English Pronunciation

The Importance of English Pronunciation

Pronunciation is a vital skill because people must understand what you are saying when you talk to them. You may talk to work colleagues, friends, university students, or maybe people you only need to speak to quickly.

You want people to understand what you say. Without an understanding, people will look at you strangely, ask what you meant, and you will have to explain yourself or they may think you mean something else. If you want to say “turn right” but your “R” sounds like an “L”, you’ll say “turn light”. Does that mean turn at the light? Does it mean turn lightly? If you talk about your favourite “hobby” and you say “hubby” instead, people will look at you strangely and you’ll have to explain what you meant. Hubby is slang for husband. If you try to describe something and want to say “very”, that’s no problem. However if your “V” sounds like a “B”, then that is a problem. If you want to talk about the world and your “O” sounds like an “A” then people may think you are talking about a “war.”

Don’t just worry about what people hear. You should also worry about whether people can hear it or not. The “H” in “hour”, as you know is silent. Pronounce it and the word sounds like “Hower”. “What’s a hower?”, people will think. If you pronounce the “T” in “often, you’re making a mistake there.

Why do these things matter? The answers are-

  1. IELTS markers are subjective. If they believe pronunciation is very important, they will take away marks if they think you are mispronouncing words.
  2. Employers may want people who are well spoken. A large number of jobs require interaction; bank tellers, financial advisors, receptionists, assistants, negotiators, mechanics, foremen/forewomen, lawyers. Communication’s important and the job may go to the person who has the knowledge and the speaking skills.
  3. Tutors, lecturers, and fellow university students want to understand you. If you have to give a presentation, people must understand you. Mispronounced words get strange looks, and lower marks. You’ve got the knowledge but you want it to come out the right way. Knowledge must be understood to be appreciated.
  4. Clients and customers need to know what you mean. If you want to win a contract, sell a service, win a tender, convince a customer, or seal and deal, the bargaining process will run much smoother if both sides are coherent.
  5. It will make socialising much more pleasant as well. When you talk to friends or wok mates, you want to laugh, gossip, get your information or opinion across. This will be possible if you don’t have to repeat yourself. You want a conversation to be casual and enjoyable. No stopping or starting.

These are experiences you’re most likely to have in your day to day dealings. You want them to be easy experiences. There shouldn’t be a need for stopping and starting or explaining what you mean with each word. Clear pronunciation will be a big help in these situations.

What is the benefit of having good English pronunciation?

•    The first impression is extremely important when you speak with new people.
•    People will know straight away your professional level by listening to the way you pronounce English words
•    You can hide your limited vocab and grammar weakness, but not bad pronunciation.
•    Good pronunciation simply opens you to huge opportunities to meet potential employers.
•    Being able to communicate well with people from diverse countries is also a big achievement.
•    Networking is extremely important. Consider if people will avoid talking to you if they have difficulty understanding what you want to say.
•    If you have skilled pronunciation,  people will very much enjoy make friends with you

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January 2018
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