Now I'm sure you're watching this video because
you want to sound better when you speak English, right?
Well, you're in the right place!
I'm Emma from mmmEnglish and in this lesson today
I'm going to show you how to sound
more like a native English speaker.
You might think that sounding like a native speaker
in a foreign language is
almost impossible. Sometimes it feels like that, right?
You can study grammar and vocabulary,
you can work really, really hard on prepositions and
adjectives and verb tenses.
And after all of that hard work,
it's really, really frustrating when it's your
pronunciation that lets you down, right?
But the ultimate goal of learning another language is
communication, right? To be able to
communicate a message to someone else.
And your pronunciation is the first impression that
another person gets when they hear your English.
Now incredibly, good pronunciation can actually
raise the level of your English. It can bring it up.
Mistakes are easier to overlook or ignore
if you sound good, if the listener can understand
the words that you're saying
and the message still gets across.
But you know what that means, right?
Poor pronunciation can actually
bring the level of your English down because
even if you're speaking perfect English grammar,
your English level seems to be lower because
the listener can't understand what you're saying.
What is the point of perfect grammar then, right?
Improving your pronunciation will help
people to understand you
and make communicating in English
so much easier.
To do it, it is going to take some practise.
Quite a bit of it.
But with some dedication, some helpful tips
and space to practise, I'm confident
that you're going to be able to do it.
You'll improve your pronunciation.
I'll give you the helpful tips and the space to do it but
you have to bring the dedication.
You are the one who has to keep coming back,
completing the challenges that I set for homework
in every lesson, right?
Keep coming back and keep practising. In fact,
prove that you are a dedicated student of mine
and subscribe to the mmmEnglish Channel right now
so at the very least, I know that you'll be back
here to practise with me every week, right?
And if you're already a subscriber,
let me know in the comments and say hi!
I'm here today to give you the tools that you need
to sound better in English
and I've got five tips that I want to share with you.
But before we get into the lesson,
I just want to take a quick moment to thank
the sponsor of today's class,
my amazing friends at Lingoda.
Lingoda is an online language school,
you might have heard of them.
Just like any other regular language school, they have
qualified native teachers and a huge list
of different classes, more than a thousand I think.
And the classes relate to all of the different
English skills that you need to develop:
reading, writing, listening, speaking.
They even have specialties like business English.
But instead of having to travel
and physically attend classes at a time when
the school decides they're going to put on a class,
well with Lingoda, everything happens online
like virtual classes at any time of day or night.
So you decide when it suits you
to study and practise English.
Now there's two things that I love about Lingoda
and why I think you should check them out.
The first one is the size of their group classes.
so instead of being in a room full of people,
you're going to be getting personal attention
and you're always going to have a chance to practise.
This is super important when you're developing
your English skills but particularly your speaking skills
and your pronunciation,
especially if you want to do it as quickly as possible.
The other reason why I love Lingoda is that they
genuinely care about their students
like at every step along the way.
They're constantly introducing new features
to their platform and thinking about
how to help their students to enjoy the experience
and improve their skills but also do it at an
affordable price which is something that I really like.
I've been taking Spanish classes with Lingoda this year.
I think they also have a German and French classes too
but as soon as I signed up, I got a free private lesson
for an hour with a qualified native Spanish teacher
Mercedes. She was awesome!
She gave me some hints on how to use the platform
and recommended a few different classes
that I should sign up for so it was a great way to start.
So guys, if you're thinking about taking your English
to the next level this year,
then have a look at Lingoda's classes.
They've even offered mmmEnglish students a fifty dollar
or a fifty euro discount when they first purchase.
Just make sure that you use
the link in the description below
and add my name, Emma, as the voucher code
to get the discount at the checkout.
Okay I have to stop talking about Lingoda now.
I've got to get back to the lesson but honestly
I can't recommend them more, go and try them out
and let me know what you think.
All right back to the five tips
to help you sound better when you speak English.
Now tip number one.
Choose your accent.
Which English accent do you want?
Now if you know the answer to this question already,
awesome! Tell me in the comments
what's the accent that you want
but if you don't have an answer to this question
right now, that's okay,
we're going to work on it. Because normally
I would tell you that it doesn't matter
what English accent you use. Usually I'd say
it's more important that you communicate clearly.
Your accent doesn't matter
but if you want to improve your pronunciation as quickly
and as efficiently as possible, at least have an idea
about how you want to sound.
Know what your goal is that you're working towards.
Do you want an American accent or a British one?
Do you want to sound like me? My accent's Australian.
So between those accents,
there's actually quite a few different pronunciation rules.
Some sounds and particularly vowel sounds,
they're actually quite different
when you compare these accents, right?
So it gets a little confusing if you're trying to learn
how to speak clearly.
Some consonants and linking sounds, even
syllable stress can be different between accents.
Now if you're not sure exactly what linking sounds are
or syllable stress
well, don't go anywhere
because I'm going to talk about them a little later
in this lesson.
Now it really doesn't matter what accent you choose,
but knowing the accent that you're working towards
will make things just a little less complicated
while you practise your pronunciation.
To improve how you sound, you need to be able to
hear the difference between
all of these different sounds first, right?
If you can hear the difference,
then you can practise it, right? And you can imitate it.
So I want you to pick an accent.
If you like my accent, that's great!
If you don't, well then you're crazy!
If you want a different accent to mine,
then you'll need to find someone with the accent
that you want.
Listen carefully to the sounds that they make,
spend some time each week training and practising
your pronunciation with that person.
There are just so many different resources
available to you online
in the accent that you want to practise, right?
Videos, songs, lessons.
Just focus on the sounds that you need to hear
and just to be clear, this tip, this one here, is specifically
for sounding better in English,
for improving your pronunciation.
Listening to a mix of accents is an absolute must.
You can't just listen to one person or one teacher
and then expect to go out in the world
and understand everyone, right?
I hope that's clear.
For pronunciation practice, focus on the accent
that you want to create for yourself
but for all other English skills, make sure you use
a range of different teachers and different accents
and different videos and resources.
All right, let's keep going with the lesson.
Tip number two is vowel sounds.
Now correct vowel pronunciation is
really important in English.
Saying the wrong sound can completely change
the meaning of the word.
Can you pronounce this word?
No that was a trick question.
Actually it's kind of impossible because you
really need to have a vowel sound in there, otherwise
that can't get pronounced.
All right, let's try it now.
So how would you pronounce this word?
Would you say
Or would you say
It's just one tiny little vowel, isn't it?
But the two accents pronounce it slightly differently.
And if you use a different vowel sound altogether,
maybe you make a mistake,
it could come out sounding like 'hat'
Vowels are torturous in English pronunciation aren't they
But there's nothing that you can do about it.
Put your frustration to the side, push it over there
and focus on the training that you need to do
to make the right sounds in your speech.
So when you're listening to someone speaking English,
pay close attention, really close attention
to the vowel sounds.
In fact, slow down this video
if you need to focus on some of the sounds
that I'm making.
Did you know that you can do that?
Just click the settings icon below and click the speed
and reduce it.
Then try to imitate or copy me
or whoever you're listening to.
That's one of the best ways to check and improve
your vowel pronunciation.
If you've practised with my imitation lessons before
well, you already know how simple it is to practise
your pronunciation at home.
Improving your vowels is a huge step towards
sounding better in English.
Tip number three. The schwa.
No I wasn't sneezing!
The schwa is the name for the most common
vowel sound in the English language.
That's the schwa!
The schwa is the lazier sound
and it shows up everywhere in English.
It even shows up in words that
don't even have a vowel
and still there's the schwa sound there.
And English speakers tend to get very lazy
when we speak. We reduce our sounds down
and so our sentences fill up with this lazy sound.
Take a look at this sentence.
Now if you look up each of these words in a dictionary
well then you'll see that they should be pronounced
But you're more likely to hear a native English speaker
say something like:
Now notice how this sentence is suddenly
full of schwa sounds when it's spoken at natural speed.
Like I said, the schwa pops up everywhere.
Now if you've never heard of the schwa before,
if you're not sure what reduced forms are
and other things I've been talking about, don't worry!
This video right here will explain
everything that you need to know about this
important and very common English sound.
Okay so there's two more tips to keep going with, right?
To improve your pronunciation.
Number four. Syllable stress.
Now stress is really important in English.
I'm not talking about
stress that you feel before a big exam
when you can't sleep and you get really nervous.
I'm talking about how some syllables in English
are stronger than others
and that means you pronounce one syllable
more clearly in a louder,
in a stronger way with a higher pitch.
Okay and this can be
quite challenging if your native language
doesn't have any stress. You're not used to it, right?
Some languages have very simple rules about
where and when to stress a syllable, right?
It's so easy in Spanish!
You probably already know that English
is not a flat language, right?
There's rises and falls and rhythm
in the way that we speak
and stress can actually change
the meaning of a sentence.
So how do you know which syllable to stress?
Learning to recognise stress in the phonemic script
is a really good place to start.
So every time you look up a word,
you'll see this stress symbol
before the syllable that's stressed.
And it will signal, it will tell you
which syllable needs to be stronger,
louder and higher in pitch.
Now if you want to learn more about
syllable stress in words,
then check out this lesson right here.
And guess what? Again, imitating native speakers
is a really great way to practise the correct
syllable stress in a word.
And practising the correct accent is important here
because sometimes syllables stress between accents
changes a little. So you really want to make sure
that you are speaking with the accent
that you want to use.
Number five, the last one.
Have you ever heard a native English speaker say:
Probably not. That'd be nice because it's
very easy to understand but not realistic.
And if you're trying to sound more fluent
and more natural in English,
then you really should try to avoid
that type of speech as well.
You need to learn how to link words together in English
and there are some simple rules to help you do that.
You just need to learn which words can link together
and which linking sounds are commonly used in English
Let me show you some examples.
Now can you hear how all of those words link together?
That's the linking that I'm talking about.
This is an extra linking sound.
One that we've added to help those words
roll out of our mouths really easily.
My next lesson here on the mmmEnglish channel
will help you with this. I'll take you on an adventure
to learn more about the linking sounds in English.
Just make sure that you're a subscriber
so that you know when that lesson comes out.
Practising linking sounds is actually really simple
once you know the rules.
You can practise just simply by reading out loud.
You can look for the clues
that will help you to link together
and you'll make that a habit. It will become
easier and easier each time you do it.
That's right! You're done! You've got through the five tips
that I have for you today.
Now I just want to review them quickly with you
so that you keep them top of mind when you're
practising your pronunciation and you are
sounding awesome when you're using English.
So say them with me.
Choose your accent.
Practise vowel sounds in particular.
Really understand the schwa and how it's used.
Use syllable stress correctly.
And learn a little more about linking sounds.
You got it! Incorporate those five tips
into your pronunciation practice and I know
you're going to start sounding more natural
when you use English.
Now don't forget that next week's lesson
is going to focus on linking sounds
so make sure you come back and join me next week
same time, same place.
I really hope this lesson was useful for you
and if you have any questions or ideas or suggestions,
pop them in the comments below.
Now let's go practise linking sounds
and natural English pronunciation right here
in my 'Can you say it?' series.
Or we can also practise together in
this imitation lesson right here.
See you in there!