Everyone knows that the person’s first language affects the way they sound when they speak English. For example a person whose first language is Arabic will sound different speaking English from a person whose first language is Polish. But do you know why?
The answer is simple: mouth position. Mouth position means whether your mouth is open or closed most of the time when you speak (whether your jaws, upper and lower teeth, are close together or wide apart).
Many people automatically use the mouth position typical to their first language when speaking English and it makes their speech harder to understand. The reason we’re bringing this up is that once you know what affects your pronunciation, you can work on it, and thus improve your Speaking IELTS score.
Georgie Taylor, a Speech Pathologist and accent specialist with over 9 years of experience, says that to speak English more like a native speaker (and therefore more clearly) you need to open and close your mouth quite a lot – compared to languages such as Japanese, Cantonese or Russian, for example.
In this short video Georgie explains about the right way to move your mouth in English and even gives you a great exercise to start your day. To make sure you understand every word we prepared a transcript of the video – click here to download.
If your pronunciation needs a bit of work, here is another great resource to try – this page (click here) allows you to record and compare your own pronunciation to that of a native speaker. Mimicking a native speaker’s pronunciation is a very good way to improve your own.
P.S. The website you will be visiting, Star Pronunciation, offers online pronunciation courses that Georgie created after working face-to-face for many years with international professionals and university students. If you decide to seriously improve your pronunciation using any of Georgie’s courses, copy this text IELTSBlog and paste it at the checkout and you will get a $45 discount (the discount text is case sensitive). This price reduction is exclusive to IELTS-Blog.com visitors, not available anywhere else.
Did you know that pronunciation affects your IELTS score? It is a fact that 1/4 of your Band score depends on how you pronounce English words.
If your English is generally good and your writing is easy to understand (be it your emails, notes, essays or anything else), but when you open your mouth and say something people look lost, it’s probably because you aren’t speaking clearly. It can be so frustrating when you think there’s nothing wrong with the way you speak, but people obviously struggle – they move their faces closer to you (as if they want to hear you better), they keep saying “I beg your pardon?” or “Say it again?”, and from their answers you see they totally didn’t get what you were asking. Imagine what would happen if your IELTS examiner couldn’t figure out what you were saying!
And the reason is your pronunciation. While learning English we pick up a way to pronounce words, and we stick to it, but it’s not always correct. The trouble is, we are more concerned with what we say, than how we say it. We rarely give our pronunciation a second thought, even though the way we pronounce words can make a perfect sentence sound like nonsense.
“But why can’t they understand me?!”
Georgie Taylor, a well-known Australian speech pathologist, says that these two basic things are very important – the rate and volume of your speech. Very often if you slow down and talk louder, people won’t have to concentrate so hard to understand you. Watch this short video where Georgie explains how you can easily fix problems with these two areas and have an immediate improvement in your pronunciation. To help you understand everything Georgie says we prepared a transcript of the video – click here to download.
If you know or suspect you have a problem with pronunciation, Georgie can help – click here to watch her free video lesson on commonly mispronounced words. She is the founder of Star Pronunciation course and helped numerous people to finally be understood – without repeating what they just said over and over again.
P.S. If you decide to purchase any of Georgie’s pronunciation courses, copy this text IELTSBlog and paste it at the checkout and you will get a $45 discount (the discount text is case sensitive). This price reduction is exclusive to IELTS-Blog.com visitors – you guys get a special treatment from Georgie!