Having a high level of English pronunciation does not just happen overnight. Learning English pronunciation is like “walking along a dry riverbed with eyes closed. Every time you come to a rock. You trip over it, stop, continue, and trip over the next rock” (Cook, 2009, p. vi). Keep practicing make us be the river expert, and one day we will conquer that riverbed simply by sliding over without breaking our smooth flow (Cook, 2009). By practicing regularly and learning the ways to avoid mistakes, one day we will possession a beautiful and sexy voice as we wish.
I asked many successful students who got high prizes in the pronunciation contests or in the international English tests the secret to their success. All of them gave me a common answer. They worked really hard. They spent six to eight hours a day to listen to the audio books and practice English pronunciation and speaking. As a saying goes, “Nothing comes easy. Behind every success are hours of plain hard work.” Obviously, even the smartest students have to practice and work day and night to get into the top positions.
Moreover, English pronunciation is a subject that demands students to be patient and practice endlessly. To get the sound right, we must listen and repeat patterns of sound, pitch and tone while practicing to develop a sensitive ear (Smith and Margolis, 2012). This is also one of the key factors that help us distinguish between dedicated students and inactive ones. The successful students work hard by listening to the new word pronunciation thirty to forty times before really making a sound, just to make sure that they get the sound right. On the contrary, lazy students just look up for the new words, listen to the sound once or twice, then neglect and move to the next words. This trivial behavior can form a far difference academic result between the two students.
Besides, we will forget the pronunciation knowledge and rules if we do not practice often. It is especially true for the students who live in a country where English is just a second language. They do not have an environment to practice English as not many people use English in their daily life. Without working hard and creating an English-friendly environment, students will sooner or later forget all the rules of English pronunciation. It is very time-consuming to start learning all over again.
As Richard John stated in the TED talk conference, “Many talented people don’t achieve as much success as they could, unfortunately, because they sit back on their talent and never learn to work hard” (2016). It is especially true when it comes to learning English pronunciation. Success in speaking English confidently is not an overnight story. And the key to possessing a beautiful and fine voice to is to work harder and harder.
Cook, A. (2009). American accent training. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series.
Why it pays to work hard – Richard St. John. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from https://ed.ted.com/lessons/richard-st-john-why-it-pays-to-work-hard
Smith, J. and Margolis, A. (2012). English for academic study: Pronunciation. UK: Garnet Publish Ltd.