Speaking with Rhythm
Answering a listening question, I give my advice on how you can improve your English rhythm and flow when talking.
Here’s a summary of my advice, but listen to the whole episode to get more detail.
How to Learn English Word Stress
Word stress is very important when you want to sound natural and improve your rhythm.
When it comes to stress, I would recommend not getting too caught up in the rules of each word – it’s impossible to remember it all. Just make a conscious effort to copy what native speakers say with exactly the same tone and pitch (depending on your native language, it might sometimes sound like singing!)
Learn Whole Sentences
Avoid learning single words without context. Just like Chinese tones, the way English moves up and down and flows from one word to the next is unique and cannot be learnt by stringing individual words together.
Do you want to go? = Dju wanna go?
You must have been tired = You mustuv been tired
Wait here for a bit = Wait here furabit
Get Lots of Listening Practice
It’s a long process, but exposing yourself to natural speech will get you used to the sounds. Many learners find their pronunciation (such as vowel sounds and rhythm) improve other time without them even realising. Just have faith that it is getting better.
Speaking and practising longer collocations will help cement them in your mind. With my Japanese, I found I used to always say things word for word, but now I can say an entire sentence without thinking because it’s a commonly used collocation.
Record Your Voice
Record your voice and hear where you need to improve. Also, try talking to yourself when cooking a meal or something similar. Then you can practise that flow and rhythm while you go about your life.