15 ways to improve your English pronunciation

15 ways to improve your English pronunciation

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hello my name is Emma and in today’s
video I am going to teach you how to be better at pronunciation I’m going to
teach you 15 ways to improve your pronunciation so this is a very
important video because I know a lot of students are very embarrassed with their
pronunciation sometimes people don’t understand what they’re saying and they
feel really sad about it so this video will really help you if you’ve ever felt
embarrassed or had trouble with your pronunciation okay so let’s get started
with the first kick so my first tip is about how we pronounce different sounds
pronunciation is really about what your lips are doing what your tongue is doing
as well as what your throat is doing so one way to improve your pronunciation is
to know what is happening here okay these are all muscles you really want to
get good at using these and knowing how to use them for what sounds okay so you
want to be aware you want to be aware of what this area is doing so let me give
you an example your lips for some sounds your lips are very spread okay very
spread and tense so I want you to try something I have this word here beak II
so you see with the e sound in the center beep it makes me smile okay so
that’s what my lips are doing they’re smiling when I say this word beat it’s
the same with a word cheese when we take a picture okay your lips spread out now
I want you to compare this with the word boat okay i have a very canadian
pronunciation for those sound boat but when I say the word boat look at what my
lips are doing boat okay are they very spread like a smile no they’re actually
in a circle boat okay so it’s important to know what your lips are doing are
they spread or are they in a circle are your lips
are they like coming out like a wolf would like ooh or are they not are they
if are they black so think about what your lips are doing when you’re
pronouncing different words and different sounds ok the next thing is
your time this is your time ok so what’s very important in pronunciation is where
is your time ok so when you pronounce a sound is your tongue at the front of
your mouth ok is it at the front or is it at the back of your mouth or
sometimes it might be in the middle so paying attention to where your tongue is
can really help you when you’re practicing these be found also your
throat this is your throat ok for some sounds I the sound mix your throat move
it vibrates for other sounds you won’t feel anything this does not move the
sound actually comes from your mouth so let me give you an example we have a
sound here as in tea and we have the sound here duh as in David ok so and now
if we compare these two sounds you’ll notice t if I say here does not move
there’s no vibration whereas if I just pronounce this sound duh duh this area
does move ok so that’s very important in pronunciation especially with ed endings
when you’re learning about the past tense knowing if this is moving or not
moving is very very important ok so again things to be focused on when
you’re trying to practice a sound you should be focused on what your lips are
doing what your tongue is doing and what your throat is doing ok so my second tip
the mirror okay you don’t want to really be focused
on this while you’re actually talking to somebody in public because that can be a
little bit embarrassing okay so if you’re practicing sound maybe somebody
might look at you and think you’re a little bit crazy so this is something
good to do at home and it’s good to look in the mirror and look actually at what
your lips are doing what your tongue is doing and you know do some practice to
practice different different words and see what your mouth is doing with each
word you can also look at other people and try to pay attention to what their
mouths are doing when they’re saying these words also okay so great way to
practice is looking in the mirror another thing you can do for practice is
actually have a tape recorder or your cell phone and record yourself okay so
you can say a sound you can say a word and you can film yourself saying the
word because one problem a lot of students have is they make mistakes in
their pronunciation but they don’t know they’re making mistakes they can’t hear
it when they’re actually saying it but when they record it you can go back and
you can actually maybe here the mistakes or making okay so it’s very good to
listen to how you sound by recording yourself another helpful thing you can
do is actually with your cell phone okay so on your phones a lot of people have
voice texting where instead of texting with your hand you actually can just say
what you want to say and the text will show up so if you have a phone that has
this for texting it’s a great way to actually see that you’re actually saying
words correctly because for example if I say the word dog and it shows up as duck
then I know okay I didn’t pronounce that word correctly so your phone can
actually be great wait a great way to check that you’re pronouncing things
correctly also some students use Siri you know they ask Siri a question Siri
where is the closest bakery if Syria has no idea what you’re saying then that
feedback but its ear if series able to tell you oh the nearest bakery is you
know two blocks away then you know okay my pronunciation for that question was
really good so using your phone can really help you with your pronunciation
okay so another key idea for improving your pronunciation is number five
learning the International phonetic alphabet so phonetic means about sounds
okay so International phonetic alphabet really means the International sound
alphabet so if you’ve ever looked in your dictionary and you kind of see
sometimes a you’ll see bracket in your dictionary beside the word and it has
you know maybe the word for example B and if you look in the dictionary it
says the word like this this would be the International phonetic alphabet it’s
showing you not how the word is spelt not how to spell the word but how to
pronounce the word so this alphabet will teach you how to pronounce a found or a
word so it’s very very useful to learn so for example this word here B this is
in regular english writing ok d ee be but if we wanted to know how this is
written in the sound alphabet or the International phonetic alphabet you
would see the word written as this but and this is actually II in the
international phonetic alphabet so together I would know the sound is be
okay so really great because in English spelling is always a problem with
students sometimes the spelling does not tell you how to pronounce the word so if
you find that really frustrating and difficult learning the International
phonetic alphabet can really help you with your pronunciation okay another
thing that can really help you is comparing okay comparing different
sounds or different words so sometimes you know for example you’ll have a word
with a e sound like sheet you see I smile with that and then you’ll have a
bad word like the word shit so for this example comparing the two words and
seeing how to actually what’s different sheet shit you see the difference in my
mouth comparing two words side-by-side can really really help you with your
pronunciation okay another thing that can really help is number seven stress
okay when we talk about stress in pronunciation we’re not talking about
like you know stress from doing a math test or something stress and
pronunciation means louder and longer okay it’s when we say a word and a part
of the word we say louder and longer so I’ll give you an example on how stress
can help I have here two numbers 1330 okay when many students say numbers
people don’t understand what they’re saying if you say 13 somebody might
think you’re actually saying 30 okay so this is a common thing that happens to
students stress is the way to improve this if you know where to say the the
part of the word louder and longer people will understand you better so for
example 13 teen is louder and longer third is actually shorter 13 now compare
this to 30 okay in this case sir is louder and longer and t is actually
