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Pronunciation in IELTS Speaking
Pronunciation is the most difficult part for most of the students, specially when they see they have a very short time before exam. However, it is important to have a clear pronunciation, so that the examiner understands your response.
Remember, you do not need to be worried about accent, in fact accent does not determine the clarity your language. If you can pronounce the words properly, even your native language accent is okay to go with a smart response. So, the idea is, your main focus should be to make your answer understandable to the examiner, and just clear pronunciation is enough for this, it does not have to be like a native English accent. Therefore, for IELTS Speaking, rather than spending time on accent development, you should invest your efforts in other areas to increase your speaking band score.
Well, as you are on this page, we believe you are serious about improving your pronunciation. Let's give you some effective tips to do this:
Along with learning new vocabulary, study their pronunciation as well. You can follow the Cambridge English Dictionary for British English. However, if you want to study American English, you can look into the Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Listen to podcasts, news reports, standard recordings of native English speakers, and try to mimic their speeches at your best.
Ask an English speaker whether they can comfortably communicate with you or not. Their feedback will help you identify the problem areas and work on them accordingly.
If you notice carefully, you will find that you face difficulties with the pronunciation of some specific letters, words or expressions, you need to identify what are those areas, and how to rectify them. Particularly, every word with two or more syllables has a specific pattern of stress, you need to know exactly where to give stress in a word, otherwise your speech will sound boring.
However, the stress position might vary according to different English accent. For instance, stress position of many words in American accent is completely different from that of the British accent. This stress variation issue applies to all the different types of accents, such as Australian accent, South African accent, Canadian accent etc.
Maintaining a good rhythm is another important element of smart speaking. Notice where native speakers tend to slow down, where they give more emphasis in the sentence, how they produce energetic sounds in case of the keywords, and how they utter the phrases part by part. Also, bear in mind, you need to produce stressed sound for the important idea in each phrase.
Intonation is another advanced stage of a beautiful pronunciation. It is all about maintaining a flow of rising and falling tone. If you say the sentences in the same level of tone, the listeners will definitely find your words boring. Because, without giving proper stress and tone to delineate the keywords and important information, it might create a lifeless environment and also can change the intended meaning of the sentences.