Improve your pronunciation using Imitation

Lesson Overview

Being confident in English can change your life. And expressing yourself confidently is about so much more than just the words we say.

How do we show someone we are sad or angry, interested, curious, affectionate or surprised? How can we recognise when someone else is expressing these same feelings?

By adding stress, intonation, pause, tone and facial expression to the way we communicate, the person we are speaking to understands the emotion behind our words. These things allow us to be human, to express who we are, what we think and what we feel.

Pronunciation is important. It’s one of the biggest challenges that English learners face. But pronunciation is only one part of communicating clearly and confidently in English.

When you were a young child, you learned so many things by copying or imitating other people, starting with your parents. It’s how we all began learning our native languages.

Throughout your life, you have learned so much simply by imitating others.

Think about all those different scenes from your favourite movies that you acted out as a child! How about the songs you watched on MTV and know all the dance moves for?

Not only is copying others an effective way of learning how to express yourself, it can make you smile and laugh because it’s FUN! To improve your English quickly, you need to enjoy practicing it.

The Imitation Technique
I developed the Imitation Technique for you; to help you express who you are and what you feel, in English.

I want to help you discover the confident English-speaking version of you.

Practicing your English by imitating a native English speaker gives you the chance to perform in English. It’s like you become a native English speaker!

Like singing your favourite song or pretending to be your favourite actor in a movie, speaking English is a performance.

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.

By imitating the pronunciation, stress, pauses, intonation, facial expressions and gestures of native English speakers, you are teaching yourself to communicate in the most natural way.

Try out this lesson now and see what you think!

Video Transcript

Hello I’m Emma from mmmEnglish, helping you to build your confidence as an English speaker. In this video I have a very special lesson for you that’s using The Imitation Technique.

I also have something that’s very exciting to share at the end of this lesson so make sure you keep watching.

Practising with the imitation technique can dramatically improve your English communication skills.

It’s worked for thousands of my students already and it can work for you too!

Why? Because with this technique you learn to communicate with more than just words. Is clear pronunciation important when you’re speaking English?

Yes, of course it is!

But so is stress and intonation, so is using tone and body language to express your emotions and so is pause to create suspense or add emphasis. It’s not just what you say but how you say it in English.

With the imitation technique, you’ll learn how to perform English. It’s like an actor in the movies or a pop star singing on stage.

Are you ready to give it a try?

In this imitation lesson, you’ll hear me telling you a story. Listen to the tone and the intonation in my voice while I’m speaking. You’ll hear that I’m being supportive and I’m encouraging a friend to do something.

Here’s how it works, you’ll hear the same story three times. The first time you hear it, you’ll just need to listen and read. Listen to the topic, the vocabulary and my expression. You’re learning the script.

Then, you’ll hear the same script again but this time there will be a short pause after each clause or sentence. This is so that you can say it aloud, exactly as it was said in the recording. I want you to imitate me, to copy me, the native English speaker.

The last step is the most challenging one. Try to shadow me while I’m speaking. Perform each sentence, with the same expression and intonation, while I’m speaking.

If you don’t shadow me perfectly, don’t worry! It’s meant to be a challenge. But this step is really important, it helps you to practise all of these skills in a different way.

OK, it’s time to give it a try! Good luck! You can do this.


This is step number one, listen and read.

You know what? I think you should just go for it! I mean, what have you got to lose?

You’ve got plenty of experience and nobody is more passionate about this kind of work than you. Just because you don’t have a degree shouldn’t make a difference. I mean, you’ve been doing this for real for so much longer than anyone who’s just come out of university.

Besides, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They might turn you down, but who cares? It’s not like you really need this job.

But imagine if you get it! Living on an island, going for a swim every morning before work, eating fresh fruit and seafood every day! I think you should just go for it!

Then I can come and visit you! What if I help you? I could make you a logo or something? Or I could help you with your cover letter.

You’ve got to admit it’s pretty exciting and you’re perfect for this role. Come on! What do you think?!

Step Two.

Great! Now you’re ready to imitate the speaker.

Listen to the speaker and in the pause, repeat what they said exactly as they said it.

Step Three.

OK, you’re ready for a new challenge now!

Let’s try shadowing. Copy the speaker while they are speaking. Remember, don’t worry about your mistakes.

Awesome! Remember, practice makes perfect! So when you’re ready, try the next lesson. So, how did you go? Keep practising with this lesson until you look and you sound just like a native English speaker!

Before you go I want to share something super exciting with you!

My students have been having so much success with The Imitation Technique that I’ve created a whole new range of imitation lessons so that you can speak more confidently too!

In this new series of over 10 videos, there are different native speakers, there are different topics to talk about and there are vocabulary guides to help you study with every video lesson. This is your chance to improve the way that you speak English as fast as possible. To find these new lessons head over to my website at

Thank you for spending the time with me today practising your English.

I’ll see you on the next video lesson! Bye for now!

Links mentioned in the video

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