Retain the vocabulary you’ve learned, to use it again in future

If you learn a new word but don’t also understand the pronunciation, it’s more difficult for your brain to remember it. Think about learning pronunciation as giving your brain a more ‘three-dimensional’ view of a word. It will help commit it to your long-term memory, so that it’s there again for you to use, with confidence, when you need to.

Pronunciation exercise – have a go at this today!

Step 1: Make a shortlist of words you want to say clearly

Review the vocabulary you’ve learned recently or words in a book/text you’re reading. Are some of the words tricky to say? Make a list of 5-10 words that are difficult for you to pronounce, then use the resources above to help you understand the sounds in the words, and practice saying them individually.

Step 2: Practice makes perfect 

Write some short phrases or sentences with your target words built into them. I like to give my students a list of vocabulary and challenge them to write a short sentence, however silly, using as many of the words as possible. For example:

Though she had recovered from her cough, Sally found it tough to get through the workout.

Then practice saying the sentence out loud. Say it to yourself while looking in a mirror, or record yourself on your phone. Or challenge a friend to see who can achieve the clearest pronunciation. Think of it as training your mouth, ears, and brain to get comfortable using these words, just like a tennis player or a footballer practicing over and over – until they know that when they’re in a game, they’ll hit that shot or score that goal almost without thinking.

Learning pronunciation for words in English is key to unlocking your fluency and confidence. So why not try making pronunciation a core part of your study plan and see how it can help you.