Dear Auntie Betty, I am in Junior High School.
I love reading but sometimes when I come across a big word I find it difficult to pronounce it.
I am scared of making mistakes so I read silently just to prevent my friends from laughing at me.
What can I do to pronounce words correctly?
Dear Nelson, I am glad you love reading because reading is a very important activity that will increase your knowledge, vocabulary as well as improve your writing and communication skills.
You do not have to be scared of making mistakes or being taunted by your friends. We learn from our mistakes so once you make a mistake in your pronunciation, it serves as an opportunity to learn the correct pronunciation and that may even propel you to learn new words.
You could improve on your pronunciation by checking from the dictionary. If you are still not sure,
you could write the word (s) down and show it to your teacher or an elderly person to assist you.
You also have to listen to spoken English as often as possible. Listen to news broadcast in English and look out for programmes on radio and TV networks that teach English pronunciation.
You should also learn the phonetic alphabet. You may find the phonetic alphabet in some good dictionaries.
The advancement of technology has also made it possible to pronounce words correctly. There are various apps and videos that teach how to pronounce words.
The Internet dictionaries also have an audio version that pronounces the words for you when you are in doubt. They give you both the American and British pronunciation.
You could also talk to your parents to get you some of these resources to help in your pronunciation.
Do not stop reading. It is one of the best things to do in life.
I wish you the very best.