The very first thing to remember is that it’s difficult to avoid mistakes altogether. Be realistic: we all make mistakes from time to time, even when speaking in our own mother tongue. But as they say ‘the sky is the limit’, so have a look at the article below to find useful tips on how to avoid making mistakes.
As we said in the beginning, it is important to allow yourself to make mistakes. You don’t fail when you make a mistake, you get an opportunity to learn something new. So every time you make a mistake, don’t block yourself. If it’s a common mistake that you repeat constantly, it can be a good idea to a write down the correct version or some kind of a reminder and put it in front of you.
What type of mistakes are you making? Grammar? Phonetics? Ask your teacher to point out some of your usual mistakes. And instead of simply trying hard to avoid it, it’s worth to try to understand the reason why you are still making it. You might not be sure about some grammar or phonetic rule. Once you know the reason, it’s easier to cure and avoid naturally in the future.
Ask for help
Ask your teacher to analyse what kind of mistakes you are making. There are different types of mistakes. Some linguists distinguish two types of them: things you have learnt and are using incorrectly and things you still don’t know but are trying to improvise with the language. There are also those mistakes that happen because you are influenced by your mother tongue – the so-called “false friends”. With your teacher’s help, try to understand the source of your mistakes.
Keep an eye on….
In English there are some tricky sounds that might be difficult for a non-native English speakers, e.g. the short and long [i], [i:] or the ‘th’ sound.
Check out these links from BBC.
For beginners it’s nice to get the idea and detailed explanation of particular articulations.
And here, for the more advanced learners, ‘pronunciation in context’.