Basic Diction Exercices

NaturalReader is particularly helpful for exercises 2, 3 and 4

Exercise 2 : Words that are difficult to pronounce

When I have trouble pronouncing a word, I ask someone to write it in a special notebook of words that are difficult to pronounce.

Here are some examples: agglomeration, paradoxically, schizophrenia, municipality, Gugliéminetti, etc (this method can also be used with easier words)

With NaturalReader’s speech synthesizer, words are repeated one at a time as is shown in the figure below.  There are different speed settings.  I use speech rate minus -2.

Repeating the same words several times increases the chances of mastering the correct pronunciation (see figures below)

In my experience, it is best to try pronouncing the word before turning on the speech synthesizer.   Then I pronounce the word with the synthesizer.  I stop it mid-way and try to pronounce the word.  Once the synthesizer is done, I once again pronounce the word 3 or 4 times.

Throughout the exercise, it is important to look at the word in order to memorize its spelling.  For example, if you can clearly recall the ‘ni’ in municipality, pronouncing the word is no longer a problem.


exercices de dictione. 1jpg


The periods serve as stops for the speech synthesizer so that the reader does not read the series of words as a sentence.

Breaking Down Difficult Words

Words that are more difficult to pronounce can be practiced in segments, as illustrated in the example below.

Mot difficile


Exercise 3 : Classic Diction Phrases

Ex : Two to two to Toulouse?.

These phrases can be found on many websites.

The speech synthesizer helps you achieve good pronunciation.  You start the exercise at slow speed and then begin accelerating the cadence.

The following Web addresses could be useful:

Several videos for pronouncing difficult words and longer sentences.
Some of them include ENGLISH TONGUE TWISTER
Sentences can be read and repeated, or a speech synthesizer with variable speeds can be used.
Finally, advice on good pronunciation which will help to be understood by other people.

English Pronunciation Practice: 15 Difficult Words in English (3:25)

How to pronounce difficult words in English (2:54)

Therapy for Reading Impairment-2 Syllable non-words List 1 (0:59)

50 Difficult Words to Pronounce

English Tongue Twisters

Do You Mumble: Speech Exercises to Cure Mumbling (5:26)

Exercise 4 : Rapid Pronunciation

The goal is to try to speak at increasing speeds using sentences that are not too difficult to pronounce.  You can start with a speech synthesizer set at -2 speed and go past +1.  This exercise promotes speech fluidity.  It is a good idea to record yourself to see the results.

These websites give examples of high speech rates:

Learn English with Tongue Twisters (3:13)

15 Fun Alliterative Tongue Twisters