Improve Pronunciation for IELTS at home – Here is the complete guide
The IELTS Speaking module is similar for both the Academic and General Training exam. The test takes place in 3 rounds where aspirants have to appear for a face-to-face examination with the examiner, and it lasts for 12 to 15 minutes.
The IELTS Speaking exam is evaluated on the basis of 4 marketing criteria, and if you notice, pronunciation contributes 25% to the overall score. So it is impossible to get a high band score if you don’t have good pronunciation skills.
Some aspirants mistakenly believe that having a strong pronunciation entails speaking with an accent, i.e., speaking like native English speakers. Having good pronunciation does not imply speaking English with an accent. Rather it means being able to speak the English language clearly. Clarity in your speech is what your examiner is looking for, and that’s what you should strive for.
So, how can you improve phonetics at home?
Let’s first understand what phonetics is.
The study of speech sounds is known as phonetics. The sound produced in any language is more physical than a mental one. Therefore, knowing where to place your tongue, chin, teeth, and lips, among other things, is critical to being able to produce the correct sound.
Unfortunately, many aspirants don’t know how to produce the sounds of the words effectively, leading to making mistakes and losing marks. Well, there are a lot of online resources and tips that can help you practise pronouncing these words correctly.
1. Tongue Twisters
A tongue twister is a set of difficult-to-pronounce phrases. Their meaning is often irrelevant, and they are mostly used by children because they are amusing. Actors, newsreaders, and motivational speakers, on the other hand, use tongue twisters to get acquainted with the variety of words that are written and pronounced differently. Use this exercise to develop your speaking pace. In addition, it can help you focus on getting the sound of the words right.
2. Repeat what you hear
Every student understands the importance of listening to English on a daily basis. This means podcasts, TV shows, movies, songs and so on. However, you should not simply just observe what you hear, but you should also repeat it. This means that you should try to get the constant and vowel sounds, as well as intonation. This is important because many aspirants believe that just hearing a word would strengthen their pronunciation, but they fail miserably when they attempt to say it later.
3. Record your answers
The easiest way to identify your mistakes is by recording your answers and listening carefully to your pronunciation. Then, create a list of all the errors you find, compare them with an expert speaker, and lookup for the correct pronunciation on YouTube and Google. There are so many free software’s available on the internet that help you learn the pronunciation of different words.
4. Online dictionaries
English is not a phonetic language, which means that the words’ spelling and pronunciation are often different. For example, consider the words “male” and “mail,” which must be perplexing to students when they first hear them. In addition, many students are unaware that most online dictionaries transcribe words phonetically, that is, how they sound rather than how they are spelled.
5. Howjsay dictionary
It isn’t enough to look up words in a dictionary. It’s important to listen to their pronunciation as well. Most students can also benefit from seeing how a native speaker pronounces each word. The biggest pronunciation dictionary in the world is Howjsay. Simply type a word and wait for it to be read aloud.
6. Sound of Speech
Sound of Speech is the most effective method for students who want to practise their pronunciation at home. It uses videos to illustrate how the tongue, chin, lips, teeth, and other body parts should be aligned for each sound. A real human often demonstrates each sound. Students can practise imitating the videos at home in front of a mirror.
7. Use English at home
Small amounts of preparation on a daily basis can help you effectively crack your exam with a high band score. It doesn’t always have to be related to the IELTS topic. Simply talk about anything you like, but do that in English.