ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION ONLINE - MUST-HAVE RESOURCES
By Georgie Harding – Founder & Head Speech Pathologist
English Pronunciation Online – Must-Have Free Resources
So, you want to improve your English pronunciation online!
The internet is a fantastic place to start improving your English pronunciation. You can dive right in from your lounge room and best of all, it’s free!
BUT it can be a little overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start.
Lucky for you, I’ve put together a clear list of the best resources in this English pronunciation online guide. It includes my favourite online resources and tools and how to get maximum benefit.
So, how to study and improve English Pronunciation Online? You have a huge number of excellent free tools and resources to use: videos, audio lessons, podcasts and voice recorders. Videos are brilliant for learning the positions and movements of the mouth. Audio such as audio lessons and podcasts are fantastic for improving your listening skills and learning about and hearing word stress in English, voice recorders are an excellent tool that you should be using, as well as free online courses..
We’re going to talk through all of those awesome online resources that you can start using today to improve your English pronunciation skills online.
For each one that we discuss I’ll recommend:
- some great resources to start with
- important things to remember
- and what to avoid
This will help you get the most out of learning English pronunciation online.
1. GOALS – Identify Your Goals (we’ll help you!)
So where do you start? You need to think about what areas of English pronunciation you need to improve.
English Pronunciation is made up of a number of areas. It is the way you use these areas that affect how clear your English is to listeners. Here are the main areas of English pronunciation that affect clarity in English.
- General mouth position when speaking English – no mumbling!
- the rate or speed of your English. Check you aren’t speaking too fast.
- your pronunciation of the vowel sounds and consonant sounds in English
- pronunciation of word endings and past tense endings
- word stress and sentence stress. This makes the rhythm or ‘music’ of your English and is extremely important for being clear to listeners.
2. VIDEO – Use Youtube Video Lessons
Video is no doubt the best resource for improving English pronunciation online.
There are a huge number of awesome videos online for improving your English pronunciation and English accent. With video, you can see the correct mouth positions clearly, you can repeat sections of lessons that you find challenging and you can find a teacher with a style that you like.
There are simply LOADS of great options with videos on youtube.
Now that you have a little bit of an idea about what areas of pronunciation speakers of your first language find challenging, you can search and find videos to work on the areas you need to improve.
English Pronunciation Youtube Videos:
Search for the area you want to improve + English Pronunciation video to find youtube video lessons. For example, I might type in Word Stress English Pronunciation Video to find video lessons on word stress.
Here are some of our videos that I recommend to students to start with:
Video is great for correcting the foundations of your spoken English, such as checking:
- if you’re using a good mouth position and not mumbling.
- if you sometimes speak English too fast, you can improve your rate of speaking.
Video is awesome for:
- improving word stress in English.
- improving many areas of your English pronunciation. See free videos for English pronunciation.
Things to Remember About Using Video.
Here are some things to keep in mind when improving English pronunciation online with video:
You can adjust the Speed: Remember you can adjust the speed in videos on youtube. It can help to slow the video down to see the mouth movements. For example, see my clip on pronouncing the sounds /v/ and /w/. It’s in slow motion. Focus on your mouth! Your mouth is your tool for talking. So focus on the movements of your mouth. The better you get at controlling your mouth, the better your pronunciation will get.Use your ears! Listen Carefully. Compare your sounds with your teacher. Pay attention to the up and down of the English as well as the sounds used.
Things To Avoid When Using Video.
Don’t go too quickly. Make sure you don’t move through too many areas quickly. The aim of improving English pronunciation online is not to learn about new sounds and speech patterns, it is to actually learn to USE new sounds and speech patterns,
It takes practise. We are changing habits and ways of speaking that you have had for many years. So avoid heading down a rabbit hole of youtube videos and emerging 4 hours later! You should choose 1 area and watch 2 or 3 videos on that area to understand exactly what the problem is and how to change it – then STOP – no more videos. Next you need to practise, practise, practise, practise! Repeat the practise in the video, make up your own practise.
So, be specific. Choose 1 or 2 areas of English pronunciation to work on improving. Don’t try and focus on too many areas or your practise won’t be effective. Don’t move on to another area until your are confident you have made some improvement.
So video is your best friend for learning and improving English pronunciation online.
Now, onto your other BEST friend! Using audio, such as English pronunciation online audio lessons, podcasts and songs.
3. AUDIO – Use Online Audio Lessons & Podcasts.
Now, I’ve put audio second on the list but in some ways it’s even more helpful than video for improving English pronunciation online.
The reason audio is so great for learners is that it forces you to build your listening skills. Many of us are visual learners. So many students struggle with improving their pronunciation skills and the gap they actually have is their listening skills – they just aren’t able to hear the problems that they have. If you can’t hear them, then you won’t be able to change them.
Students with good listening skills improve faster than students who don’t have strong listening skills.
I often advise students to stop watching English movies and TV and start listening to audio instead. It is a much better way to ensure you are actively improving your listening skills.
Audio forces you to boost your listening skills and better listening skills will improve many areas of your English, not just pronunciation!
