Hello I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!
In this video,
I'm hoping I can convince you that you should
practise your English pronunciation every day
and it's easier than you think.
I want to give you some simple ideas to help you make
daily pronunciation practice
just a regular part of your routine.
So let's get into it!
The chances are, you're watching this video because
you want to work on your English accent,
which means that there is something about it
that frustrates you.
So firstly, I want you to tell me about it.
Tell me about what
makes you feel frustrated about your accent?
Tell me in the comments below the video.
I know what this is like, people misunderstanding you
because you're not making the right sounds
or even just feeling like
that's not how it's supposed to sound.
Why am I so awkward?
You know it's not smooth, it's not easy to talk to people
and so your English conversations
never really last that long.
It's hard to fit in, you know, and as you
start using English at work you realise
my accent sucks.
You feel like people aren't taking you seriously.
You don't get invited to social functions
and you start feeling really crap about yourself.
I know this because these are the same pains
that so many of my students go through.
Changing your accent helps you to feel accepted.
It helps you to fit in and even excel with
whatever you want to do. It takes years of work,
of specific and deliberate training to first
try to hear and recognise the sounds and then start
making them yourself.
I mean you've probably been speaking English
with your accent for years now, right?
So it's gonna take some effort to break those habits.
Now I think that one of our biggest challenges as adults
is creating regular habits, you know, we're all so busy
with kids and family and work and travel
and all of the extra stress that goes with that stuff.
You know it's incredibly difficult to find the time
to focus on something consistently but
that is exactly what you need to do
if you want to change your accent and make it clearer,
you've got to bring daily pronunciation practice
into your life, right?
I've got three things that I want to share with you today
that I think you should be doing
to improve your pronunciation every day.
The first and really great daily habit
that will help you to improve your pronunciation
is super simple.
Read out loud.
It doesn't matter what you read,
as long as what you're reading is in English
and doing this daily will help you to get
your mouth muscles working and creating the sounds
that you need to use when you speak English.
It really is as simple as that
and it doesn't need to take you long, you know,
five or ten minutes a day is plenty.
That kind of exercise is really easy
to fit into your daily routine, right? No excuses.
Probably the best place to do this is at home,
you know, somewhere where you're not afraid to
project your voice, to push your voice out.
I don't want you to read like this, okay?
I want you to read like this.
You know, practise pushing those sounds
out of your mouth.
You don't need to worry about being perfect,
you know, you're just getting used to
making those sounds and making those sounds
together with other sounds in English.
So reading out loud is a really good way to sort of
stretch and warm up your mouth ready for English.
So it's a good idea to do it before you go to class
or before you have a phone call,
before you have an English meeting,
you know, activate those muscles, train them,
remember what those sounds are
and how to make them.
Reading out loud is an
awesome way to practise your pronunciation.
Speaking of sounds, get to know English sounds
and in particular, the English sounds
that you struggle with. This is a really, really important
place to start, okay?
There are lots of English sounds
that you're totally cool with you know,
but there are probably quite a few that feel unnatural
and they don't really sound right as you speak.
If you don't know what these sounds are for you
then find out. A good place to start is just by
researching the sounds that are
difficult for people who speak your native language.
For French people, it's definitely going to include the
/h/ sound at the start of words.
For Vietnamese people,
it's going to be final consonants.
For Arabic speakers,
Indian speakers, for everyone, really,
There are probably five to eight sounds that are
problem sounds for you.
Alright once you've worked out what they are,
make a list of those sounds,
stick them on your bathroom mirror
and practise them every morning out loud,
every day. Just start ironing out the creases.
It's gonna take some time but the fastest way
to correct those sounds is to consistently practise them
If you're unsure if you're pronouncing words correctly,
use an online dictionary to check. Super easy, right?
You probably go to the gym, right?
Or maybe you go for a run to keep fit or swim,
just consider this your pronunciation workout,
your English workout.
