Hello!

 

I hope this video will help you with your English pronunciation. In it, I am pronouncing the vowel and dipthong sounds of English from the International Phonemic Alphabet (the IPA).

 

Many of you learning English have difficulty with English pronunciation. You probably have an excellent level of English, but now that you are living in an English-speaking country, you find that people often cannot understand you. People always seem to ask you  "pardon?" or "sorry?". You might wonder what it is you are doing wrong, and it can make you feel really bad about trying to speak English. But don't worry - you just haven't received the help you need with your pronunciation, yet!

 

What you might not have realised is that you are possibly pronouncing the English letters the same way as you do in your first language. You are pronouncing things how you think they are pronounced, not how native speakers actually pronounce them.

 

For example, some native speakers of Spanish pronounce the "o" in English words like "month", "money" and "love" with an "o" sound. This often means that people can't understand them. But, when I train my students to listen closely to the English vowel sounds, they hear that the "o" in these words is actually the sound /ʌ/, which is pronounced like a Spanish "a". When they realise this, they start hearing how native English speakers (all over the world!) really do pronounce "month", "monk", "money", and "love": "manth", "mank", "mani", and "lav", not "month", "monk", "moni" and "lov"!

 

For the first time, they actually really hear how the The Beatles pronounce "love" when they sing "All you need is love"! And it's a revelation! From then, with their ears trained, their pronunciation improves immensely! (Don't believe me about how to pronounce "love"? Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLEtGRUrtJo)

 

So, the best thing to do to improve your pronunciation is to study the sounds of English first. It is important to train your ear to actually recognise the sounds that English speakers make, not the ones that you think they make. Once you can really listen closely and recognise the sounds, you can work on pronouncing them and improving your pronunciation.

 

Here is the chart I am using in this video: Introduction to phonemic symbols

 

I hope this helps!

 

Thank you,

 

English teacher Louise

 

 

 

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