English Pronunciation Online Audio Lessons:
There are many free English pronunciation online lessons in audio.
Try this audio lesson using an English Pronunciation Poem – Audio Lesson. You’ll correct heaps of commonly mispronounced words, improve your vowel sounds and word stress.
Podcasts are free and ready for you to use right now! They’re like radio shows that you can listen to or download from your laptop or mobile device.
There are thousands of podcasts on just about every topic that you could imagine. You can use podcast to improve your listening skills, vocabulary, understanding of English expressions, fluency and pronunciation.
Find out which podcasts to start with – Using Podcasts To Improve Your English – you’ll find out how to download podcasts and how to use them to improve your English here.
Some articles and trainers recommend you use songs to improve your English. While this is fun – it can be a trap for learning incorrect word stress and sentence stress. In other words, it can teach you bad habits and the wrong pronunciation of some words.
Let me give you an example. In the song ‘Old Town Road’ which you can listen to here.
At 3.47 minutes he sings: “Spend a lot of money on my brand new guitar”. To keep the rhythm of the song he puts the word stress on the wrong part of the word ‘guitar’.
It should be ‘guiTAR’ (or /ɡɪˈtɑːr/ in the IPA) with the emphasis and stress on the 2nd part of the word. It’s not ‘GUItar’ with the stress on the first part.
The singer stresses the first part to keep in rhythm with the beat of the song. And that is why using songs can teach you bad habits with word stress and the rhythm and emphasis of English.
Now you might be thinking, surely a small difference like the emphasis in a word isn’t that important. Actually, this emphasis, or “word stress” has a huge effect on how clear your English is. It’s actually really, really important. Listeners rely on hearing the right word stress to instantly and easily recognise words.
Using the correct word stress is so important- therefore, switch to podcasts for your English audio practise.
Things to Remember for Using Audio.
It’s great to listen more than once. The first time we listen to something, we listen for meaning. We listen to the ‘what’ – in other words, what it is about. When you are using podcasts to improve English pronunciation online, listen 2 or 3 times.
On the second and third listen, you’ll be much better at hearing word stress (the up and down of the pitch of the speakers voice), vowel sounds, word endings, past tense endings and so on. This is why podcasts are so much better than radio.
With radio we can only listen once and there is no opportunity to rewind and replay a section.
Podcasts WIN as an awesome resources to develop your listening skills for pronunciation.
After listening, repeat what you have heard out loud. So, during the podcast you’ll be paying attention to the key areas of English pronunciation such as vowel sounds, consonant sounds, the word stress and emphasis that the speakers use and so on.
After 5 – 10 minutes, stop the podcast and explain what you have heard out loud, using the best pronunciation that you can. This is a great way to develop your pronunciation skills, fluency and vocabulary. See a video on listening and repeating to develop fluency.
Things to Avoid When Using Audio.
Avoid using Songs to improve your English pronunciation – use podcasts instead. You can use songs to improve your vocabulary but be careful using songs to improve your English Pronunciation online.
Not actively listening. You need to actively listen to be able to tune in to pronunciation. So, it’s a great idea to do short 10 minute stints (in other words, 10 minutes at a time) and really focus – OPEN your ears and actively listen!
4. RECORDERS – Use Online Voice Recordings Tools
Recording and listening to your speech is a very powerful way to improve your English pronunciation online.
Every one hates listening to their own voice in a recording. To most people it sounds strange and different! But you need to put that aside, and appreciate how much using a voice recorder can help you improve!
Look on the bright side! (We say “look on the bright side” when we want to say – “look at the positive side”) These recordings are not going to be shared with the world, they are just for you. For your personal use only.
When you record your speech you can use the recordings to learn about your pronunciation. Recording your speech with a voice recorder is an EXCELLENT way to compare your pronunciation skills to a native speakers and see what could be improved.
Online Recording Tools – Listen and Repeat Exercises
There are some fantastic webpages where you can record your English pronunciation online and compare it to a native speaker. Using these record and compare tools are excellent ways to improve English pronunciation online because you are hearing and doing!
On these pages you can listen to the native speaker so you can hear exactly what you are aiming for. Then you record your speech and you can play them both back and compare.
Here are some of our favourite online tools with native speaker recordings and a voice recorder too.
Record yourself pronouncing All the English Sounds – Consonants and Vowels. You can click to listen to recordings of a native English speaker and compare it with your pronunciation.
Record yourself and compare it to a native speaker while you practise the script for a fantastic, clear English Voicemail Greeting.
Online Voice Recorders
You will probably have a voice recorder already on your phone. For example an iphone has the VoiceMemo app. This is a great little app where you can record your voice with excellent sound quality and you can share it or email it too.
If you have an android you may need to download an app. Search Voice Recorder and there are lots of great options.
Here is my favourite option for a great Online Voice Recorder. It’s lovely to use and it saves the recording to your computer when you’re done.
Using a voice recorder is an excellent way to improve your English fluency and vocabulary as well as English pronunciation. Have your online voice recorder accessible and start to use it!
Use your voice recorder for improving your English pronunciation and fluency when you:
- have a presentation coming up. Record it in 5 minute sections.
