Some Ways to Improve Your Pronunciation and Speaking Skill

As a learner of English as a Foreign Language, for me English was not easy, however as time flies, I learned how to be a better English learner and how to be an English teacher.

One of the most frequently asked questions by my students is how to practice their pronunciation and reading ability, not the comprehension yet. This question is always answered by me based on my experience, and there are actually some ways to practice your pronunciation and reading ability.

First, you can sing the English lyrics songs by taking the lyrics from the Internet and playing the music on. You will hear how the words in the songs are pronounced well by the singers. Of course you must choose the slow music or songs, because they are easier to follow compared to the ones with faster beats. You have to do repetition for this exercise; you can do it at anytime you want as long as you do not disturb people around you.

The second way is by reading loudly an article or a book. However this way is more difficult sometimes because when you meet difficult words that you do not know how to pronounce it, you must diligently open your dictionary and check how they are pronounced by seeing the phonetic symbols, or you can just simply open your electronic or online dictionary to check how the pronunciation is. You can hear the sounds directly without understanding the phonetic symbols.

The third way, well of course by having a partner to communicate or talk with. It can be anyone. It does not have a native speaker of English. As long as that person is more clever than we are, we can learn more from him or her. If you have that person in your family it would be a great advantage, or your school perhaps. Do not worry with what people talk about you when they see you talk in English with your friend, because they know nothing about the real purpose of doing the exercise. Some friends will laugh at you, or they even will mock you, calling you that you are arrogant or just want to look cool because you use English with your friend. It happened to me in the past.
Having a partner does not have to be the one we can see face to face in a real life, the partner can be somebody you meet on the net, since we have access to the chat rooms easily, we just need to pick a good one. Or perhaps you have a pen pal or maybe your local friend lives abroad and he/she does not mind using English with you when you both have an online conversation.

The last but no least is practicing by using movies, but I do not suggest this way much, because most of the times the temptation to watch the movie is bigger than the motivation to learn by using the movie. But if you want to try, you can do it. Here the steps to do it. Play the movie using the DVD player, set English subtitle, listen to the dialogues and repeat them while you are pausing it. Yes of course you will not be able to enjoy the movie because the purpose is to practice your reading ability and improve your pronunciation, right? 🙂

Okay, I think that’s all I can share you now. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave your message.

Pramuka, Jakarta Pusat 2015