Everybody is looking to speed up their progress when it comes to speaking English more clearly. We are all busy, so I wanted to talk about 3 English pronunciation tricks that you can use to bring you 80% better results.
English Pronunciation Trick number 1 – Write a script
What do I mean by ‘write a script’? In my work with many clients over the years, we have found it speeds up progress considerably if you write out what you habitually say at work or at home or socially, and use the script to practise the particular speech element you are working on.
At work we often have to use the same phrases and vocabulary over and over. This is especially so if you need to speak to customers or others on the phone, or over the counter, or you speak in a meeting. So, here’s what to do:
- Write a script out. Write out what you say often, or habitually at work.
- Say it over and over focusing on the different speech elements you are trying to habituate and use automatically in your everyday speech.
- Say it aloud to yourself so you can hear how you are going
- You could even record yourself and listen back
- Once you have consolidated the particular element/s you are working on, you can choose a different element – another sound, or English pronunciation melody and stress work, and use the same script to work on these. For more on English stress and melody click here.
Let me give you an example.
Recently I was working with a client who owns a business where she has to say a particular thing when she answers the phone, and she also has certain set things she needs to say to her customers when they come in to her office. We wrote out a script, and for the first 2 weeks she concentrated on pronouncing the ‘th’ , and the /t/ and /d/ sounds correctly in words. After two weeks of her practising this every day, she began to notice that her new way of saying the ‘th’ and /t/ and /d/ sounds had begun to automatically come in to her speech, and they were already correct about 50% of the time.
Of course to get the sounds right in the first place she looked at, and listened to, the explanations and copied the audio trainer in the Speak More Clearly accent training course.
You could write a script for any of the situations you find yourself in where you need to say a similar thing over and over. Even when we are talking to our children, we often need to say the same things every day! For example “Have you done your homework? ” Which story do you want me to read?” ” Please don’t touch that .” ” Thank you for clearing the dishes up.” ” Good packing your toys away.” etc
English Pronunciation Trick number 2 – Simultaneous Mimicking Aloud
Usually I suggest that you repeat aloud after the trainer in our audio accent reduction course, and there is nothing wrong with this. After all, you can’t acquire clearer English pronunciation just by reading English on a page quietly in your head. You must give your ear practise at hearing yourself sound different, and become used to this, and comfortable with this. Practising your new pronunciation aloud also gives your mouth a chance to get used to the new way of moving to speed up your accent reduction.
May I suggest that you also try repeating with the trainer simultaneously. As the audio trainer begins to talk, so do you, and this makes you pay attention even more to how the clear English pronunciation sounds. Often people find this speeds up their progress quite quickly. It may seem odd at first, and you will need to persevere and give yourself a chance to get the hang of it. It will also help your English improve as well. Give it a go!
English Pronunciation Trick number 3 – Read Aloud 3 minutes a day
Let’s say you are working on learning how to say your English /r/. Because it is made in a totally different way to your original /r/, you are literally learning to say a new sound that you have never learned before.
Here’s what you do:
- Learn how to say your new /r/ sound using the Speak More Clearly program
- Take anything you have to read- it could be a book, magazine, newspaper, study notes etc
- Put a timer on if you like
- Stand up and read aloud to yourself for 3 minutes making sure you actively notice where the /r/ sounds are, and actively making the effort to move your mouth in the new way to say your new /r/ sound.
- Do this every day till you can read at your regular speed, and still say your new /r/ sound correctly. This may take a week or several weeks. Each person’s ability to get to this stage varies. By this time, you should also be noticing that your new /r/ sound is beginning to come automatically into your everyday English speech sometimes.
- Once your new /r/ has come into your everyday speech all the time, choose another clear English speech element to work on.
- If you feel that you can, then you could use this technique and concentrate on making two elements automatic at once, e.g. concentrate on ‘th’ and a vowel etc
- This technique is also good for practising stress and melody in English to make your speech more flowing and for being understood better when you speak English
Enjoy practising. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below if you find these tips helpful.
Best wishes, Esther