- have a job interview coming up. Choose 5 interview questions and record your answer for each.
- finish an assignment, record yourself talking out loud about it.
- need to prepare for a meeting. Talk out loud about what will be discussed. Think of 5 questions that you might be asked and answer them out loud.
Checklist: When listening to your voice recordings, ask yourself these questions:
- are you using a good rate or speaking?
- Are you mumbling or opening and moving your mouth well for clear English?
- Are you using past tense endings when you should be? Are you pronouncing the endings correctly
- Are you using good emphasis and word stress? Or does you speech sound a bit too flat or sometimes with the emphasis on the wrong parts of words?
Things to Remember For Using Voice Recording Tools.
Just START! So many people put recording their own speech off. Just start. It is likely to feel a bit awkward at first but you’ll get used to it. Voice recorders are a great tool and the sooner you start using voice recorders for improving your spoken English and pronunciation the better. Don’t over think it – just start!
Listen for Specifics. If you’re not sure what to listen for, write down three things and start with that. It’s important to be specific about what you are checking when you listen to your recordings. Apart from it just being good speaking practise, for pronunciation you’ll need to be checking for specific areas. Use the checklist above to pinpoint certain areas to listen for.
Things to Avoid When Using Voice Recording Tools.
Don’t stop! Lots of people record their speech once and then stop. Persist! At first, it will be challenging for you to hear your pronunciation problems. The more you listen, the better you will get at this. So show good persistence and you will see the rewards.
5. Enrol in Free Online Courses
Many English Pronunciation training providers offer short free online courses. These can be a great way to start on the journey of improving English pronunciation.
Often they will have a pop up that says “Join Our Free Course” or a tab that says “Free Resources”. There are lots of excellent free short courses offered by trainers.
You can join our 5 day free English Pronunciation online short course.
With this English Pronunciation online short course you’ll find out what the high priority areas for speakers of your first language and why they are important, you’ll correct loads of commonly mispronounced words, record a fantastic voicemail greeting and lots more.
Things to Remember For Free Online Courses.
Practise Regularly. Remember that when we are working to change and improve pronunciation we are changing habits that you’ve had for many years. To successfully change these you need regular practise. It’s best to aim to practise a little bit everyday. It’s much better to do a little bit everyday, than a lot once a week. So the key factor is that it needs to regular!
Find a Reputable Provider. Many people offer online courses. When joining an online course spend a minute to check the providers resources – you could check out their facebook page, youtube channel or reviews to get a few for if their resources are good quality. Once enrolled in courses, watch the first lesson or first few lessons from a few providers to get a feel for how helpful their training is. Put your time and energy into the reputable, experienced providers of training.
Things To Avoid With Free Online Courses.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Remember the importance of being specific, as I’ve mentioned earlier. Choose 1 – 3 areas and focus on improving those areas first. If you’re stuck, revisit Step 1 – Identify your goals. If you work on too many areas of English pronunciation online you will get overwhelmed. Many people try to work on many areas at once and it’s ineffective.
So, I hope you’ve found that list helpful and taken on board some of the tips for using video, audio and voice recorders online to improve your pronunciation and spoken English.
We are so lucky to live in an age where we have the internet as a learning tool. It is such an amazing, comprehensive resource that is getting better and changing everyday.
I hope this article has given you some tips and starting points for improving English Pronunciation Online.
So, to summarise, remember to be specific about what areas of English pronunciation you’re working on.
Use video, audio lessons and podcasts, voice recording tools and lessons and free online courses too. The resources above are all excellent places to start improving your skills online.
Here are some other questions that people often ask.
How To Choose An English Pronunciation Course?
Some people spend a lot of money on ineffective training. This article will help you ask the right questions before you enrol in an English Pronunciation Course.
6 Steps – How To Improve English Pronunciation?
There are certain steps and skills you need to think about when focusing in improving your English pronunciation and clarity in English. Follow these 6 steps to get on the path to better pronunciation – How to Improve English Pronunciation.
How Can I Improve My Fluency?
Many professionals want to improve their fluency so they can speak more fluent English. Here is 1 daily habit you can start to do so you are actively improving your fluency, day by day, little by little! Read more at this article How can I Speak More Fluent English.
If you are ready to get serious about improving your English pronunciation and fluency, it’s time to enrol in one of our award winning tailored English Pronunciation courses.
Call me today to find out how our courses will help you speak English with clear pronunciation and sound more like a native speaker.
Check out our tailored English Pronunciation and Fluency Courses and start seriously improving today.
Call Georgie today on +61 411 295 828.
Keep up the great work.
Founder of Speech Active
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English Pronunciation Online
Georgie Harding has assisted thousands of people from all over the world with improving their clarity and spoken English skills. A Speech Pathology degree (BAppSc(SpPath) and CELTA qualifications and over 15 years of experience providing 1:1, group and online training make Georgie a leader in her field.
Georgie is the creator the world’s leading English Pronunciation online courses that are tailored to the language background of the student and presents regularly at Universities.
If you’ve ever met Georgie or completed her award winning courses you’ll know how passionate she is about helping people move forward with better spoken English and more confidence.
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