Ten Tips for Speaking Correct English
- Pay special attention to the physical mouth movements of people who speak English and try to imitate them.
- When you are watching movies or DVDs observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, while imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech.
- For very difficult words, practice in front of a mirror, and watch the shapes your mouth is making.
- Until you learn the intonation and rhythm of English, slow your speech down.
- If you speak too quickly, and with the wrong intonation and rhythm, native speakers will have a hard time understanding you.
- Listen to the “music” of English. Czech and other Slavic languages are “syllable-timed” but English is “stressed-timed.” This basically means that all syllables in Czech are always have the same length and stress given to them as they are written. But when speaking English, syllables are given more stress and pronounced longer according to the importance of the word they belong to regarding the main idea of the sentence.
- English has it’s own way of singing.
- Use an electronic dictionary (or website)that has pronunciation features. This will get you much closer to pronouncing difficult words correctly.
- Keep a written list of words that you find difficult to pronounce, and ask a native speaker or at least someone who speaks English well to pronounce them for you.
- Make an audio recording of these words and practice saying them. Listen and read at the same time.
- Buy Books on tape/audio books. Record yourself reading some sections of the book. Then compare the sound of your English with that of the person reading the book on the tape/CD.
- Pay special attention to the “S” and “ED” endings. This will help you strengthen your mouth muscles that you use when you speak English.
- Read aloud in English for 15-20 minutes EVERY DAY.
- Research has shown that it takes about three months of daily practice to develop strong mouth muscles for speaking a new language.
- Record your own voice and listen for mistakes.
- Most people hate the sound of their own voice and avoid listening to themselves speak. But this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you become conscious of the mistakes you are making.
- Be patient
- You can change the way you speak but it won’t happen overnight. People often expect instant results and give up too soon. You can change the way you sound if you are willing to put some effort into it.