By now, you've had the chance to analyze and practice a special English intonation pattern. Hopefully, this exercise not only improved your pronunciation, but got you thinking about the process for improving your pronunciation. This week's exercises were only a glimpse of the unique intonation patterns that influence English. If you want to improve your pronunciation, I hope you will use the system detailed this week to guide your self-study.
What are the important take-aways from this week?
First, observation is key. So often, students complain about their pronunciation, but don't take the time to watch how it is used. With vocabulary or grammar, they look for patterns and take notes on situations where a word or structure shows up. The same can and should be done for pronunciation. Is a certain tone used for jokes? For facts? For reprimands? Focusing on an area, observing it, and categorizing it will help you master it.
Second, practice more than you want. Pronunciation is a physical exercise as well as a language skill. You actually need to train the muscles in your mouth and neck to perform the way you need them to. Practice isn't just necessary to prove you intellectually understand the skill. Rather, it's vital for improving your muscle memory and range.
Self study will help you solve some of your pronunciation problems, but remember that there are also wonderful resources on YouTube, Udemy, and in the teachers you meet along the way.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for adult students in the San Francisco East Bay.