Can you communicate in English?
Almost all English learners say “I don’t need to study pronunciation. I just want to communicate in English.” Many of them think that they can communicate in English because they can communicate with their teacher and other students.
Do not make this mistake! You have to remember that:
- Your teacher has been listening to bad English for years. He or she can understand it much more easily than the average person.
- Other students are usually from the same country as you. Therefore, they speak English like you and they make the same mistakes. So it is easy for them to understand you.
The only true test is: Go to America or Britain and try to talk to “normal people” — a clerk at a supermarket, a bus driver, etc. If they can understand you, then you can say that you can communicate in English.
Unfortunately, many learners ignore pronunciation. They can communicate in class, so they think that they are good enough. After a few years they go to England or the USA and nobody understands what they are saying.
Communication is not enough
If you can communicate in English with people from other countries, congratulations! It’s a big achievement. Now you should ask yourself two questions:
- Is my English easy to understand?
- Is my English pleasant to listen to?
If you speak English with a strong foreign accent, you are making things difficult for people who listen to you. If understanding your English takes effort or your accent is unpleasant, people will avoid talking to you if they have the choice.