1. What should be the main goal of any pronunciation class or course?
2. What are the kinds of exercises that will help you improve your pronunciation?
First, the main goal of any Elocution/pronunciation course should be to focus on accent reduction, not accent elimination, which is technically impossible. Students should work on reducing areas of their pronunciation and enunciation that make it difficult for native speakers to understand them.
Second, with this goal in mind, students need to be able to identify which areas of pronunciation and enunciation give them the most inaudibility; such as, vowel and consonant sounds, word and sentence stress, word reductions, linking, and intonation.
Finally, you need to practice these structured exercises to extemporaneous speech in different situations, because practice makes perfect. Improving your pronunciation will take a lot of patience and commitment, but the end product – your unique, well developed voice – is worth it!
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