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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody and welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha and today we're going to talk about “10 Ways to Help Improve Your Pronunciation.” This is going to be a good one I think. So, let's go.
“Sing along to a favorite song.” Alright. The first tip for improving your pronunciation is to sing along to a favorite song. So, I should add though, this favorite song should be in your target language. If you're studying English, pick a favorite English song and sing along to that song or try to sing to the song just from memory, too. So, singing along to your favorite song can help you with pronunciation, can help you with the rhythm sometimes of the language you're trying to learn. It can be really fun and it can be a good way to practice your pronunciation. In a sentence, “I like singing along to my favorite songs.”
“Read out loud.” The next tip for your pronunciation is to read out loud. Reading out loud, you can choose something that's interesting for you in English, if English is the language you're studying. So, pick something, maybe it's a news article or maybe it's a book you're interested in, maybe there's an author you're interested in, find something in your target language, in English and try reading it out loud. So, don't just read in your mind, but read the words out loud, speak them, so that you can get comfortable pronouncing those words and you can try reading the same passage or the same sentence multiple times to make it smoother. So, this could be a really good tip for--I think it also improves your natural ability to pick up grammar, too. Because if you're reading something like in a book, for example, you can kind of pick up the natural rhythm of grammar and you also slowly get a feeling for the correct ways that words should connect together. So, this I think is a really good tip. In a sentence, “I sometimes read out loud to practice pronunciation.” That's true.
“Repeat lines you hear in TV shows.” The next tip is to repeat lines you hear or the words you hear in TV shows or movies, things like that. So, this means not only words, don't only repeat single vocabulary words. Yes, maybe you find a vocabulary word that is really interesting or it sounds funny or something like that, but by repeating a full sentence or a full line in a TV show or in a movie you're putting the words together. So, not just one word, but making a whole sentence, so feeling kind of the flow of your language that you're studying. So, this can be a better way to actually practice making sentences and repeating sentences instead of just words. So, you can repeat after characters in TV shows. I sometimes do this when I'm like watching Japanese TV and I'm like, “Ah,” and then I try and spit it back out. It's hard to do sometimes when it's like the first time you've heard a word or the first time you've heard a grammar point, but you can still understand that sentence, it's interesting, so try to say it. And, it's kind of fun actually I think. In a sentence, “Try repeating lines from TV shows to practice.”
“Practice speaking in phrases, not single vocabulary words.” The next tip, this is very similar to my TV show tip, is to practice speaking in phrases, not in vocabulary words, not just single vocabulary words. Even if you're not repeating lines from TV shows when you practice speaking don't just speak in noun. So, sometimes, for example, I'll hear people just use noun, like they'll use a noun and maybe a verb, like “I,” “tomorrow,” “beach,” something like that. And yes, we can probably guess based on that, like the meaning, the speaker's meaning, but, you need to practice making a whole sentence. So, yes, you know those words, “I,” “tomorrow” and “beach” and the listener can probably guess what you mean, but you need to practice all those little words in the middle, like, “I'm going to the beach tomorrow.” So, make a full sentence, practice making full sentences. Don't only practice single vocabulary words, make the whole line. It's really good. Sometimes I think my students get irritated. I force them to practice full sentences, I'll say like, “Have you ever been to Germany?” and they'll say, “Yes.” And I'm, like, “Okay, for the purposes of practice, can you make a full sentence?” and they'll say, “I have been to Germany.” Like, that's an extreme example, but I try to push that, you know, making the full sentence. It's silly sometimes, but just trying to do that. Okay. So, in a sentence, “Speaking in entire phrases is helpful for practicing the rhythm of a new language.”
“Speak a lot with your teacher and ask them to be strict with you.” Onwards. Okay, so the next tip is to speak a lot with your teacher and ask them to be strict with you. So, this is kind of two tips in one. One, speak with your teacher. So, if you have a teacher make sure you're speaking in their class wherever possible. Sometimes I'll have students join my class and maybe they feel shy or whatever and they don't speak very much, but please speak with your teacher so that your teacher can correct you. Your teacher can give you, at least if they're a native speaker or maybe even if they aren't a native speaker, your teacher can give you corrections. If you don't speak, your teacher cannot help you in most cases, so please speak with your teacher. And, if you like you can tell them, “Please be strict about my pronunciation.” So, sometimes people will say, “Please help me with my pronunciation specifically,” and then I can stop them every time they make a mistake and we practice that sound. Especially “th” sounds, like the “/th/” like using your mouth a little bit differently can be really uncomfortable for some people, but if you're a teacher can point out those things like “th” sounds “the,” “this,” “that,” “these,” “those,” those “th” sounds, ending “er” sounds, practicing those with your teacher can be a really good way to work on your pronunciation. So, in a sentence, “Speak a lot with your teacher; they can correct you and help you improve.
