This is a guest post from Annabelle – the featured IELTS tutor of the week. Annabelle has many years experience of helping students of all nationalities improve their IELTS. In this quick lesson she makes some very practical suggestions about problems with pronunciation for Russian speakers. I’d just add three quick points:
- keep on reading even if Russian isn’t your first language: many of the tips Annabelle gives here will help speakers of other languages too
- pronunciation is a physical activity – it’s to do with how your move your mouth, tongue and teeth. To improve your pronunciation, you need to train your muscles – that means plenty of practice
- whatever your nationality – don’t forget pronunciation, it’s 25% of your speaking score
Some tips on pronunciation for Russian speakers
Pronunciation is one area where many Russians have problems in English.
1. Start by opening your mouth more-drop your chin. English speakers open their mouths wider than Russian speakers.
2. Another problem is with the music of your voice-the intonation. Your voice needs to go up and down more than it does in Russian. If you do not move your voice up and down you will sound b-o-r-in-g!!!! And we do not want that!
3. Be careful with your V and W sounds or you mix them up.
A V is made when you put your front teeth on your bottom lip.
A W is made by pretending you are going to kiss someone on the cheek.
4. Also make sure to make a clear R and H.
5. And finally. Russian speakers many Russian speakers do not contract as they think it sounds “sloppy.” If you do not contract the rhythm of your speech will be wrong. So I am-“I’m/ I have been –“I’ve been” etc.