Listening again and again in order to improve pronunciation

Recently, I have been listening to one of Steve Kaufmann’s podcasts and came across an interesting idea of improving one’s pronunciation. It was suggested that one of the ways to improve pronunciation is to listen to particular item again and again. If I recall correctly, it was said “… listen to the same item like thousands of times”. I wonder if anyone has used this method in order to improve one’s pronunciation. Can anyone relate their experience here if they have had one?

I usually listen to one speaker who speaks about certain topic, for example Barrack Obama and his American jobs act. He repeats lots of words, for example “building roads and bridges” or “to put people back to work”. I pronounce these words more easily than other words.

I have tried the same.

I found that I could listen over and over to content where the voice and intonation and content were pleasing to me. It helped my pronunciation.

I don’t think I could listen one thousand times, although a certain Jerry Dai, who was originally from China, claimed that this helped him achieve near native pronunciation.

I know of others who have achieved near perfect native pronunciation in this way, and I intend on trying this eventually, but I think native pronunciation takes a lot of work and your time can be better spent improving other aspects of the language. Once I am at a level I am completely happy with for comprehension and spoken skills, then I will focus on native-like pronunciation.

Luca, the polyglot of youtube fame, achieved an accent in English that is pretty darn near close to a native midwestern American accent, and I’m pretty sure he could fool a lot of English speakers into believing he’s a native English speaker. He details his method of pronunciation improvement here, which involves a lot of listening as well as taking notes on the speaker’s tonal fluctuations during chunks of the sentences:

Its broken out into three different blog posts with a video for each. Worth the watch if you aspire toward native like pronunciation.

I’ve been used the same podcast for 1 week ,listening,reading .

I understand all and I can speak very well because I record the intonation in my mind.
I can do this without make a very big , huge , effort .
Just Listen and enjoy it’s the secret to improve your pronunciation.

I think it’s important to hear the same words used, but in different contexts. Words can sometimes sound a little different when they are used with other words. The sounds that come in front of the word and after the word might make it sound a little different.


well, listening and speaking are two entirely different things.

I think you need to hear a particular sentence a few times with full attention and then try to pronounce it exactly the same way a native speaker does. You have to do this with every sentence. Then, record it and tally it with that of a native speaker recording and see your progress like how far or closer your pronunciation is. What I am trying to say in other words is, listening is not enough itself.

In my experience, leaving things to chance, you’ll only reach a certain level of pronunciation. If you work hard, that might be good enough to be functional in the language and that’s worth pursing. If you want to go past that point, you’ll have to work on the task in other ways.

I’ve got a book on Dutch phonology which shows, fairly simply, how the pronunciation of words changes in certain circumstances. Slowly integrating the stuff from that book is helping me to develop a more natural accent.

It might sound silly, but mock the way the natives sound. Dramatize it, make fun of it a little. Exaggerate the sounds is what I mean.

For Spanish this was easy, just about anything can be said in a Telenovela dramatic way.
For French I just make it sound like I’m at a fancy dinner party, while being rich, cultured and pretentious. Speaking out of the nose.
I wouldn’t know the English version. Posh British maybe?
“Oh those peasants sure do like their fields, it’s so nice of me to let them work on mine” -sips tea-

or maybe I’m just too easily entertained… xD

Farrago, I agree.

An example: years ago I attended a French “immersion” course, and my accent was very highly praised, quite to my surprise. Now I had worked very hard on pronunciation beforehand, listening to and repeating pairs of contrasting syllables, etc., etc., etc. But, given that groundwork, what really seemed to do the trick was overdoing things quite a bit. When I tried to sound like Maurice Chevalier speaking English, which seemed to me way overdone, that was when native French speakers commented most favorably.

Of course, one must continue to speak, and practice, practice, practice, or one’s ability declines or is lost.

A couple of quick comments. I find that it is important not to overdo the “exaggerated imitation”. A little bit is OK, but you risk sounding like a caricature. I believe it is best to do a little imitating, a lot of listening, and letting the accent develop naturally and not worry about it. I have never found any kind of explanation of the phonetics of a language, to be useful to me, with the exception of Romanization or transliteration for languages that do not use a phonetic alphabet.