- Talk to yourself
Talk about anything and everything. Do it in the privacy of your own home. If you can’t do this at first, try reading out loud until you feel comfortable hearing your own voice in English.
- Record your own voice
This might feel very uncomfortable, but it will help you find your weak pronunciation points. Listen to yourself a few days later. Which sounds do you have difficulty hearing?
- Use the telephone using English
- Participate in class – don’t be shy
- Learn common idioms
- Understand the sounds that your language doesn’t have
For example, many languages don’t have the “r” sound. These sounds require extra practice.
- Recognize that teachers are trained to understand you
When you get out into the real world, average people will have a more difficult time understanding you unless you practice speaking slowly and with proper pronunciation.
- Practice minimal pairs
- Study word and sentence stress
- Practice tongue-twisters
- Learn common phrasal verbs
VOCABULARY: privacy, uncomfortable, idioms, minimal pairs, tongue-twisters, phrasal verbs
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you like to record your voice? Why or why not?
- Are you a shy person? Why or why not?
- Are there tongue-twisters in your native language? If so, when did you learn them?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- You shouldn’t practice talking to yourself to improve your speaking. (T or F)
- How many tips does the article give to help improve speaking and pronunciation?
- The general native English speaker will have a more difficult time understanding an English learner. (T or F)
- You don’t have to learn verb phrases to speak better. (T or F)
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following phrasal verbs mean?