How Do You Master Sounds That Do Not Exist in Your Native Language?

As you may know, every single language contains their own phonetic alphabet. There are sounds in your native language that do not exist in English; and there are sounds in English that do not exist in your language.

For example, I have a student who has trouble pronouncing the word "thing". The /th/ and the /ng/ sounds in English that are not in his native language! His mouth muscles are not used to expressing these specific sounds.

Here are a few tips I have given him:

1) Learn the Exact Place of Articulation. There is a science to producing sounds! The placement of the tongue, how you release air, and voicing all play a part in creating a sound. Studying charts for unfamiliar English sounds are incredibly helpful for you to improve your pronunciation.

For example: you can create the /th/ sound by placing your tongue under your top teeth (labiodental) and by releasing a continual flow of air (fricative).

2) Practice with Minimal Pairs. In order to make sure you are mastering a specific sound, test yourself by practicing with minimal pairs. When you say the words "ding" "ting" and "thing", can you tell the difference? How about "ford" "fort" and "fourth"? Can native speakers tell the difference when you express all three words one after another?

3) Read and practice sounds in larger contexts. While you may pronounce sounds perfectly in isolation, maybe you find yourself struggling in pronunciation when you are in real conversations. The way to practice is by reading aloud in full sentences, paragraphs, or even dialogues! It trains your mind and mouth to practice the specific sounds in the midst of expressing several other sounds! It prepares you for real contexts of speaking.

Example:
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein


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Ronna Morsey

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Hello everyone! My name is Ronna, and I am a passionate ESL teacher. I have my Masters of Arts Degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). So I have been educated in phonetics and phonology, grammar structures, second language acquisition, assessment, linguistics, and TESL teaching methodologies. I have led ESL workshops on reading and writing as well as strategies for public speaking. In addition, I have tutored many international students who range from beginner level to advanced. I have helped students in their essay writing, conversation skills, pronunciation, TOEFL/IELTS preparation, and English grammar understanding. As an adult language learner myself, I do my best to help you engage with the English as much as you can. It is best to think and communicate in English as much as possible. So even if we are learning about grammar, I try to implement communicative exercises that could be applied in the real world! I also encourage using all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to best optimize your English learning process.
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الانجليزية
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2
يتحدث:
الانجليزية
متحدث أصلي
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الإسبانية
B1
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اللغة اليابانية
A1
Hello everyone! My name is Ronna, and I am a passionate ESL teacher. I have my Masters of Arts Degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). So I have been educated in phonetics and phonology, grammar structures, second language acquisition, assessment, linguistics, and TESL teaching methodologies. I have led ESL workshops on reading and writing as well as strategies for public speaking. In addition, I have tutored many international students who range from beginner level to advanced. I have helped students in their essay writing, conversation skills, pronunciation, TOEFL/IELTS preparation, and English grammar understanding. As an adult language learner myself, I do my best to help you engage with the English as much as you can. It is best to think and communicate in English as much as possible. So even if we are learning about grammar, I try to implement communicative exercises that could be applied in the real world! I also encourage using all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to best optimize your English learning process.
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