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Great Tips to Achieve Accuracy in Pronunciation

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Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject: Great Tips to Achieve Accuracy in Pronunciation Reply with quote

Accurate pronunciation is one of the most difficult ordeals faced by students in englishlci as well as in the real world. We are talking about the terribly awkward sensation of having to make a choice on how to say something in a language foreign to them. Just think, it is even an issue with native speakers of a language; just imagine how ESL students feel. We all know there is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone in a foreign language and looking at the persons puzzled face across from you probably thinking, I wonder what shes trying to say. At this point frustration is too much to bear. So, the question that plagues many students when coming across a word unknown to them is, how do I pronounce this when I have never heard it before? Here are some great tips that can help:

*Learn phonetic rules, learn to use the dictionary
Like many other things, phonetic rules can be learned. Using a dictionary can certainly help when you want to know the meaning of a new word and it can be equally as practical when you need to know how to pronounce a word. Unfortunately, most ESL students dont know how to fully take advantage of dictionaries. Dictionaries contain the phonetic pronunciation of words. As you probably know, phonetic symbols are a great help when it comes to learning to pronounce English words correctly. Any time you open a dictionary, you can find the correct pronunciation of words you don't know by looking at the phonetic pronunciation that follows. Unfortunately, learning the phonetic alphabet is not always the easiest thing to do but, its a great way to start.

*Use online dictionaries where you can hear pronunciation
Online dictionaries are a super way to learn proper pronunciation. Most have icons you can click on to hear the words you want to learn how to pronounce. Nothing beats that! Also, going back to phonetics, you can see the phonetic symbol, and then hear the word, which makes it a great way to learn symbols

*Focus on correct, and then go for perfection
Dont expect to pronounce like a native speaker. If you do achieve this, great! It is just an unrealistic objective when you are learning a second language. Instead, you can acquire proper intonation and stress. English is a stress-timed language and, as such, good pronunciation depends a lot on the ability to accent the correct words and successfully use intonation to make sure you are understood. In other words, spoken English stresses the principal elements in a sentence - content words - and quickly glides over the less important words - function words. Nouns, principal verbs, adjectives and adverbs are all content words. Pronouns, articles, auxiliary verbs, prepositions, conjunctions are function words and are pronounced quickly moving towards the more important words. This quality of quickly gliding over less important words is also known as 'connected speech'.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. Theyll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (dont forget to mention englishlci the original source). Have a great day!

Don't forget to visit our ESL blog.

Rachel Clarkson
ESL Program
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Joined: 10 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A really good and informative post. The importance of pronunciation should never be underestimated but it is something that I have found some teachers and students not focusing on enough.
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Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's a careful balance in the classroom. The teacher has to balance the need for correction of pronunciation with the greater need for students to be comfortable and confident in their production.
The first step to teaching is realizing that you don't know nearly enough yourself.

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Joined: 10 May 2010
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe one of the best techniques for accurate pronunciation is to reinforce the teaching with practical and ready tools and materials. Let's say practice but how? First, carefully study how the natural tongue is spoken and how it sounds to then apply it.

I usually ask my students to watch English movies, sitcoms, commercials, news, etc., and basically try to imitate how they sound when they speak.

Jane Phillis
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone is unique, thus, each one of us needs to find the best way to study effectively in order to stand out from the crowd. It is imperative to develop good study habits that will surely help us get the most out of our time and brains, while setting a solid foundation for future learning efforts and to enhance our lives.

Here are some good study tips that will fit your normal college plan or any other learning activity you undertake, like ESL programs, for example:

1. Establish a place to study. It has to be a place you enjoy; quiet, comfortable, practical, and nice. Make sure it has everything you need, from a space for your books and pens, to your favorite cushion to recline on. Make sure you do not have to waste time and concentration to looking for things outside this area.

2. Get a good nights sleep. Sleeping well will enhance your memory, making it easy to understand concepts and think creatively.

3. Set a schedule. Plan your study time and honor it. Make it into a routine as much as going to the gym or going to class. Make it work along with your other activities so that you do not have to sacrifice anything at some point.

4. Take regular breaks. While studying, get up every 30 to 40 minutes for around 5 minutes and stretch, get something to eat or drink, or just look out the window. This way you rest but do not lose your focus.

5. Get a partner. When another person is studying with you, it is easier to concentrate on the topic, and you can also enrich each other with new tips and ideas. Make sure this person is someone you consider superior to you in some aspects and a great student; someone you can look up to and learn from.

6. Establish clear goals. Define what you will study on a given day and how far you will get. If you cant make it all the way, rethink the time you need for each subject and adjust your goals.

7. Exercise regularly. A regular exercise routine will oxygenate your brain, improving your memory and helping you concentrate easily.

8. Eat and drink healthy. This is a must if you want to keep your organism active and energized. You will not get too far if youre weak, lacking vitamins and minerals your body requires to work.
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Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 118
Location: Kobe, Sanomiya, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was quite informative, thank you!

Pronunciation seems to go through waves of popularity here... it's cresting at the moment :O
}c[} pb _ O{ ACY - James
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