Would you like to speak English naturally? Have you been told that you won’t be able to speak English well because you didn’t start learning when you were a child? Have you been told that you won’t be able to pronounce English words correctly because you speak Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Vietnamese, or another language? Well, that is nonsense. You can!
The difference between a native speaker of a language and a student is accent and instinct. Native speakers have grown up in the environment of their first language. All grammar, sentence construction and language “rules” come naturally. Their accent also comes naturally. As a student of a language it is your job to learn these rules and adopt the accent the best way you can to be understood by natives. Have you ever noticed that actors can learn different accents? They do it because they have to. There are dozens of English accents and actors need to learn them or guess what? They don’t get the job!
I have found during 10 years of teaching English that if students can hear English sounds clearly, they can usually produce them. I include pronunciation (including stress, intonation, timing and rhythm) in my English classes and I find that students are very good at repeating words, groups of words, and sentences after me. It takes practice of course. They don’t get it right first time.
I say a few words from a sentence and they repeat after me. Then, I repeat a few more and they repeat after me. We continue like this until I have said the whole sentence and they have repeated it and got it right. My students are from all around the world: Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. They get it right, they sound great, and they know it! You can get it right too. You just have to imitate native speakers often. Choose a TV series that you enjoy, like FRIENDS. Then: listen, pause the film, and repeat. Listen, pause, and repeat. Listen, pause, and repeat. Copy not just the sounds, but how they speak. It’s not necessary for me to give technical advice now about how to get the stress and rhythm exactly right. Keep it simple. Listen, pause, and repeat. You will know when you’ve got it right. You could record yourself, and check how you sound.
An added bonus of imitating native speakers is that you will learn English naturally. Do it as often as possible and it will become automatic. You don’t have to think about grammar.
I have found a FRIENDS video to get you started, but there are thousands of suitable videos online. Have fun while you improve your English!