“Try recording yourself speaking, and play it back.” The next tip for practicing your pronunciation is to try recording yourself speaking and listen to it, play it back and listen to it. So, this, it might sound a little bit strange, but when we're speaking maybe we don't hear certain things that maybe our little idiosyncrasies or the little special things that we do when we speak, maybe we don't hear them as we speak, but when we listen to ourselves later, we notice them. So, for example, when I watch this video, when I watch any of these videos, I notice little things that I didn't notice at—now, when I'm filming the video. So, the same can apply to your pronunciation, when you listen to yourself speak you might hear something that you don't notice when you're speaking. So, this can be a good way to kind of remove yourself, to go outside your body a little bit and listen to yourself from the listeners’ perspective. So, this might be a tip to try. In a sentence, “Sometimes you hear yourself more clearly on a recording.”
“Do shadowing exercises.” Alright, the next tip for pronunciation is to do shadowing exercises. So, a shadowing exercise, there are textbooks and I think resources on the web--maybe on the website. Actually, I think you could use the website. Any English listening or anything in your target language, when you listen to that as the speaker is speaking you quickly repeat back what the speaker is saying. So, as you're listening to it, you repeat it almost immediately. So, you're trying to match their pronunciation as closely as accurately as possible. This is called a “shadowing exercise.” So, I've seen some cases where people or textbooks that will recommend doing 15 minutes of shadowing each day or something like that. Or maybe you can do a shadowing exercise listening to a podcast or listening to the news or something you might find on the website here. So, that's a really good way to work on your pronunciation and to get familiar with using those sounds kind of more naturally, the way a native speaker would. So, this can be a good tip to improve your pronunciation. In a sentence, “Try shadowing a native speaker to improve your pronunciation.”
“Chat with native speakers.” So, yeah, the next tip is to chat with native speakers. So, chatting with native speakers, of course, is a great way, A, to make friends, B, to pick up new vocabulary, C, to get familiar with grammar and slang, but also, it can help your pronunciation. Not all native speakers speak with exactly the same pronunciation, so you might hear slight differences depending on the country, depending on the region in a country a native speaker comes from. So, there are many different pronunciations, but when you chat with native speakers, you can kind of understand the different pronunciations that are out there. And maybe it can help you be more consistent in your presentation, in your pronunciation, too. So, this could be a good way to improve your pronunciation, but of course, it's important, in general, for learning a language, I think. In a sentence, “Chatting with native speakers is an important part of learning a language.”
“Do pronunciation drills.” The next tip is to do pronunciation drills. So, if you know that there is a sound, if you know that there's something that you always struggle with, try drilling it. So, a “drill,” to “drill” something means to repeat a lot. So, you might hear this word used for like sports and fitness, like you drill a skill, which means to practice something a lot and intensively. So, if you know that there's--like the “th” sound is really difficult for you, maybe take 10 minutes and do a pronunciation drill on those sounds every day for a month or something. If you know that there's a specific sound that's difficult for you, consider trying just some very specific pronunciation drills. So, that can mean just making that sound repeatedly or maybe reading a text out loud that has a lot of that kind of pronunciation. I think you can find a few different ways to drill, to practice intensively those parts of pronunciation that are difficult for you. So, in a sentence, “Try doing pronunciation drills for the sounds you have trouble making.”
“Find words that are particularly interesting to you.” So, I think maybe this is the last tip, is to find words that are particularly interesting to you. So, maybe there's a word that sounds really funny or maybe you found a really long word in English or a really interesting word, a word that has an interesting history, whatever. If you can find words that are interesting to you, then maybe you can put some extra emphasis on pronouncing them correctly. So, if you're actually enjoying the words that you're learning, then I think it'll become more important for you to express that accurately in your speech. And so, focusing on those words maybe and in pronouncing those words correctly, perhaps that can help you apply that same pronunciation in this interesting word. Maybe the pronunciation of that word or some of the parts of that word you can find that in other words, in other places throughout your target language. So, if you enjoy a particular word and focus on expressing that word, pronouncing that word accurately, it can help you maybe apply that pronunciation in other parts of the language, so give it a try. In a sentence, “Take extra care to pronounce words of particular interest correctly.”
That's the end. So, those are “10 Tips to Help You Improve Your Pronunciation.” If there's anything else that you do to work on your pronunciation or if you have any questions, please leave us a comment and let us know about it. Please make sure to like this video too, if you haven't liked it already, and also subscribe to our channel as well. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words and we will see you again soon. Bye.