quite short okay so I want you to repeat after me 1330 okay you see the
difference there so learning stress can really really help you improve your
pronunciation now let’s learn some more tips so my 82
tip number eight is about intonation you should definitely pay attention and
learn intonation so what is intonation well that’s like the music of language
different languages have their own type of music to them and so in English it
has its own music too so if you think about this this really means about when
parts of what you’re saying your sentence when it goes up at the end like
mine just aired it went up or when it goes down okay so that’s the intonation
so for example I have here a question was it expensive did my voice go up or
did it go down at the end I want you to think about it was it expensive alright
if you said my voice it rose it went up you’re correct so you’ll notice that
different sentences different types of questions you know different types of
sentences have different intonation so that’s something to really pay attention
to okay another thing that can really help improve your pronunciation is
contractions so what is a contraction well a contraction is when we short in
two words into pretty much one word with apostrophe ok so for example i am i am
emma right i am well oftentimes in conversation we we often instead of
saying i am will say im so we’ll use the contraction ok so we have IM compared to
I’m and we just have this ‘ another example of a contraction is he will
become hill and I’ve drawn a little Hill here with a man on top to remind you so
he will is shortened to hill there are many contractions in English and they
will really really help you in terms of your conversation
and they’re very good for pronunciation too okay oh there’s one more F scotch
this one I really liked this tip sing even if you have a terrible voice I
actually am terrible I’m awful terrible at singing hopefully you’ll have a
better voice than me but even if you don’t singing can really help you with
your pronunciation it can help with intonation it can help with stress
there’s a lot of great songs to sing and also often when you sing it makes you
relax okay so if you’re really nervous about your pronunciation have fun sing a
song and that can help you with it also a lot of students asked me are there any
bands or any singers I would recommend for practicing singing in english i
would say my top two wood and of course anyone you want to practice you is great
any band you like you should definitely sing too but for me personally I really
like Frank Sinatra and the beatles and the reason why is basing slower okay a
lot of new music the singer sings very fast and so it’s difficult to hear what
they’re saying with the Beatles and with Frank Sinatra their voice is usually
quite clear and they sing slower so I find that it’s a you know really great
band and singer to sing too so I highly recommend practicing your singing in
order to improve your pronunciation ok another tip that can really really help
you is tiny twisters ok what’s a tongue twister you probably have something
similar in your language I’ll give you an example of an English tongue twister
to kind of show you what I mean she sells seashells by the seashore ok from
what I just say I said something very fast a tongue twister is to help you
with usually two or three different sounds so in this case the sounds I was
looking at was and so oh she sells seashells by the
seashore is a way to get me practicing these two sounds so at first what I
would do with a tongue twister is start very slowly she sells seashells by the
seashore and then after you practice a bit you can go a little bit faster she
sells seashells by the seashore until finally you can go really fast and
really fast she sells seashells by the seashore okay so tongue twisters are a
lot of fun and we have them for many different sounds in English we have
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers okay we have there’s a bunch of
different ones if you google tongue twisters you’ll find a bunch and these
are great for practicing different sounds you can even have a competition
with your friends see who is the best with these tongue twisters who can say
them the fastest and correctly okay another great tip when you’re trying to
improve your pronunciation is when you learn a word or a sound try to think if
there’s the same sound in your language okay I remember when I was learning
French there was the sound s and I for some reason I was having a lot of
difficulty with it I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce it when i was looking
at french words then i found out that we have the exact same sound in English for
example in the word met at so the word exert the sound is in French and English
so once I knew that it existed in both languages I was able to find an example
of an English word and then whenever I would try to pronounce a French word
with that sound I remember the English word and it would help me with the
pronunciation so for example in French the word for party is set or a bet and
that runs with the English word net so it’s good if you can think about any
sounds in your language that also exists in English
you can also think about sounds that don’t exist in many languages are
doesn’t exist and L doesn’t exist or maybe there’s one sound that is both r
and l whereas been english we have two different sounds okay so try to come up
with what are the things that are the same in your language and what are some
of the differences and you know you can definitely practice those okay number 13
feedback feedback from friends okay if you have any friends who are native
speakers of English or even just you know your friends who are also learning
English you can ask them for help with your pronunciation sometimes you know
especially if you know people from different cultures different people from
different countries have different pronunciation problems in English okay
so you might have trouble with our and maybe your friend has trouble with you
know the S sound in English so you guys can come together and you can practice
and give feedback help each other out on the sound okay if you know a native
speaker of English you can do the same thing you can ask them did i pronounce
that correctly did I make a mistake and you know hopefully they can help you
with that also so using your friends is something that i would highly recommend
to do number 14 probably the most important tip I have for you today is
practice practice practice practice in English we say practice makes perfect
and that’s very true for pronunciation it’s very important to practice the
sound as much as possible until it becomes automatic okay the more you
practice the easier it will get so definitely practice as much as you can
but also i would recommend I’ve told students about this before you know
practice as much as possible and I had one student who would practice on the
subway and everybody would look at him like he was crazy because he would sit
down and he would just keep repeating the sound again and again and again and
then people wouldn’t want to sit beside him because you know there
he was a bit crazy so be aware of your surroundings when you practice again I
highly recommend practicing at home in front of a mirror if you’re you know
repeating the sound again and again finally my final tip there are some
really great websites you can check out for pronunciation help if you want to
practice the international phonetic alphabet which I mentioned earlier the
University of Iowa has a really really good website where it shows what your
tongue is doing what your lips are doing and you can actually see a diagram of
the mouth and you can kind of watch it in slow motion so it’s a very very good
website if you’re interested in American Standard English another great website
is in vid all right at w WM vidcom there you can actually take a quiz to see that
you know you’ve mastered these different tips and you can also check out a lot of
our other pronunciation videos we have pronunciate pronunciation videos on
everything so i highly recommend coming there to our website to check it out
until next time take care and good luck

