Lesson  3

How to Learn Pronunciation

On Wednesday, I go to school again. There is one student in the class who is more quiet than other students. He is from South Korea.
When our teacher asks if we have any questions for her. This student from Korea says that he has a question. He says that he has a big problem with pronunciation. He knows that his pronunciation is not very good but he doesn’t know how to make it better. He doesn’t speak much because he doesn’t like his pronunciation.
He says that he reads and watches films in English a lot. He understands very well but he also wants to speak well. He asks if there is something what he can do with his pronunciation.
When my teacher hears this, she says, “OK, I can tell you something about pronunciation and how to practise it. I also want to teach you a technique which can help you with pronunciation.
First, we have to look at why students have problems with pronunciation. When we speak, we have to move our mouth. We have to use muscles in our mouth. The problem is that when you speak English, sometimes you use your muscles like in your native language. Then your English pronunciation is like pronunciation in your native language.
This happens to many students who learn English. Almost every student has a little different pronunciation than native speakers have. It is not a big problem because usually people understand what you want to say. You are a student and it is logical that your pronunciation is not perfect when you study English.
But you can work on your pronunciation and make it better. There is a great technique that can help you a lot.
The name of this technique is shadowing. The technique is very simple. When you do shadowing, you simply copy the sound which you hear. When children learn their first language, they also copy what they hear. They copy after their parents again and again and after some time their pronunciation is perfect. You can learn English proununciation the same way.
You can take some video which is not very fast and which you understand very well. You listen and you copy what you hear when you hear it. It is all.”
Then, our teacher goes to www.youtube.com and she finds a good video where the shadowing technique is well demonstrated. We watch the video. Then we all try to do shadowing for about three minutes.
Then our teacher tells us, “Shadowing is also good when you are prepareing for a presentation and you want to have good pronunciation. Before the presentation you can go to some place where you are alone and you can do shadowing for about 10 minutes. You will see how much it will help you to have better pronunciation during the presentation.”
This is very interesting for me. I haven’t heard about this technique before.
When the lesson finishes, I go to the school reception. I ask the lady if there are any sport activities at school. I would like to do some sport in England. The lady at the reception says, “Yes, we have a table tennis team and a football team. The football team has training today at 5 o’clock.”
I am very happy because sport is very important in my life. I go to the training of the football team. I meet a lot of players from different countries. The players are from Brazil, Japan, Russia, Spain, Argentina and Italy. I like the training. I am very happy that my time in England starts well. I have a great teacher. I also have some new friends from my football team. Also, tomorrow I am starting my job.

When you want to have good pronunciation, repeat after native speakers.