Learning how to pronounce English words correctly is an important part of learning the language, but English pronunciation can be quite hard. What can you do to improve? Read on to find out.
Put Pronunciation First
The best and easiest way to learn how to pronounce English words correctly is to hear a new word and practice how to say it before you see its written form. This is because the spelling of many English words is often different to how we pronounce them, so you risk learning incorrectly if you start by seeing how it is written. Wall Street English can really help you with this problem because in your multimedia lessons you listen and repeat words before you see them, just as children do when they learn their native language.
Different Pronunciation of Letters
Perhaps you know how to say the alphabet in English, which is very useful for spelling words. However, when we speak, the pronunciation of a letter can vary a lot. For example, the ‘a’ in ‘cat’ is different from the ‘a’ in ‘day’. There are also letters that are pronounced in certain positions of a word and not pronounced in others. For example, the letter ‘r’ is pronounced at the start of a word (as in ‘red’) but not pronounced if it’s the last letter (as in ‘water’). So be prepared to change your pronunciation of letters according to the word.
Make a Note of the Pronunciation of New Words
If you keep a note of new words, write down how to pronounce them too. A really good way to do this is by using phonetics. Phonetics are a set of symbols that represent all the different sounds used in English. You can find a list of phonetics with examples in any English dictionary. Once you have learned phonetics, every time you meet a new word you can refer to the phonetic spelling written next to it. Another great option of online dictionaries is that you can click on the speaker symbol and listen to the pronunciation.
American and British English Pronunciation
The way words are pronounced can vary quite a lot around the world, from the U.S. to the U.K to Australia, and of course in other countries where English is the second language. At Wall Street English you can get used to hearing English spoken by people from all over the world, which is very important for work and traveling.