Accent Reduction: Secrets of English Pronunciation for Koreans, part 2
Welcome back to part 2 of the secrets of English pronunciation for Koreans. Because English and Korean are very different languages, there are some sounds that create extra difficulty for Korean speakers learning English. I hope you will find that these secrets give you that extra boost to make your English more understandable.
Secret #3: You must understand the difference between short and long vowels.
A common confusion is between the long e as in sheep and the short i as in ship. To make a long ee sound, pull your lips back into a smile. Practice saying words like sheep, sleep, team, green, and street.
The lips are not pulled back as far when saying the short i sound. This is the sound in words like ship, slip, Tim, grin, and swim.
Secret #4: You must learn to hear the difference between the w, r, and l sounds.
You are probably aware that this is a challenge, as once again, your native language does not really distinguish between these sounds and English does. The w is produced by rounding your lips, turning on your voice, and releasing the sound. It comes out as ” oooh -uh” at first. The l sound is made by placing the tongue behind the front teeth and turning on the voice. The r is made by producing the l sound, then pulling the tongue a little farther back in the mouth, keeping the tip up but no longer touching.
These four secrets are some of the biggest reasons that Korean speakers struggle with their English pronunciation. Now that you know the secrets, you should practice the sounds until you can hear and say the different English pronunciations.
If you cannot hear the differences on your own, or you want individual help to practice, contact an accent reduction specialist. You may be able to find one locally or you may prefer to find someone who offers services via webcam. That way, you can study with a native speaker who lives anywhere in the world and you can schedule classes at your convenience in the privacy of your own home or office.
If you aren’t sure if you need individual classes, find someone who offers a free accent screening and get an expert opinion.
Now you know the secrets; its time to put them into use.
Why don’t you take my free online speech and accent screening at www.losemyaccent.com ? It only takes a few minutes, and you will get free tips on how to improve your communication skills.
Lisa Scott is a nationally certified speech pathologist who specializes in accent reduction training. Great communication is vital to a productive life, and Lisa is passionate about helping you increase your productivity by removing communication barriers. She offers a free online speech screening and follow-up phone call to determine if her classes will benefit you. If you are tired of being misunderstood and are ready for a change, please visit www.losemyaccent.com
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