100 thoughts on “15 ways to improve your English pronunciation”

  1. I'm 70 and I'm very happy to found this video. English is my 6th language and my worst one.Your personality so dynamic and professional inspired me to follow your lessons.Great!!!
    And I like Doris Day singing Fly me to the moon, even more than Sinatra. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  2. Thinks a lot Emma.I learnt this marvellous technic of tongue twist.I think it helps a lot.I wish you specialising on this kind of courses.I mean english pronunciation.there's a lot of work here.

  3. Muy linda y explica muy bien, te encontré y creo que aprenderé mucho con tigo. Además necesito tus clases estoy en Canada y estudio ESL.

  4. I'd like understanding all of the Americans like I'm able to understand you. I'm from Brazil and I had a hard time studying English in school, but if I had a teacher like you probably I would have learned quickly.

  5. My problem is that Emma mam when I face with foreign people I stop and forget everything that I now what can I do for eliminating of that habit

  6. I love and respect your teaching very very much you are one of the greatest teacher in the world today .I love you, my teacher Emma.

    respectfully,
    Han

  7. World's most stupid language situation is this: In theory, you just learn to pronounce 26 letters then you can read English. Right? Then why is it when you look up a word in the dictionary, there's SECOND word telling how to pronounce the 1st word? World class stupid.

  8. Miss Emma, I got a lot in pronunciation and it gives me improvement in a fluent talking and appreciate in your lectures. Thank you so much.

  9. This is a very good video for my one year old his learning how to talk but his having a hard time with his Pronuonciations

  10. I've just found your videos and let me tell you that I loved them..thanks for teaching us the way you do.. Blessings!

  11. It's good vedio. Can you help? I have a research my topic is strategies for improving pronunciation to university students.

  12. I've never known any other language other than (southern/ simplified american) English. I still cannot talk.

  13. Greetings!!!
    I'm Fadel, I live in Senegal.
    I have many questions for you,so what should I do to ask them to you???

  14. Ommmgg,I would like to thank you for these great videos. Your speech is so clearly

  15. she sells seashells by the seashore, hahaha I love this tongue twister because its quite common in english.

  16. Fuck people, I practice in the street no matter if the people see me as crazy, I'm not going to see them again anyway.

  17. ჩემმა მზემ. 2 დღეში გამოცდა მაქ და პრონანსიეიშენ უნდა დავხვეწო / I'm having English exam after 2 days, so I should master my pronunciation

  18. hello guys I'm aziz i'm looking for friends from all over the world to practice English with so if you're interested let me know and send me a respond???

  19. Why should anyone care where you are making an effort to improve? I tell my students that they should NEVER be embarrassed of their process!🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ It is very likely that the person who is giving you those dirty looks can hardly speak their native language correctly.

  20. I love you, I was cooking and listening to you and I could understand everything you said! thank you very much. By the way, your voice is perfect!

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