5 ways to improve your pronunciation

Pronunciation in English can be difficult. Not only does the spelling of certain words really confuse the issue but there are so many different ways of pronunicing the same clusters that it can get really frustrating at times. Here are some tips to help you get better at pronunciation.

Pronunciation Pairs

If you find it difficult to pronounce a word you have just learnt in English try to pair it with another word or other words you are familiar with. English spelling is very difficult and for that reason pronunciation often doesn’t make sense. For example the word through looks nothing like too or you but it is pronounced the same way. Try writing these three words down together and saying them out loud. In this way you are telling your brain to believe your ears and not just your eyes. It works.

Minimal Pairs

You can take the above example and turn it around by using slight differences in words to highlight the differences in sounds. For example, there is very little difference between bin and been but you can highlight and train your ear to understand that one is slightly longer than the other by learning them and saying them side by side. Another classic example of this is of course reach and rich and it can be dine with consonants too such as Ben, pen, den.

Stand in front of a mirror and practice

One of the main reasons we can\’t pronounce words in other languages properly is because we have not grown up using the muscles in our face, neck, mouth and jaw to create the necessary sounds. For some nationalities the difference between \’l\’ and \’r\’ just isn\’t there. It simply doesn\’t exist and at a micro level they simply have to teach their brain and their mouth to hear the sound and make it. This is why you might often hear some speakers confuse lice with rice or Roger becomes Hoger. Youu have to train yourself physically to get these right and standing in front of a mirror doing vocal exercises is one great and quick way of doing it.

Adopt an accent

That\’s right, exaggerate and adopt an accent. Express yourself the way the locals express themselves. Listen to how they say words and adopt that accent. There is no perfect English accent and it is inevitable that you will pick up some kind of a Dublin accent if you\’re living here for a period of time. Dive in and take it on. It will help you in the long run.

Watch, listen, learn, speak, copy

Pretty much says it all really. Watch movies, listen to podcasts and radio, speak to natives and copy them as much as possible.

Your Language School in Dublin City Centre

City Language School is right in the heart of Dublin City Centre. Dublin is the proud and vibrant capital of Ireland and with its cosmopolitan and modern feel, it has repeatedly been voted Europe’s friendliest city by Trip Advisor. Dublin boasts strong links with literature, music, dance and storytelling. As you walk through the streets of Temple Bar, you can absorb the musical tradition which spills onto the streets from the many bars and restaurants; truly a city of enormous beauty! Dublin is surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery that will leave you with lifelong memories. It is perfectly located on the eastern coastline of Ireland and is a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe.