Tips to Improve Pronunciation For IELTS

Tips to Improve Pronunciation for IELTS

Updated on 14 March, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

How to Improve Speaking in IELTS? 

Here are some tips to enhance speaking in IELTS: 

  1. Being yourself is important-On the day of the examination, students often get lower scores due to bouts of nervousness. In many cases, they speak robotically or mechanically, leading to lower scores for pronunciation overall. If you desire a score of 7 or higher in accent, you should look at modulating your voice accordingly and keep smiling throughout. Infusing emotions in your voice will be intonation and you can also keep stressing on vital information and words consequently. 
  2. Learn about the examiner’s needs-You should always be clear on what the examination is actually testing or looking at. Find a teacher or program that will help you learn about examiners’ wants and meet those guidelines accordingly.  
  3. Using varied vocabulary-If you desire a score of 7 or more in the Vocabulary section, you should use varied vocabulary, including idioms and colloquial phrases. The examiner will always keep a lookout for vocabulary that is not text-bookish. You should use phrases such ashang out with my buddiesorchilling out at home, for example, in Parts 1 and 2. Learn simple idioms likeover the moon, for example. Part 3 has questions of a more formal nature, and you should respond suitably with phrases likeTo be frank, I firmly believeorI agree with the notion that.  
  4. Linking words is essential-To get a score of seven in Fluency and Coherence, make sure you tap into these linking words. Parts 1 and 2 require using words likebut,and, and evenas well. Use words likesubsequently,next,at long last, andafter that. You can also use words likemoreover,as a result, etc., for Part 3. 
  5. Practice your spoken English-You should know what the examiner desires and practice speaking English without unnecessary pauses. Try and find native speakers for practice sessions.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Pronunciation for IELTS

Q. What is essential to acquire a good English language pronunciation for IELTS?

You should lay emphasis on daily practice. Start listening to yourself speak since you can often come across errors in pronunciation in the same. You should record your speech and then take notes on particular areas to improve. Do not try and speak excessively fast since this is no measure of fluency in the language. Slow down and speak relaxed, thinking about what you wish to say. Close your eyes and visualize making a sound before uttering a word or phrase. If you are familiar with the phonemic chart, think about the sound being made and how it is linked to other phonemes in English. Focus on tougher sounds daily. Stand before a mirror to view how your lips, tongue, and overall face look when making specific sounds. Compare this with videos made by native speakers, and you will understand the difference. Listen to English radio broadcasts, watch television programs and movies, and imitate the speakers. Practice alone at first before finding someone to practice with. You should know how to stress the right words and modulation. Read songs, poems, and speeches aloud to yourself.

Q. How to improve English vocabulary and speaking skills for IELTS?

You should focus first on enhancing your vocabulary. Tap into the dictionary you have and keep adding more words to your vocabulary for IELTS. Record all the new words that you come across and emphasize topics covered in the Speaking section for IELTS. Focus on optimum speed while speaking without going too fast. Aim for grammatical correctness while demonstrating clear and simple ideas. Pause every once in a while and relax during the Speaking test. As for vocabulary, make sure that you watch English movies, television shows, and podcasts while reading newspapers and magazines. This will help you pick up new words, especially linking words, everyday phrases and denominators. Adding these to your speech will certainly impress the examiner.

Q. What is the best way to improve speaking skills for IELTS?

The best way to improve your speaking skills for IELTS is to practice. Practice always makes perfect. First, analyze and view videos of native speakers and focus on how they move their face and lips while saying certain words. Secondly, try and imitate them by practicing alone. Keep recording your sessions and making notes of where you can improve. After that, find a native speaker or fellow colleague/study buddy who can practice with you. If both of you keep correcting each other, it will lead to consistent improvement. Once you have more control over what you are saying, try and speak calmly and optimally instead of speaking too fast or too loud.

Q. How can you score 8 in IELTS speaking?

You can score 8 in IELTS Speaking, although you should be a naturally gifted and fluent speaker. You should aim for spontaneous and eloquent speech to achieve this target while practicing sufficiently beforehand. Practice answering all sample questions and keep stressing on important words, infusing emotion into your voice, and giving yourself time to adapt and think while you are speaking. Coherence matters most of all; the examiner should understand what you are talking about and what you wish to emphasize. Practice creating notes and use them for speaking better. Learn how to build things to say around what you view on the cards that you get.

Q. Is 7.5 in speaking for IELTS is good?

7.5 in IELTS Speaking is a good score. A great score is band 8 or higher. The speaking band is between 0 and 9. In this context, it can be said that 7.5 is certainly a good score and one that will help you boost your overall IELTS score considerably. You can get 7.5 in speaking by practicing rigorously before the test date, focusing on improving your vocabulary and pronunciation, using linking words, slang, and phrases, and speaking coherently and in a relaxed manner to help the examiner understand everything that is being said.

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