I've been learning English as a second language for years. I can read English articles without big problem. The problem is speaking. I am currently trying to improve my speaking English.

In a course, the teacher told me that I should change the pronunciation of a word to make it more smoothly, e.g, lot should pronounce like lod in following sentence: The second issue is that a lot of times I ended up having my repo in an inconsistent state. Also when I realise I could pronounce water like wader, it will be much easier to speak faster. Same situation in little. Though I have known some words like school, ski, skate long before.

Is there any mechanism to explain this? Or any rules to do it?

  • 2
    First learn to speak "proper" English distinctly. As you get comfortable with it you will learn to "round the edges" between words in a natural fashion, just as you instinctively do with your birth language. Don't push it, but let it happen.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 2:33
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    I agree with @HotLicks . There is a large amount of regional variance in our accents. A focus on tuning yourself to a specific one would not be a good use of your time. Maybe you will get the opportunity to visit somewhere in the UK or USA for at least several days. Then you can have fun tuning your speech as you interact with the locals. And don't be self-conscious about slow, formal speech. A lot of us will look at you with respect and think, "He's speaking English better than us!"
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 2:39
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    Native speakers pronounce little several ways, including: 1 using a glottal stop, 2 with a t-sound, 3 with an alveolar flap (kinda like a d-sound). The way to get better is increase your exposure to authentic real world English, such as TV, movies, speaking with native speakers and seek to copy their pronunciation. Or take intermediate to advanced pronunciation classes. You might want to check out Rachel's English on YouTube for free videos on pronouncing American English. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 3:37
  • Yes. My preference is American English for now. Thank you for your advices. I did come across Rachel's channel on Youtube and already subscribed.
    – dezhi
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


I would suggest you first do what works for you. Don't try these things because they are part of the culture or accent. As this is not your primary language, you should focus on being able to speak correct, even if you are speaking slowly. Once you are proficient, you could tweak your accent. It will be like using a different synonymous word when you change the accent/pronunciation. For e.g.: Consider the word schedule. It is pronounced differently in British and American dialects.

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