You've got to do it regularly to keep fit
and to get stronger and you know think about it,
it hurts a lot if you don't go to the gym for a while,
you know, and then suddenly you're lifting weights
and you're like "Oh this hurts"
If you haven't spoken English in a while,
it hurts, you know, your muscles ache because
they're not used to it but
if you go to the gym regularly, you get fitter,
you can last longer, you're not as sore
after each session.
Gradually you can start to increase the weights, right?
Your tongue is a muscle as well.
It needs to be trained and stretched and twisted
into the positions that English requires.
You are already so awesome at making the sounds
that you need for your native language but
you need to do a little bit of extra work to activate
some of the English sounds that don't exist
in your language. So
a daily tongue workout, a daily mouth workout
is the fastest and the simplest method
to improve your English pronunciation.
Now tongue twisters might seem like a bit of a joke
to you but if you can find a few to help you practise
those difficult sounds of yours,
then doing them a few times daily will help to
strengthen the muscles,
you know, and help you to make those sounds
I've got a link to a video I made on tongue twisters
up here. Check it out. Get started there.
But find ones that are relevant for you.
How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
Six sick hicks nicked six slick
bricks with picks and sticks.
So you've probably noticed that English words,
when they're spoken naturally,
You know the pronunciation can change as we increase
the speed of our speech. In fact, they often do.
And there are lots of grammatical words that actually
have two forms of pronunciation, a stressed form
and an unstressed form.
The schwa sound is really important to help you
practise word stress and sentence stress in English.
Studying connected speech is also going to help you
to learn how to do this and to
sound more natural when you speak.
I've got lots of videos about connected speech
and pronunciation up here in this playlist
but these are all really important aspects of
naturally spoken English that you can work on
to help you improve your pronunciation but
you can't practise these things while you're just
pronouncing English words individually.
They have to be part of a sentence
so how can you do that?
You need some controlled practice and imitating
a native speaker is a fantastic way to do this.
You may already know that I've created a whole course
of videos around how to imitate a native speaker
with lots of practice.
You know, in these lessons I help you to copy
and then shadow me as I speak. They're really awesome
quick ten minute videos that you can practise
your pronunciation with.
There are a few on my channel already
but if you'd like to support mmmEnglish
and purchase my imitation courses
well you can do that right up here.
Then you'll have lots of different videos to practise with,
lots of natural phrases and expressions to learn.
So what am I going to say next?
Daily habit. That's right! Okay?
Get into the habit of practising
with one lesson every day,
that's just ten more minutes of pronunciation practice
every day alright?
In the lessons, I'll show you how to shadow
a native speaker
and this allows you to practise the rhythm, the pace,
the pause, the intonation that's used
and this technique is something that you can
start practising with any video.
It doesn't have to be my lessons,
you can choose whatever video,
whatever native speaker you want to shadow.
Whatever you choose, I'd focus on one lesson
or one video every day for a whole week okay.
So give yourself the time to go over and review,
build confidence with it, right?
Once you've done that make a recording of yourself
and compare it to the original.
Listen to yourself and try to identify
what you're doing wrong, what are the sounds
that you're not quite getting?
I've added the link to my imitation course
below in the description
and I'll also add one of the ones from my channel
at the end of this video, okay?
In a video a couple of weeks ago, I said that with
language practice, it's easier to create a habit once you
attach it to another activity.
You know, like for me, I always listen to an audiobook
while I go for a run.
You might say "Okay
I'll practise my pronunciation every morning
after I brush my teeth."
Or I'll read out loud for ten minutes
every night before I go to bed.
So attach it to an activity,
help it to become a regular part of your routine.
Changing your pronunciation is gonna take time
so you must make it happen regularly, you know,
you've got to create that daily habit and you've got to
do it every day for a year which seems like forever
but time flies if you get started today
and you do it every day, you'll be speaking clearly
and confidently before you know it.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson and you found it useful.
If you did,
make sure you let me know in the comments below.
You can find me on social media over here
and as promised here's one of my imitation lessons
so that you can take it right now and practise.
Hit the subscribe button if you haven't done that already
and I'll see you in there!