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10 Keys Toward Improving Your English


Essential tips on how to improve your English.

The essential method by which speakers of English as a second language learns to pronounce American English is by imitating the pronunciation of American English-speaking persons. The approach should be as close as possible to those conditions of normal communication. Here are ten method that can help you reach your goal of mastering English:

1. Practice and listen.

people practicing speaking Pronunciation workshop

While eating out, listen to conversations in a restaurant. During your free time, listen to those around you speaking to others. Grab a map, find a place on it and practice giving directions.Go to an English movie! Head to a shopping center and listen to the conversations between customers, the staff and those around you. Hop on public transportation and listen to the place names, directions and conversations being held around you.

2. Don't leave off the endings of words.

Scrabble tiles Pronunciation workshop

3. Make a list of frequently used words.

Making a list Pronunciation Workshop

A popular Reddit thread chronicles non-native English speakers pitfalls and trip ups. Popular ones include penguin, Worcestershire, squirrel and refrigerator.

Keeping a list of words that you come across that are difficult for you will help you get a handle on the things you are having trouble with.

4. Open your mouth more when you speak English.

person speaking with thought bubble pronunciation workshop

While I don’t mean that you have to open your mouth so wide that your listener can see down your throat, try opening your mouth a little more than you are used to. American English is a language in which you have to move your lips more than other languages.  There are some sounds that require you to make a big circle, some that are formed with a smile, and others that are formed by a tight circle.  If you are used to keeping your lips flat when you speak, then you are most likely not pronouncing words as clearly as you could.  Just remember that it may feel awkward to you, it won’t to others.  As a matter of fact, your listeners will be impressed at how clearly they are able to understand you.

5. Don’t be afraid to speak.

person afraid to speak into mic pronunciation workshop

If you are nervous to speak English, find someone you trust, someone with whom you feel comfortable and speak with him or her. Once you have more confidence, after some practice, head out and speak with others to see how well they understand you.

6. Read aloud in English for ten to 15 minutes every day.

couple speaking pronunciation workshop

If you've got no one else to chat or practice with, you can do it all by yourself! Narrate your thoughts, or read an English book aloud. Reading aloud is one of the easiest things you can do to continue to practice your English pronunciation. It doesn't even have to be a book! Read your email aloud, or an article online, the box instructions for what you are making for dinner!

7. Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation errors.

person speaking into recorder pronunciation workshop

Knowing what you sound like is critical to improving in areas you need to work on. Once you get over the sound of your own recorded voice (we all hate the way we sound when recorded), you'll find yourself taking greater strides to improve the way you are pronouncing words! Bonus: when you record yourself, months and years from now you can play it back to hear how much you've improved!

8. Watch the mouth movements of native speakers and imitate them.

man listening pronunciation workshop

It doesn't have to be a person you are sitting with! For example, go to a movie and try focusing on the way that the actors move their lips and tongues when speaking different words. This can help you to learn how native speakers pronounce the word. Try imitating them while you are watching the movie. Doing this over and over and it will help you to pronounce English words a lot better.

9. Buy books on tape. Read along with the tape - out loud.

headphones and book pronunciation workshop

Guess what? You can have native English speakers read books right to you whenever you want! You can listen to audio books any time any where, but to really ramp up those learning opportunities, try reading along out loud with the book as you are listening!

10. Be patient.

patience pronunciation workshop

Above all, be patient with yourself. You've already made the decision to master English pronunciation and you'll get there. With Pronunciation Workshop and these tips, you're sure to be speaking perfect English in no time!

(All Images Courtesy of Google Images)

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