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Pronunciation Tips & Tricks

Read some of the general pronunciation tips and tricks that I used as a pronunciation teacher over the past 8 years. I found those tips and tricks very useful and a must if you, as a teacher, were to be a successful pronunciation teacher.

Using mirrors is one of the most essential pronunciation tipsUsing mirrors

Make sure you always insist on your students bringing along a mirror as it is your only witness to prove to them that they are making the mistakes or errors you are pointing out to them.

Dental model is one of the most vital pronunciation tips and tricksUsing a Dental Model

Make sure you always use the dental and tongue model to help the students learn visually how to produce a certain phoneme. Do not assume they understand simply because they nod.

Use gestures

Patrick's pronunciation tips and tricksUse your body as a tool for learners to understand especially your mouth and hands. As you’ll see in this document, I will repeatedly advise you to put both of your hands up in the air facing the student and to use each hand separately to compare “Right” vs.“Wrong”, “Long” vs. “Short”, “Tense” vs. “Relaxed” and finally “High” vs. “Low”. You can use your hands in numerous ways to help the students focus on the area you want them to focus on.

Use the students' mobile phones

Encourage your students to use their mobile phones to take a short clip of your mouth articulating a sound or sentence they find particularly difficult;it will be such a big help for them. Ask them to record your voice reading a sentence or phrase they find especially challenging.

Get the students to take notes

Insist on the students writing down your instructions on how to rectify an error or produce a sound. You will find that the students often assume they will remember these instructions but our experience has repeatedly shown the opposite.

Advise a self-study plan for the students

It would be a big mistake to think that the students know how to practice after class as they often have no clue. It is absolutely vital that you organize a time for the students to discuss with them how they should practice by themselves, how long and when they should do it. Get their commitment.

Give the students a pep talk

Please understand that your role is to motivate, inspire, encourage and many times even rebuke the students when you feel that they are not investing the requisite time and effort into their pronunciation. Your role is to help the students to envision success, and to insist on their having a purpose or a dream to work towards. Please look at yourself as a key player in the student’s future and a decisive factor in them achieving success in their career. This is the reason that it is imperative that you dedicate some time every once in a while to remind the students of what they are here for and how valuable and rewarding mastering English will be for them in the future.

Now that you have picked up a couple of pronunciation teaching tips that you can use in the classroom, let's look at more specific type of pronunciation tips and tricks or pronunciation solutions that you can use during your correction of your students' mistakes. There are pronunciation solutions for vowels pronunciation problems and ones for consonants pronunciation problems.