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Improve your English pronunciation - speak English like a native 
Fun English
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16.11.2021
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Improve your English pronunciation – speak English like a native 

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Learning English, keeping in mind both American English and British English, can be both exciting and challenging for young and adult learners. 

Correct pronunciation of English words often presents a significant hurdle, as the language is filled with peculiarities and exceptions. Take the word ‘daughter,’ for instance, where eight letters are condensed into just four sounds:  /ˈdoːtə/ (British accent) or /ˈdɑː.t̬ɚ/ ( American accent)..  Instances like these may seem daunting, but fear not! The key to mastering English pronunciation lies in understanding the language’s intricacies and practicing relentlessly. How to make your English sound more like a pro? Let’s find out!

Remember, learning English begins with the basics, and it’s important to tackle these initial challenges with patience and persistence. Correct English accent and flawless pronunciation come along the way. With this article, we’ll explore helpful tips and strategies to improve your English pronunciation, empowering you to speak English like a native. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a linguistic adventure that will transform your language skills! We’ll help you improve your English fluency and improve your pronunciation in both British and American English.

How can pronunciation proficiency be achieved? Tips from experts

Here are top 4 tips on how pronunciation proficiency can be achieved, from Novakid language experts – Katerina Smirnova and Kester Park. Learning correct pronunciation, while keeping these in mind, will help your kid sound like a native speaker.

  1. Build confidence. We build our learners’ competence slowly and methodically from individual letter sounds and letter names through consonant blends to advanced skills. They include recognizing silent letters, including the ‘t’ in ‘castle’ and understanding the differences between similar sounds, such as the ‘ur’ in ‘nurse’ and the ‘er’ in ‘fern’.
  2. Practice through play. Once our young learners have the ability to pronounce and comprehend words with the new sounds, our teachers keep learners engaged with fun activities like reading tongue twisters and ‘beat the teacher’ pronunciation races. Learners also have fun listening to their teacher saying target words and sounds in different ways, such as in a high or deep voice, at a fast or slow speed, and then repeating them as closely as possible. This is not just for fun, but also develops learners’ receptive skills: their ability to hear English delivered in different ways.
  3. Minimal pairs. We also present minimal pairs, which are pairs of words which differ by only one sound. There are thousands of such pairs in English, such as ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’, ‘cup’ and ‘cap’. It is essential to practice these not just to differentiate the vowel sounds, but to help learners avoid being misunderstood.
  4. Modeling. A further technique is the presentation of mouth position and motion, modeled by the teacher. Watching a teacher form a new sound while showing the mouth movements involved and practicing sounds through exaggerated mouth movements can be a lot of fun. Activities like these provide the kind of happy bonding experiences that help students feel comfortable and cared for in the classroom.

5 steps to start speaking like a native English speaker

Learn proper pronunciation, keeping in mind these rules. Pronounce English vowels and consonants like a pro! Improve English pronunciation starting today!

Pronunciations rules

It’s essential to teach your child the fundamental rules of English pronunciation. These rules help them understand how to say words correctly and with confidence. Start by focusing on the basic sounds of consonants and vowels, as well as the various combinations of these sounds. You can also use rhymes and songs to make learning more engaging and enjoyable for your child. Remember, the more familiar they become with these rules, the easier it will be for them to speak like a native English speaker.

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Phonetic alphabet 

Introduce your child to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a system that represents the sounds of spoken language. By learning the IPA, your child will be able to understand the pronunciation of any word in English, regardless of its spelling. This will not only improve their pronunciation, but also enhance their reading and listening skills. You can use flashcards, worksheets, and online resources to help your child become familiar with the IPA symbols and their corresponding sounds. Reinforce their learning by practicing with words from their favorite books, movies, or everyday conversations.

Accent (British or American)

One of the key aspects of speaking like a native English speaker is adopting a consistent accent. Discuss with your child the differences between British and American English accents and help them choose the one they feel most comfortable with. Expose them to authentic materials, such as movies, TV shows, or podcasts featuring native speakers with the chosen accent. This will help your child develop a natural intonation and rhythm, making their speech more fluid and native-like.

