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Main page » Coursebooks » In Tempo - An English pronunciation course

In Tempo - An English pronunciation course


English Pronunciation and Communication

When you are learning English you may have problems communicating because your pronunciation is different from the pronunciation of an English speaker.

Often your pronunciation is different because you are pronouncing English in the same way as you pronounce your own language.

Pronunciation problems are problems with

rhythm and stress

Rhythm and stress is the system of strong and week parts of English words and messages.

The Importance of Rhythme and Stress in Communication

How the English speaker hears mistakes in English rhythm and stress

If you speak English with the wrong rhythm and stress, your speech may sound short, sharp and strong.

If you say all English words in a short, sharp and strong way, English speakers may:

not understand what you say
think you are unfriendly, irritable, impolite or angry.

English speakers often make their words short, sharp and strong when they are tense, angry or impatient.

The Pronunciation of English Rhythm and Stress

English speakers usually:

make some parts of words stronger and clearer than other parts
make some words stronger and clearer than other words
join parts of words together
join whole words together

When learning English you should learn

how to hear and pronounce the strong and weak parts of English words
how to hear and pronounce the important words in a spoken message
how to emphasise the most important parts of your message
how to join words and parts of words together
how to organise your message and group your words together
how to listen to your own speech and how to correct your pronunciation of English rhythm and stress
how to practise your pronunciation in everyday situations.

Learning Pronunciation

When you learn English pronunciation, you learn:

a new way of listening
a new way of speaking

Learning how to listen and speak in a new way takes time and practice.

Remember: You speak your own language automatically. You speak without thinking. It takes time and concentration to change to a new way of listening and speaking.

Here are some hints to help you:

Practise regularly. Regular practice once a day is more helpful than a long practice once a week.
Check your listening by looking in the Answer Key in your learning materials
Record your voice and listen to your voice
Ask yourself questions about your speech.
Ask an English speaker to check your speech if possible.

Speaking Slowly

When you use this Workbook, you will sometimes hear English speakers a little more slowly than usual. Sometimes you will hear:

words and messages spoken more slowly
longer pauses between word groups

If you listen to slowed-down speech, you can concentrate on pronunciation more easily.

If you also practise skeaking slowly at first, you will be able to do the exercise more easily and correctly. Increase the speed of your speed as you become more confident and you think your speech is more correct. You will know when your speech is more correct when both you and an English speaker can answer YES to the questions in the checklists after each exercise.

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Tags: pronunciation, Tempo, course, Australian, English