In addition to your classroom work in English, you can practice pronunciation on your own by reading aloud in a school language laboratory or in your own home. Better pronunciation means native speakers will be able to understand you more clearly. Because your speaking and hearing work together, you will find that as your pronunciation improves, your listening comprehension will improve as well. That gives you more than one reason to learn how to use reading aloud to improve your oral English.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Pronunciation books with CDs
- Poems or "Jazz Chants" with CDs
- Books in English with CDs
- Reading books in English
Listen and read aloud using exercises in pronunciation texts. First, listen to the audio for each lesson. Then read after the speakers. Textbooks such as "Clear Speech" give practice in the basic consonant and vowel sounds.
Read aloud to improve your English rhythm. In addition to texts such as "Clear Speech," do exercises designed to teach rhythm, such as Carolyn Graham's "Jazz Chants" series or children's verse. Use only materials with recordings so that you can listen first and then repeat. Clap or tap the rhythm as you practice.
Read aloud with special attention to contractions and sounds that disappear in fast speech. These simplified forms, which teachers call "reductions," make your rhythm and pronunciation sound much more like a native speaker. Materials for this practice include "Clear Speech," poems, chants and special exercises in books such as "Whaddaya Say." Listen to audio recordings before you practice out loud.
Read aloud while concentrating on English intonation. Start with sentences and dialogs from "Clear Speech" or other texts. Always listen to audio recordings before you repeat. As you improve, practice with children's books or ESL books with audio recordings. Imitate the expression as well as the intonation.
Read your favourite stories aloud in English every day for at least 15 minutes. After you have mastered the basic sounds of English, practice aloud in English even if you don't have recordings so you can maintain your pronunciation skills.
Tips and warnings
- Practice tongue twisters and other pronunciation exercises with Internet sites such as "Many Things," listed in Resources.
- Do not practice reading aloud from materials you have not heard until you have a good understanding of English pronunciation.
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