Regular practice – listening and speaking 

Encourage your child to practice both listening and speaking skills regularly. This can include listening to English songs, watching movies or videos, and participating in conversations with native speakers. You can also engage them in activities like storytelling or role-playing to boost their confidence and improve their spoken English. By actively participating in a variety of listening and speaking activities, your child will gradually improve their pronunciation and fluency.

You need to speak more!

Lastly, remind your child that practice makes perfect. The more they speak, the better their English pronunciation will become. Encourage them to use English as much as possible, both at home and in social situations. Create a supportive and nurturing environment where they feel comfortable making mistakes and trying new things. You can also consider enrolling them in language classes, conversation clubs, or arranging language exchanges with native speakers to provide additional speaking opportunities.

How to improve your English pronunciation skills?

Want to improve your English pronunciation? Try some of these resources and activities. It’s easier to learn and memorize how a word is pronounced, when the learning process is fun and enjoyable. 

  • YouTube – YouTube is a treasure trove of pronunciation lessons and resources. Channels like Rachel’s English and English with Lucy offer engaging video lessons focusing on English pronunciation, accents, and intonation. Watch these videos, practice along, and use their tips to improve your pronunciation.
  • Pronunciation dictionary – a pronunciation dictionary, such as the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, allows you to look up the correct pronunciation of words in both British and American English. Use this resource as a reference to help you understand and practice the pronunciation of new words.
  • Classes with native speakers – enroll your kid in online classes with native English speakers at Novakid or find a language exchange partner to practice your pronunciation in a more interactive and immersive way. A special online pronunciation course is also a way to go.
  • Pronunciation app – using a pronunciation app, such as Elsa Speak, can help you practice and perfect your English pronunciation in a fun and interactive way. The app is perfect for kids, since it provides personalized lessons, real-time feedback, and engaging exercises to help you improve your pronunciation skills.
  • Interactive games – engage in interactive pronunciation games to make learning more enjoyable. The Novakid learning platform offers a variety of pronunciation-focused games for kids that help them practice new skills in a fun and interactive manner.
  • Tongue twisters – are a fun way to improve your pronunciation and agility with difficult sound combinations. Try practicing popular tongue twisters like “She sells seashells by the seashore” or “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”. 
  • Language exercises and activities – incorporate various language exercises and activities into your practice routine to keep it engaging and effective. Websites like BBC Learning English and Learn English British Council offer a wide range of pronunciation activities and exercises to help you improve your skills.
  • Reading books out loud – is a great way to practice your pronunciation in context. Choose a book you enjoy and read passages aloud, focusing on the correct pronunciation of each word. This will help you become more comfortable and fluent in your speech. If you’re unsure about the pronunciation of a specific word, refer to a pronunciation dictionary or online resource.
  • Singing songs – is a fun and effective way to improve your pronunciation. Choose songs from your favorite artists or genres, and sing along while paying close attention to the pronunciation of the lyrics. Spotify now allows you to practice your pronunciation skills by singing along to popular songs with the lyrics displayed on-screen.

How Novakid helps students correctly pronounce English vocabulary and phrases

Novakid is an innovative online English school with an interactive platform that helps students aged 4-12 learn English pronunciation effectively through a combination of communication methods, 1:1 lessons with native speakers, and language immersion.

The platform is more like a virtual classroom that focuses on creating a stress-free environment where students can practice their speaking skills without the fear of making mistakes. Novakid’s lessons are designed to encourage conversation in English while providing an interactive experience, complete with engaging activities and games tailored for kids.

By immersing your child in a fun and supportive learning environment, Novakid ensures that they acquire correct English pronunciation while enjoying the process. If you’re a parent looking to help your child improve their English pronunciation and communication skills, sign up for a free demo lesson with Novakid today!

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