Teacher of British culture and English language
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird
And dead: it’s said like bed not bead,
For Goodness sake don’t call it “deed”
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
The often overlooked art of speaking.
I believe that mis-pronunciation of English is a major barrier to communicating.
People make value judgements about us when we speak and a strong accent can sometimes be mistaken for a lower than actual level of language ability. This is hugely frustrating for the speaker.
A strong accent can also prevent the listener from understanding and make the speaker less confident about communicating. You need an honest teacher to point out which mis-pronunciations really matter and then help to overcome them.
Pronunciation is a language skill which needs to be taught and then practised. It needs help as improving your accent requires a different approach to, for example, learning grammar.
My accent is what's described as “Received Pronunciation” which is the pronunciation standard used in EFL teaching in the UK.
My experience as a communications professional, which included reading the news on the BBC, company spokesperson role for a travel company, presentation training for executives and mediating conferences, brings a wealth of practical experience to this aspect of the language.