Hey everybody I’m Abbe from MosaLingua. Today I’m tackling a big question that some of you are probably very curious about:“How Much Time Should You Really Spend on Pronunciation?” The answer might surprise you. Now, you might not even know that pronunciation is such an important part of your language skill set. We all know about reading, writing, speaking, grammar and vocabulary. The skills we learn in traditional language classes. But pronunciation sometimes gets forgotten about. Here’s a pro tip for you: improving your pronunciation is actually the fastest and easiest way to sound more fluent in a language than you actually are.
How Much Time Should You Really Spend on Pronunciation
How Much Time Should You Really Spend on Pronunciation (Video)
How Much Time Should You Really Spend on Pronunciation?
Back to the question at hand: how much time should you really spend improving your pronunciation? My answer? It depends. Generally you can make small behavioral changes that will help you improve your pronunciation without adding much to your workload.
This is actually easier if you’re a complete beginner because you won’t have to spend any time correcting bad habits that you’ve picked up. We recommend that beginners focus on vocabulary. Let’s say you spend 5 minutes a day learning new vocabulary and 5 minutes a day reviewing old vocabulary. This is the perfect scenario because you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Every time you learn a new word focus not only on memorizing its meaning, but pay close attention to its pronunciation. You can do this by comparing your own pronunciation with the pronunciation of a native speaker, for example using the audio feature on online dictionaries such as WordReference or Cambridge. Doing this makes you more aware of your pronunciation and only adds a few minutes to your daily learning session.
Study the Most Commonly Mispronounced Sounds by Speakers of Your Native Language
You should also spend a few minutes a week educating yourself about the most commonly mispronounced sounds by speakers of your native language and focus specifically on learning those. If you’re an intermediate or advanced learner with weak pronunciation you can also easily incorporate a few extra minutes of pronunciation practice into your weekly routine. It doesn’t have to be tedious. It can actually be fun! Maybe you enjoy watching the news or TV shows in the language you’re learning. That’s great.
As you work on comprehension also take note of any surprising pronunciation or words you’ve been pronouncing incorrectly all along.
Repeat them out loud and try to imitate the native speaker’s pronunciation and intonation as closely as possible. You can have fun with the different accents you hear. If you’re more of a bookworm why not try an audiobook? Follow along with the text in hand so that you can associate spelling with pronunciation. You can also read aloud. It can be really fun to get into character and play the different roles with different voices.
Having a Language Partner Helps a Lot
Of course if you have a language partner have them point out any consistent pronunciation mistakes you make during your conversations together. These are all very easy “quick fixes” to add pronunciation practice into your already established routine without taking up too much of your precious time. My answer unfortunately is that there isn’t really a magic number when it comes to the amount of time that you should spend practicing pronunciation.
At MosaLingua we recommend spending about 1 hour a week. If you think about it, that’s way less than 1% of your time. Depending on your level, needs, goals, and learning style that number may be different for you and that’s okay. If you’re learning a language for a purpose that is directly related to speaking and pronunciation for example if you have a big business presentation coming up soon or you’re going to be meeting your foreign in-laws for the first time, you may want to ramp up your efforts and spend more time working on pronunciation.
If you’re really motivated to improve your speaking skills, pronunciation, and fluency in particular I recommend our “Speak English with Confidence”MasterClass, which has already helped hundreds of people start communicating more effectively in English. Happy learning, see you next time!
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