Views:6 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2016-11-14 Origin:Site
English learners can improve their pronunciation skills with training exercises used by singers. A smartphone with a camera can help, too.
These suggestions come from Michael Berman. He works in the Reading, English as a Second Language (ESL) and Linguistics Department at Montgomery College in the American state of Maryland.
Many students of a foreign language have trouble with word stress and intonation – raising and lowering the sound of your voice when you speak.
Michael Berman believes that such problems are not as serious as some people might think. Up to a third of his students, he says, have increased their ability to be understood by using two simple actions: slowing down and speaking up.
VOA Learning English's video series Let's Learn English tells about a situation that many English learners have probably experienced:
In the video, Anna asks Pete to repeat his sentence because she did not understand him.
And like many English learners, pronouncing words correctly is not Pete's problem.
The reason Anna does not understand Pete is because he is not speaking loudly.
In Pete's case, he is not raising his voice because he is sad about not having a job.
For some English learners, the problem of speaking softly is that the speaker appears to be showing weakness, says Berman. English learners may want to hide their mistakes by speaking quickly or softly. Or, Berman adds, they are bringing customs from their native language.
Whatever the reason, the result is this: English learners might not be understandable to a native speaker.