Clear pronunciation is an important part of learning any language. We commonly mispronounce words in the English language, which gets overlooked. There are many times you heard people say ‘Tomarrow’ instead of ‘Tomorrow’ OR ‘Skdule’ instead of ‘Schedule’ and similar errors. The attention to Pronunciation is important when one is preparing for IELTS. Our Cambridge certified trainers could help you improve your speaking skills if you take our Live Online IELTS Coaching.
Every native speaker uses their native sounds in English creating different dialects. They are fun to use, and sometimes they are funny, but it is not much help in the Speaking module. This is a module, where the examiner will put your every pronunciation and sound under the microscope.
Band Descriptors for pronunciation
The IELTS Speaking Band Descriptors assess 3 main areas of a candidate’s pronunciation. They are
- The range of pronunciation which includes the use of synonyms and phrases in the speech.
- The level of control a candidate exercises over these features
- The candidate’s level of intelligence in use of vocabulary and phrasing to express an Idea.
Here are no shortcuts to perfect pronunciation, there are some ways you can practice more effectively and improve your skills faster. The tricky thing about pronunciation is that it is a physical skill that you need to practice regularly.
You could follow these simple speaking tips for IELTS Exam
- Listen to your speech
Often times, we do not listen to what we are saying as we tend to be interested only in communicating. If you cannot hear your pronunciation problems, it’s tough to correct them. Try recording your speech with your smart phone or PC and start making notes of specific areas you need to improve on.
- Pace yourself
Speaking too fast makes the speaker sound nervous and indecisive. Keep control on you rate of speech. It gives you time to breathe properly and think about what you want to say next. You would be more relaxed and better able to concentrate on stating your ideas clearly, even if you use simple language. Slow down when you need to think clearly, sometimes it gives you a moment can help you rephrase your sentences according to the need.
- Do not be afraid to Speak
The first step towards improving your pronunciation and gaining better marks at the IELTS speaking topics is to converse regularly. Pick a random, everyday topic and discuss it. Record yourself talking so you can listen it. Experiment with vocabulary and pronunciation. This way even if you make mistakes you would be able to fix it OR improve it.
- Do not pronounce every letter
In connected speech there are a lot of words that do not get pronounced completely. There are many times when a sound is not heard, especially at the end of words. So in my sentence when a speaker says ‘last week’ it sounds more like ‘lass week’.
For e.g A statement like “Let me help you with it.” Would be spoken as “Leme help you widit.”
- Pay attention to intonation and stress
Good pronunciation is about an understanding of Intonation and Stress
- Intonation is defined as the way the voice rises and falls. A blend of rises and falls in associated discourse makes it charming, melodic and simple to follow.
- Intonation is by far the most complex pronunciation feature and it is indeed able to convey a variety of states and attitudes – enthusiasm or boredom, engagement or indifference, irritation or disagreement. English is known to be a confusing and tiring language by many people because learning how to use intonation appropriately and not sound rude due to a wrong sound OR confusing pronunciation which might feel complicated.
- Stress is the emphasis placed on a syllable in a word or a word in a sentence. There are times when certain sounds in words are dominant, and then other times some words in sentences are clearer than others.
- Word stress. Words with two or more syllables have one syllable which is stressed more than the rest because it is pronounced clearly, and is longer than the others.
An example of this is in the word important is pronounced as imPORtant and not IMportant. Words stress is an extremely relevant feature as it may emphasis the difference between words, like proTEST (verb) vs PROtest (noun).
- Sentence stress is used to indicate important meaning by placing more emphasis on one word in a sentence and can often change meaning. e.g. WHY is that one important? vs Why is THAT one important?
When used correctly, sentence stress can be particularly effective in conveying emphasis in your speech and highlighting the right idea in your argument or explanation.
Accuracy in using word stress and sentence stress is compulsory. If there is no confusion in the way you place stress in the words OR sentences you pronounce, you are doing great.
Read magazines, books, comics OR cartoon strips. Try to put reactions for the punctuations, such as for an exclamation end the word on Shock, for a question mark end the question with doubt.
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