Pronunciation is the most important and difficult problem that non-native English speakers have to face when studying English. Improper pronunciation can lead to negative impression, misunderstanding and ineffective communication. This page is designed to indicate some negative impacts of poor pronunciation and to provide you with some tips for the improvement.
When you talk to people in the real life, your pronunciation is the first thing they notice during a conversation. In everyday communication, you usually do not have to use many complicated words, so your limited vocabulary is not a big issue since you can use more simple words to express the word that you do not know. In fact, they will notice right away if your pronunciation is good or bad only the first few simple words. If you have a poor pronunciation with very strong foreign accent, they will think of you as a bad English speaker and your good vocabulary and grammar cannot help you.
Knowing a lot of vocabularies is meaningless if you cannot pronounce those words correctly and no one can understand the words that you are trying to use. Even worse, pronunciation mistakes can lead to some serious misunderstanding. For example, let’s think of the misunderstanding about the signal “sinking” in a video clip on Youtube called "I am sinking." Many people believe that they can communicate in English because they can communicate with their teachers and other students. However, it is not true. The teachers have been listening to bad English for years so they can understand your poor pronunciation, and your friends are from the same country with you and speak English with the same accent so that they can understand your words easier. The best way is to talk to native English speakers, and if they can understand what you are saying, you have a good pronunciation.
You are making it difficult for people who listen to you with your strong foreign accent. It is irritated for other people if they have to keep asking you to repeat, but they still cannot figure out what you are saying. Consequently, if it takes a lot of efforts to understand your English, people will avoid communicating with you as much as they can. In contrast, they will enjoy talking to you when you have a pleasant accent that is easy for them hear and understand you.
Tips for proper pronunciation
Here are some tips for you to improve your pronunciation.
- With every new word, you should look it up in the dictionary to find the correct pronunciation.
- Listen to native speakers to get used to their accent. Instead of boring listening lessons, you can listen to English songs, watch movies or listen to your native English speaking friends and relatives.
- Practice in front of a mirror and make sure you move your mouth in the correct way.
- Do a lot of practices. Remember that practices make perfect.
- Be patient and determined. The journey may be tough, but the result will be worth.
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