LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||20/JAN/2012 11:47 PM|
|Assunto:||How to fix long-ingrained pronunciation mistakes?|
I returned from an exchange student program to the U.S. a few months ago and I must say it was a great experience - I definitely learned a lot and improved my English while I was there. However, I realized how awful my pronunciation is. My host family would even sometimes praise my English, but I'm afraid it was due to 1) politeness 2) they had another exchange student before me who had a very strong Hispanic accent (I heard her voice a few times) so anything that did not sound that off the beat was probably considered good to their ears and they did not correct. My friends at the high school were more critical helpful and I successfully eliminated some bad habits, but there's only so much one can ask for help before dominating the conversation with phonology and boring them out of the friendship.
I have been studying English since I am 6, and now that I am 18 and more aware then ever of my mistakes. It makes me wonder how none of my teachers, at two different language schools, have never actually emphasized and corrected my mistakes in those years. I am motivated enough to correct them, however long this takes. I am not sure I am willing to go back to language schools - if they haven't corrected me so far, I guess they never will. What should I do? Would you advise visiting a speech therapist or could this actually harm the native input I got while I was in the U.S.? Has anyone faced similar problems?
This is a list of the mistakes I have found on my speech so far, just in case one can give specific resources/advices:
- short and long vowels: such as the difference between fool/full, heat/hit, sheep/ship, sheet/*** (this one was a particularly dangerous one in a school environment LOL).
- "rl" sounds: world, whirl
- the difference between aa and eh, such as bet/bat, bed, cat. As far as I remember people never found difficulties understanding me when I pronounced words involving those sounds, but I became aware of their difference when I began studying French by myself this year, and I needed to use IPA. I just want to get those sounds straight.
- random vowel combinations, such as in fuel and ear vs. year
- some pairs such as cold/code, mold/mode,
- some of my friends said I pronounced "bubbles" ins a childish way, although there was some debate on that. Maybe they were just pulling my leg on this one.
Thanks in advance for the help!
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