Improve your English pronunciation tenfold with this simple tip.

The phonetic symbol; /ə/ or schwa, is a common problem for many Italian speakers of English. Given most words in the Italian language end in a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), the tendency is to add this /ə/ sound to replace the missing vowel sound, used in Italian.

By cutting this sound, dropping it from the end of the word, will improve your pronunciation tenfold. It isn't easy to achieve but one method is to record yourself speaking. Notice when you use this sound so you are conscious of it. Replay your recording and announce where you need to 'cut' the sound. 

Re-record yourself speaking for a second time and practice omitting that schwa out of your speech! Note words you find particularly difficult and practice them specifically after the activity.

For more speaking tips, check this out:


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Apr 21, 2017 5:17 PM
Comments · 1

I've only worked with a couple of Italian speakers, but this issue of adding schwas comes up every, single time, even with people whose English is quite advanced.

I wondered what was causing the problem. We have enough trouble trying to get learners to use schwas in weak forms and unstressed syllables. Then the Italians use them everywhere, apart from where they're supposed to! Useful to know that it's related to how the sound system works in Italian. 

Nice tip.

April 25, 2017