.  It is most easy to understand and is the closest example to standard American English.

 

  • Turn on the closed caption feature on your T.V.

closedcaption

Reading the closed captions as you watch T.V. may help you understand the speakers a little better.  You may find yourself listening for certain sounds and intonation patterns as you watch.

MORE TIPS:

  • Slow down and relax.  People tend to speak faster when they are nervous, so take a breath and take your time.
  • Speak clearly, and project your voice in the direction of your speaker.  Don't yell, just speak so you can be heard.
  • Practice your personal challenge sounds and structures of difficulty each week by setting aside dedicated study time.  Practicing speech sounds from a second language takes time and effort!!
  • Practice social conversations with native American English speakers  and ask for help when needed.
  • Practice intonation, word stress, and numbers, especially when speaking over the phone.

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