The most difficult part of English language learning is its pronunciation. Articulating the words correctly can take time and energy. Most of the learners find this part boring and time-consuming so they don’t put much effort into it. But, it is not the case.
Learning English pronunciation can be interesting if you learn it through some fun activities.
So, what are these fun activities?
Let’s have a look at them.
- Practice English sounds:
You have to practice different English sounds for fifteen minutes daily!
There are certain English sounds which are problematic and need your special attention. Those sounds are present in your native language, that’s why it is difficult for you to pronounce them. For example, Chinese are able to pronounce the R which comes at the beginning of a word, but not at the middle or end of a word. That’s why they can accurately pronounce the nouns that start with R but they can’t correctly pronounce those nouns that have R in the middle or end. Also, Indians and Pakistanis find it difficult to pronounce the [ð] sound.
Identify the sounds which are problematic for you and practice them daily. Try to speak those words in which those sounds have been used. Fifteen minutes of practice will polish your pronunciation.
- Listen to the native speakers:
Open YouTube, play any 5-minute video of any native speaker, and speak along with him.
This activity will be an exercise for your mouth muscles. They will be able to pronounce different English words and sounds. Speaking along with a native speaker will help you to pronounce each sound.
- Record yourself:
Find audio of any short story on YouTube. Before listening to the audio, read that short story aloud and record yourself. After completing the recording, compare it with the native speaker’s recording. Note down your mistakes and work on them.
This activity will take 10 to 15 minutes, but doing it daily will start ironing out your caresses.
- Break down the syllables:
Before I proceed with this activity, let me clear your confusion about syllables.
Syllables are units of words which have a vowel in them. Consonants can also be there, but a vowel is a must. Some words can have two to three syllables, and some words can have more than this.
For example, “win-ter” has two syllables. “Miss” has one syllable, and” wor-ry-ing” has three syllables.
You can break down the difficult words into their syllables and then pronounce them. This activity will help you in pronouncing difficult words.
- Listen to English Music:
Do you know there are certain English words which you have to stress? Do you know there is a rhythm in the English Language? Learning about the stress and rhythm of certain words and sounds will polish your accent.
You can learn these words by listening to English music and poems. This will uplift your mood after a tiring day, and will also teach you about certain sounds.
- Notice your mouth and tongue movement:
Another interesting way is to note a native speaker’s lips and tongue movement when he is speaking. Also, there are different videos which will guide you about mouth and tongue movements. You can learn about it and practice it in front of a mirror. Notice your mouth and tongue movement in the mirror and keep on trying to move them correctly. After some conscious efforts, you will be able to pronounce the word
- Learn Phonemic Chart:
Do you know about the International Phonetic Alphabet chart? Well, it is a visual representation of sounds. With each sound, there is a symbol for this. For example, for the “th” sound, there are symbols of /ð/ and /θ/. Both symbols represent two different types of sounds. Also, there are diphthongs, fricative, nasal etc. sounds on it.
If you master the phonetic chart, it will help you in pronouncing different words. It will acquaint you with the different sounds of English.
- Read and use Dictionaries:
You must be wondering how dictionaries and reading improve English sounds. Well, it has a huge benefit in improving your pronunciation.
In the previous point, I have told you about phonemic charts. Do you know that dictionaries do have phonemic transcriptions of each word? You can read the transcription once you will familiarize yourself with the. phonemic chart.
You can check the difficult word’s phonemic transcription in the dictionary. While reading, you can try to write the transcription of difficult words on it. Afterwards, you can compare your written transcription with the dictionary’s transcription. This will help you in identifying your mistakes.
I have done this activity a lot. And believe me, it is fun to do. Make a buddy and do this activity with him.
You may be wondering why we should improve our English pronunciation, and why we should give 15 to 20 minutes daily to it. It is because English is a global language. And the world is turning into a global village. You must communicate in English in your offices or workplaces. You might have to work with English native speakers at some time in your lives. Our education system is also focusing on these skills to groom students’ personalities. And, learning pronunciation skills is one of them. That’s why to keep on practicing at home and groom your personality.