You may fail to pronounce grammatical word endings in American English. Or if you do pronounce them, you may not pronounce these sounds correctly. An example of a grammatical word ending is the plural “s” ending. The plural -s ending may be pronounced as a “s” as in “books,” it may be pronounced as a “z” as in “cars,” and it may be pronounced with an additional syllable as in “pieces.”
During TOEFL iBT speaking, you will be judged partly in terms of whether or not you have clear pronunciation and whether or not any of your pronunciation obscures meaning. Thus, if you pronounce grammatical word endings clearly, you will be more intelligible during TOEFL iBT speaking, thus improving your chances of getting a higher score. However, if you pronounce the word “piece” when you actually mean “pieces,” the listener will think you are referring to a singular noun instead of a plural one. From this example, you can see how pronunciation may sometimes obscure meaning.
You may be having trouble with this area of pronunciation since many languages do not have the same types of grammatical word endings that English has. For example, Chinese does not have the plural -s ending, so it is likely that these speakers may transfer this rule into the English language. And even if you do remember, you may not know how to produce the sound.
So that you can succeed on the TOEFL iBT and so that you will be understood by native speakers or American English, you must improve your pronunciation in this area. Most likely, you may need help from an ESL language specialist since may non-native speakers are unable to evaluate their own pronunciation strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, take whatever steps you think are necessary to make sure you do not have problems in this area.
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