Do you want to improve your American English pronunciation and speaking skills but just don’t how to go about it? Here are our “must do” tips to instantly improve your American English.
1. Always speak slowly. The goal here, of course, is not to speak too slowly, but slowly enough so that you have more time for your lips and tongue to reach the correct placement for sounds. Speaking more slowly will instantly help make your accent less pronounced. If you speak too quickly, your accent will sound heavier and your speech more difficult to understand. This is because your lips and tongue do not have enough time to form sounds correctly.
2. Pronounce all the sounds in words. Pay special attention to pronouncing all the sounds in words when you speak. Start learning when you omit sounds by practicing reading aloud slowly.
3. Stick to grammar you have mastered: American English, just like other languages, has a specific word order to follow, as well as ways to form types of words. Here is your grammar tip: when speaking to others, try to stick to using grammar structures you have mastered.
4. Record your speech often. The best tool for helping you understand what your speech sounds like to others is to record your speech. Do this very often! Awareness of the changes you need to make is the first step to changing your speech. Listening to your speech will help in every area of American English: It will help you become aware of the mistakes in pronunciation, grammar, stressing, intonation patterns, pausing, word connections, etc. Most computers have a built-in sound recorder that you can use for recording. If yours doesn’t have one, any tape recorder or digital recorder will do.
5. Speak loudly enough. Speaking volume is a very important part of oral communication for every language. How can you adjust your speaking volume? It is not enough just to speak more loudly. You will want to practice aiming your voice at different locations, starting at three feet away, then five feet away, then ten feet away, etc. Each time you practice, find an object at a specific distance away and talk to it. Look at the object and aim your voice at it. You can also practice with another person as your helper. Speaking at an appropriate loudness will make you sound confident and in control; in the business world, these two qualities are extremely important!
So these are 5 clues to help you with your pronunciation, and always remember to be Confident and Relax when speaking.