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Role of phonetics in improving your English proficiency test scores

Posted on August 29, 2023
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Why take English proficiency tests?

  • Enhances career prospects
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Helps acquire English language skills properly
  • Opportunity to get scholarships
  • Increases significantly chances of immigration overseas

Role of phonetics in improving your English proficiency test scores

The study of human speech sounds is known as phonetics. It entails assessing the way each language produces, uses, and notices. A crucial area of study for individuals learning languages, phonetics can aid in improving your pronunciation in English, besides skills of listening and communication on the whole.

What is Phonetics?

There are three main branches of phonetics: acoustic phonetics, auditory phonetics, and articulatory phonetics. Acoustic phonetics assesses the physical qualities of speaking sounds, such as amplitude, duration, and frequency.

Auditory phonetics emphasizes how the ear perceives speech sounds and the way the brain understands them. Articulatory phonetics looks into how the mouth, tongue, and other organs speech production organs produce speech sounds.

Why phonetics are crucial for learning English

For learning English, phonetics is crucial as it helps you appreciate the sounds of English. The English language has several sounds that are unique to it and may not exist in other languages, which is why non-native English speakers find it difficult to pronounce these words properly. When you study phonetics, it will help you learn how to recreate these sounds, which will help you develop your pronunciation.

Furthermore, phonetics also plays a crucial role in helping you improve your listening skills. Once begin to understand the English sounds, it will help you identify words more easily when you listen to them. This is more important when you listen to native English speakers who use various accents or tend to speak quickly.

Usage of phonetics to improve your English speaking skills

Learn English sounds:

The initial step to improve your pronunciation in English is to learn the sounds of English. In the English language, there are 44 sounds, which include consonants, vowels, and diphthongs. As each of these sounds is produced in a different manner, it is crucial to learn how each of these sounds is produced properly. Make use of resources like phonetic charts or others online, which will help you know the sounds better.

Learn how to pronounce properly:

After you have started understanding the English language sounds, you must practice pronouncing words properly. You can achieve it on your own by listening to recorded talks/speeches of native speakers and mimicking the way they pronounce. You can take the help of a tutor or another person who is also learning English to give their views on the way you are pronouncing.

Make use of similar pairs:

Make use of minimal pairs (similar pairs), which are words where only one sound differs, such as ‘pain’ and ‘pane.’ When you use minimal pairs, you will be able to distinguish between similar-sounding words and make your pronunciation better. Practice minimal pairs by repeating the words and listening to recordings.

Make recordings of yourself:

Record yourself while speaking. This is a brilliant way to ascertain areas where improvement is needed. You need to record yourself while you speak and listen carefully to it. You will then know the areas where you must put effort, such as intonation, rhythm, or stress. You can take the help of a tutor or a native English speaker who will provide you feedback on the way you are pronouncing.

Pay attention when native English speakers talk:

The best way to improve the way you pronounce and your listening skills is to listen to native speakers English speakers talk. You can listen to English songs, movies, speeches, and news broadcasts, among others. It is a nice approach for you to know how to pronounce words and phrases properly.


For language learners, phonetics is an important field to study. When you understand the English sounds and practice pronunciation, your communication skills will improve generally. Make use of resources like minimal pairs, phonetic charts, and your own recordings to help you better your pronunciation. While you are at it, keep listening to recordings of native speakers and practice pronunciation regularly. With time and effort, your English pronunciation will improve gradually, and you will have achieved your goal of learning the English language.

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