How can I sound like a native English Speaker?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,285 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2016 in Speaking

Speaking like a native English speaker for your IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC test

Many students wish they could speak like a native English speaker.  The problem is, which accent? British? American? Australian? South African? New Zealand?  

The fact is you do not need to sound like a native English speaker to score high on test day.  What you do need to be is understandable.

One great way to improve your pronunciation is to listen to and read along with professional speakers in a video with transcripts.  Professional speakers are usually very good examples of pronunciation.  

1. Listen to the interview below - we have added the transcript below in the comments box.  
2. Try to read along with the speakers. 

As you read/listen, take note of their fluency and pronunciation.  Take note of the words (vocabulary) they use.  Their grammar is also excellent.


  • ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,285 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2016
    After you have listened once, click 'show' to reveal the transcript.  Try to read along with both speakers!

    INTERVIEWER: Ken Robinson, you tell the stories of a number of famous people whose traditional education failed to help them identify their real talents before they went on to brilliant careers, Paul McCartney, for instance: you say he went through his entire education without anyone noticing he had any musical talent at all. Are you saying that's a common story?

    KEN ROBINSON: Yes. I mean, I don't mean to say that you have to have failed at school before you can be a success, but an awful lot of people who did well after school didn't do well in school. Paul McCartney went to school in Liverpool and, as you say, he went through the whole of his education there and nobody thought he had any musical talent. One of the other people in the same music group - music class - was George Harrison, the lead guitarist of The Beatles, and he went through school as well and nobody noticed had any talent. So I was saying this recently that this one teacher in Liverpool in the '50s had half The Beatles in his class and he missed it. And the point about this is that, you know, talent is often buried deep; it's not lying around on the surface, but our education systems at the moment are still very focused on a certain type of ability, and the result is very many brilliant people are marginalised by the whole process.

    INTERVIEWER: But it's also true that we can't all be Paul McCartney or some other famous person with a brilliant career ahead of us. But are you saying that there is a sweet spot in all of us where our talents intersect with our passions and that that is not being mined, is not being found, is not being looked for?

    KEN ROBINSON: Yes, that's exactly the point. And, the thing is, I've interviewed a lot of people for the book, and, you know, there was a time when Paul McCartney, so to speak, was not Paul McCartney. You know, it isn't that all these people were born as celebrities; they achieved some celebrity because of pursuing their own particular talent and their passion.

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