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IELTS Speaking: two pronunciation tips

 Here are two tips regarding pronunciation.

1) Improving your pronunciation score in the speaking test

This is an exercise that you could do maybe once a week: Try recording yourself as you answer some IELTS speaking questions, then listen to the recording and analyse just one feature of pronunciation. For example, you could focus on intonation: Did your voice sound flat and boring, or did you manage to show interest and enthusiasm? If possible, ask a native speaker to give the same answers, and listen to the rising and falling of his or her voice. Try to copy that intonation.

You could do a similar thing for other aspects of pronunciation e.g. individual sounds, word stress, connected speech and sentence stress.

2) The importance of pronunciation in language learning

In my opinion, pronunciation is perhaps the most overlooked 'secret' to learning a new language. As a serious language student, you'll learn to recognise and produce sounds that don't exist in your own language. You'll try to copy the connected speech, word stress, sentence stress and intonation patterns that native speakers use.

And as you become better at doing these things, the language starts to open up and welcome you in. Your listening skills improve, you find it easier to chat to native speakers, and your repertoire of phrases grows effortlessly. The best language learners (children) all know this secret!

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