Many students worry about their accent and pronunciation when taking the IELTS speaking section. The fact is that speaking perfectly doesn’t need to be the focus of your attention.
If your responses are understandable it’s unlikely that a slight accent or mispronunciation will affect your score. Although you don't need to speak like a native English speaker, it’s important to work on reducing your accent if it affects your ability to speak in a comprehendible manner.
Working on reducing your accent and improving your English speaking pronunciation can be a hard task. But there are a few helpful exercises you can do.
A good first step is to make an effort to communicate with a native speaker. By shadowing the way he or she speaks you will quickly get a feel on how to pronounce specific words. If you’re not able to speak with a native speaker you can use a speech from YouTube and record yourself saying the same sentences. After you have completed your recording, compare your sentence with the original sentence. Identify what words you say differently and how it is different.
Identify a group of words that are more challenging to pronounce and record yourself, try to adjust your speech and see how it sounds.
After working on your pronunciation for specific words, next step will be to work on complete sentences. Look up any words you don’t understand. Then listen all the way through, repeating everything the speaker says as soon as he or she says it.
If you don't have time to watch full speeches online, just pick a couple of sentences that include words you have difficulty pronouncing, and practice saying them through the day.
By repeating this process you will improve your pronunciation and develop your speech patterns. Remember to focus on speaking clearly rather than worrying about speaking without an accent.
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