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How shadowing can help you improve your pronunciation

Smiling girl with her hand on her chin
Shadowing is a technique that involves listening and speaking skills.

Unsplash CC: Shannon Litt

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Ali Shahsavand from Discover English explains how you can use shadowing to improve your pronunciation in English.  

Our face and tongue are made up of muscles and Ali says different languages use different muscles.

Ali recommends using a technique called shadowing that students can use to improve their fluency and intonation.

Shadowing involves listening to an audio or video clip and repeating whatever you hear. You do not pause the clip and repeat what you hear. Instead, you repeat whatever you hear.

"So try to listen to the way the speaker does it and try to imitate the speaker," Ali says.

Ali says students should try to do this for 30 days and two minutes a day. However, doing this and sticking to this can be difficult, according to Ali. This is because our brain always works against us.

"[Our brain] always wants to find the easy way out," he says.

Close up of a woman's mouth, chin and nose
Learning English might mean using facial muscles that aren't used in your native tongue.

Unsplash CC: Les Jay

He also says to try and use English as often as possible to give these muscles as much exercise as possible.

For instance, if you’re hanging out with a group of friends who speak the same first language as you do, the tendency is to speak the same language.

"Try not to speak in your first language with others. Speak in English," Ali says.

"Usually the first thirty days is the most difficult part. If you can keep up, then you’re almost there."

Learn English Hacks is a Facebook Live series featuring Australian teachers where they discuss challenges learners face and how to overcome them. For more information, visit our Learn English Facebook page.