One of the most difficult problems facing non-native speakers of English is pronunciation. It is usually the largest obstacle to overcome when trying to achieve fluency. Many non-native speakers have studied grammar for many years but are unable to speak like native speakers due to their inability to pronounce the sounds of words properly. This page is designed to provide techniques to help you pronounce the sounds of the English language.
Your pronunciation is the first and most important thing native speakers notice during a conversation. Knowing grammar and vocabulary are important but useless if you are unable to pronoun those structures or words correctly. Also, native speakers are more likely to understand you, even if you make grammatical mistakes rather than if you make mistakes in pronunciation. Even the simplest words misspoken will keep you from effectively communicating with native English speakers. Achieving good pronunciation should be your main goal. You already know the grammar…probably better than native speakers…and the vocabulary will come in time.
Many people, especially those who have not studied a foreign or second language, are easily irritated if they cannot quickly understand what non-native speakers are saying. This is sad but often true. The importance of good pronunciation can be easily realized by visiting a predominantly English speaking country and talking to the native speakers. If they constantly reply to your statements with “what?”, ”huh?” or ”could you repeat that”, then you know your pronunciation needs work. Going to a foreign country is the best way to assess your speaking skills. Keep in mind that your friends may be from the same country as you and make the same pronunciation mistakes. For this reason they cannot accurately judge your speaking abilities. If you should visit another country, go out and talk to people. You may want the comfort of speaking in your native language but to become a better English speaker,...
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