Putting in constant efforts to improve pronunciation for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is vital for aspirants. Pronunciation depends on numerous aspects including sentence and word stress, long/short vowels and more. One needs extensive practice to pronounce words clearly and accurately. Pronunciation counts for 25% of an aspirant’s total IELTS speaking score, making it one skill that he/she should focus on. Pronunciation will thus have a vital role to play in the examiner’s decision. He/she will assess you on grammatical and lexical accuracy and range along with coherence and fluency.
Read More: Format of IELTS test
Improve pronunciation for IELTS–Vital tips
Wondering how to improve speaking in IELTS? Here are some tips that will help you:
1. Prepare outdoors
Are you mostly preparing online at home? While this is always recommended, the only way that you can improve your pronunciation is by speaking English regularly. Go outdoors and talk in English with your family members, friends, and acquaintances. Talk to people in public areas in English. Your pronunciation will naturally improve.
2. Practice the tougher sounds
Different languages may have unique sounds that are absent in other corresponding languages. If you are in Japan, you will find the R and T sounds to be the same. P and B sound similar in Arabic. The trick is to discover sounds missing in your own language and practice them.
3. Karaoke is a handy option
Karaoke is a wonderful way to improve your English pronunciation. You can sing along with your buddies or family members. Singing English songs regularly will help you add more fluency to your speech. It will also enhance vocabulary, grammar and listening powers greatly!
4. Repetition is the key
Repetition is the key towards improving English pronunciation. The more you practice and repeat words, the better your speech will be. This may sound boring, but a few repetitive drills may actually do wonders for your pronunciation abilities. You can get hold of fun apps for practicing sounds at home. Keep repeating them loudly and boldly to gain more confidence.
5. Visualization counts
Visualizing is a time-tested method of learning. Use your own imagination and creativity to view yourself executing a task. For instance, a soccer player imagines himself scoring a goal in a match slated for the next day. You can visualize the way you speak and imagine it positively. You will require a mind-map of the muscular actions or sounds that occur when you speak.
6. Some instant improvements
Here are some aspects that will help you improve instantly-:
a) Intonation- Check whether your voice goes down/up at the right times, i.e. when you ask a question or answer one.
b) Weak Sounds- You should find out sounds/words where your emphasis is lower.
c) Sentence Stress- Stressing more on the vital words, i.e. Pleasure to meet you.
d) Elision- Loss of sounds when they join.
e) Word stress- Emphasizing upon the right syllables.
f) Assimilation- Changing/adding sounds when connecting words together.
g) Individual words/sounds- You should carefully pronounce every sound,.i.e. drip is different from dip and so is sheep from ship.
7. Slow down the pace
Talking quickly and abruptly hinders pronunciation. Be calm while speaking. Give yourself ample time and slow down the process, correctly emphasizing every word. Pay more attention to how you are pronouncing words than being in a rush to get the message across.
Read More: Prepare for IELTS at home
8. Mimic experts
You will find English experts quite easily. Turn on English radio channels, vlogs, podcasts, social media sessions, watch English news anchors on television and English movies/web series’ without using subtitles. Even if you will not know the meaning of several terms initially, it will help you absorb suitable intonation and sounds.
9. Find someone to practice with
For enhancing pronunciation, you should aim to get feedback on a regular basis. This will help you track your progress and correct errors. Find a friend, relative or acquaintance who wishes to enhance his/her pronunciation as well. You can both work on the same together. Your practice companion will spot errors quickly in your speech and help you rectify mistakes. You can do the same for him/her. Keep observing those around you and how they pronounce English terms/words. Find out the common issues in speech and wrong statements. This will help you correct your own mistakes in turn.
These tips will certainly help you improve pronunciation for IELTS.