Pronunciation is an important aspect of English, as it is in any language. Pronunciation issues can result in a complete breakdown of communication at worst and a misunderstanding at best. Continue reading to learn how you can assist your child in acing the pronunciation game.
Did you know that non-native English speakers outnumber native speakers in the world by a factor of three? This has sparked a trend of using an international accent coach to help with mutual understanding. Intelligibility – or the ability to be clearly understood is critical. As a result, it is not necessary to imitate the native speaker’s accent when communicating, but rather to employ specific strategies. Consider the following:
1. Model Language Imitation: We mimic what we hear. Children imitate bad models of English if they are exposed to them as children. To help your child’s pronunciation, make sure he or she is exposed to good models of pronunciation via videos, songs, YouTube, and other means. You could also make a family movie night out of watching some of these exciting films. Don’t forget about the popcorn bucket!
2. Take A Listen: The English alphabet consists of 26 letters but 44 sounds, including five vowels that can be pronounced in 12 different ways! Various letter combinations in English produce the same sound. The secret is to ‘find’ these sounds in your mouth by paying attention to the position of your tongue, teeth, jaw, and lips. You may pause, rewind, and replay the video as many times as you like until you think you’ve got it right.
3. Spell It Correctly: Have you ever taught your child to phonetically spell C-A-T and then moved on to spelling T-H-E and got stuck? Some English words are sight words, which means that what we see is what we spell, but the pronunciation is not the same. You can use the following sight word flashcards. When you’re reading together, ask your child to point out sight words that he recognizes. You can also have him count the number of times a sight word appears in the book.
4. Use A Dictionary: If you believe physical dictionaries are out of date, online dictionaries are ideal. They not only fit in your phone and pocket, but they also serve multiple functions such as word breakdown, phonetic transcription, and an audio option to listen to the pronunciation.
5. Pronunciation And Play: it is never too early to begin working on pronunciation. Because they learn to listen before they speak, younger children are very receptive to sounds. Repeating rhymes and singing songs strengthens the muscles of the mouth and acquaints children with the English rhythm. Furthermore, when accompanied by actions, it is a lot of fun. Tongue twisters are a favorite among older children. Organize a tongue twister competition and invite the entire family to participate for a fun evening.
6. Reading Aloud: Reading bedtime stories to your child every night is a great way not only to lull them to sleep but also to help them practice their pronunciation while listening to their favorite stories. Here are some great stories to read as part of your nightly routine. You can either play the video to see the stories come to life, or you can print the story and read it to your child. Don’t forget to include your versions of character voices for added effect!