Here is another question from a viewer in China:

“I have a problem about speaking English, which should be very common in most non-native English speaker. The problem is that although I can pronounce each word clearly and correctly, the whole sentence I made still sounds weird. I know it’s about the rhythm. Could you give me any suggestion of how to improve it, besides a lot of repeating and practice?”

Yes, this is a common problem.  As you stated, practice and repetition are key.  Then what?

In English, we speak in “phrases”.  In fact, these phrases almost become one “word”.  For instance, “I am wearing a white shirt, navy pants, and red shoes” would break into:

  • I am wearing
  • a red shirt
  • navy pants
  • and red shoes

Try speaking in phrases once you get really good at pronouncing words.  This is a nice transition to conversational speech.

As always, I recommend PRACTICE.  You have to be able to say words quickly and perfectly.  If you really need to think about how to say a word, go back and practice words more.  When you are ready, move to additional practice as follows:

  • Practice phrases:  on the _____, by the _______, etc
  • Practice repeating sentences (you can do this with my book pages)
  • Practice reading out loud
  • Listen to talk radio and repeat what you hear
  • Practice answering questions
  • Meet up with a group of friends and practice having a conversation

With consistent practice from words, to sentences, to reading, to conversation, you will hear a difference in your pronunciation.  Others will too!