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How to improve your pronunciation and listening skills

Improving oneís pronunciation helps speaking in general but itís also very important for listening and understanding. There are several ways to improve your pronunciation and listening skills. Here are some tips to help you:

Listen to native speakers

Listen to native speakers in movies, songs and TV programmes. Listen to how speakers pronounce words and phrases and try to imitate them. These will give you good models to repeat. You can also record yourself and listen to it several times. This will help you find out the mistakes you make in pronunciation and work on them. When listening to something several times you will feel the rhythm of the language and this will improve your pronunciation and speaking skills. Try watching a film without any subtitles and listen out for key words. Itís a fun way of learning a language without really realizing it.

Learn the phonetic alphabet

Familiarise yourself with the phonetic alphabet. We use a dictionary not only to check how to spell a word and learn its meaning, but also to understand other aspects of the English Language. We use a dictionary as a guide to pronouncing new words too. In fact, after every word, many dictionaries provide the learner with a phonemic script enclosed in brackets, indicating where the emphasis (or word stress) should be put, to help students understand how a word should be pronounced and articulated.

Speak clearly and slowly

Speak Clearly. When speaking clearly and slowly there is a higher chance that you will be understood, so remember that thereís no need to rush. Another way how students can improve their pronunciation is by reading aloud, this can be done in class, usually with a piece of literature, but they can also practise on their own. By reading out loud students familiarise themselves with the sound, rhythm, intonation and stress of the language. Hence when communicating with other people, students will be better understood.

This article has been written by an English language teacher of the English language school Maltalingua in Malta. More information about Maltalingua:

Maltalingua English Language School
151, Boxer House Birkirkara Hill
St. Julianís
Website: www.maltalingua.com

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