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Clear Pronunciation: The Basics

Mar 30, 2024

Even its only 1% a day, always do something for continuous improvement
Something to remember about pronunciation: the goal is clarity. Not trying to sound like a native. Not trying to get rid of your accent.

Having an accent doesn’t matter much as long as you can be understood. As long as you can pronounce words clearly.

The things to focus on to make the sounds of English: your tongue, lips, teeth, and how air flows out of your mouth.

The placement of your tongue (between your teeth, behind your front teeth, a raised tongue, ect.), the shape your lips make, and how you use air, all contribute to how well you will be able to make the sounds of English.

The more you know how to use your mouth, tongue, and air, the more clear your pronunciation will be. 
And this is the most important thing.

As long as you can achieve clear pronunciation, you will have a stronger ability to communicate effectively in English.

Things to remember:

For vowel sounds:
- Your lips and tongue will always be relaxed, airflow is not restricted.
- Vowels are always voiced: you will always make some kind of sound when you pronounce a vowel


- Tongue always stays down, resting, relaxed
- Air out of the mouth comes out naturally
- “i” = your mouth opens a little bigger than “a” and “e”

For consonants sounds:
- Your tongue, teeth, or lips, or a combination of them, will restrict airflow, either a little bit, or completely.
- There are both voiced and un-voiced consonants.
- The tongue will always be doing something, be in a different place, within the mouth.
“th” = Tongue between the teeth, blocking air out of the mouth
“f” = Top teeth touch your bottom lip, pushing air out

Give it a try!

How was today's 1%?

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This column was published by the author in their personal capacity.
The opinions expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Cafetalk.

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