13 Fun English Pronunciation Practice Exercises

Tired of your daily American Accent practice? Unleash your imagination with these 13 prompts and have a blast mastering your speech!
November 5, 2023
Eliza Simpson
Eliza Simpson
Speech & Accent Coach at BoldVoice
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Are you ready to supercharge your English pronunciation skills? You’re probably already aware that clear communication is crucial for your social and professional development, and that it takes consistent practicing to get there. But pronunciation exercises don’t have to be a chore. In fact, anything involving reading and speech can be turned into a fun activity, whether that’s movies or songs or ordering at a coffee shop. In this tutorial, we'll introduce you to 13 creative ways to get those practices going, no pain and lots of gain!

1. Act Out Movie Scenes

If you’ve ever dreamt of being in Hollywood, this is your chance to experience an acting workshop. Pick a scene from your favorite American movie, study the script, and act it out! The key here is to mimic the actors' speech patterns. What do you notice about the tone of the speech? What about the pacing and intonation at each part of the sentences? Noticing these points is great practice for internalizing typical American talk and learning the American accent

2. Do Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters are totally terrific for training tricky terms. Did you get it? All jokes aside, sounding out tongue twisters can be helpful for familiarizing your muscles with various maneuvers. Try classics like "She sells seashells by the seashore" or "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" and gradually increase your speed as your practice. Tongue twisters make pronunciation playful and effective!

3. Practice Minimal Pairs

Minimal pairs are a series of words that differ by just a single sound, like "ship,” "sheep," and “shop.” Practicing these will help you pinpoint subtle sound distinctions and fine-tune both your hearing and pronunciation. This can be challenging and frustrating at first, especially for English learners, so try making it a game for yourself — how many real American English words can you find by just alternating a letter or two at a time?

4. Sing Karaoke

Picture this: it’s a bustling Friday night out with your loved ones, and there’s a karaoke station hooked up and ready to go, waiting for you to belt out your best version of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Now, to give your best performance yet, you need to channel your inner pronunciation police. Pay close attention to the lyrics and, while singing, go the extra mile in exaggerating each mouth movement. It's a fantastic way to practice your speech while having a blast—and a guaranteed 100 points!

5. Find a Voice Model

Ever thought about how Jennifer Anniston (Rachel on Friends) has such a distinct speaking style? Choose a native-English speaking celebrity or public figure you admire and study their speech. Watch and listen to any favorite scenes, interviews, and recordings of theirs closely, mirroring their mouth movements and copying their speech. Pause often to really nail down each moment. It's like having a personal pronunciation coach right at your fingertips!

6. Find the Stress

Grab a passage from that novel you’ve been putting off finishing and start reading it out loud. Try to identify where the syllable stress and word stress falls. Which placement helps the sentences flow most smoothly? This exercise will help you develop a keen sense of natural rhythm and intonation in English — and get some daily pages in!

7. Practice Reading a News Article

Pretend like you’re a professional news anchor for an American station, and read a recent article in your best reporting voice. It's an excellent way to work on mastering American English pronunciation and sounding professional while doing it!

8. Give a Speech to the Mirror

You just won an Oscar: stand before the mirror and deliver your speech! Be sure to observe your rhythm and notice your mouth movements. How many thank you's are you giving? 

9. Try Isolation Exercises

Targeted exercises can strengthen your lip and tongue muscles, enhancing your pronunciation of the English language overall. Think of it like taking your mouth to the gym and doing a series of workouts. Watch these examples for inspiration for where to start!

10. Practice Commonly Mispronounced Words

American English is full of tricky words to pronounce, and words that sound like each other but mean completely different things. Work on differentiating your speech for commonly confused words, like "picture" and "pitcher," or "phase" and "face." Hearing the difference will make all the, well, difference!

11. Practice Speaking With a Native Speaker

All of these ideas are great exercises to do alone, but nothing beats conversing with native speakers in real time. Chat with a friend and observe how they pronounce each word, and try to embody their expressions in your responses. A great alternative to this active conversation is to use AI conversation partners — for example, BoldVoice has AI chat features that can provide you with a real-world conversation experience, any time you want!

12. Learn from Accent Coaches

Learn from the pros! Accent coaches, who are familiar with training the American accent and who have studied the best strategies for teaching it can offer valuable insight and feedback into your accent learning progress. One-on-one classes with friendly and encouraging coaches will help you make progress fast.

13. Create Challenges for Yourself

Consistency is key. Challenge yourself to practice daily, using any of these tips listed above, and be your own competition. An app like BoldVoice can help you keep track of your daily goals and make sure you don’t lose that streak. Of course, remember to reward yourself when you hit those 1-week and 1-month milestones!

Final Thoughts

It’s important to create a routine that keeps you motivated and eager to learn. If planning these activities sounds like a burden, BoldVoice offers intentionally short and structured daily practices that are designed by speech experts to keep you engaged. Want to see an example? Start your free trial and unlock a world of fun and effective English pronunciation practice!

Practicing English pronunciation doesn't have to be a mundane task. With these creative exercises and the guidance of BoldVoice, you can make tremendous progress while having a blast. Make the journey both challenging and fun, and watch your pronunciation skills soar! 

Happy practicing!

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Eliza Simpson
Eliza Simpson
Speech & Accent Coach at BoldVoice
About the author
Eliza Simpson is a Hollywood speech and accent coach based in New York City. She holds a Degree in Acting from Rutgers University and has trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London. As a speech and dialect coach, Eliza has worked in film and TV for productions appearing on Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV+. Eliza is a head coach on the BoldVoice app.
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