Prick up your ears! Before you start actively training your pronunciation, it is essential to expose yourself to as much German language input as possible. Podcasts, movies, or audio books are effective and entertaining aids in developing a feeling for the sound, rhythm, and intonation of spoken language.
The Usual Suspects
It is worth the effort to devote some extra time to isolating and practicing the sounds that are likely to cause the most trouble for you. These are usually the ones that are not present in your own language. A classic example is the English "th" sound that drives many students of that language to despair.
Vocabulary & Pronunciation
When memorizing new words and phrases, try to always simultaneously learn their proper pronunciation and then speak them out loud. This will not only improve your pronunciation, but it will also help you remember the vocabulary later. If you are not sure how to pronounce something, simply look it up in an online dictionary or download a dictionary app for your smartphone or tablet.
The Parrot Method
Listening to and trying to imitate native speakers with regional dialects and accents can provide valuable guidance in your language training. Find a video or sound recording of a native speaker and try to replicate their accent as accurately as possible. You will find out how good your parroting skills are when you record and listen to your results!
If you want to improve your pronunciation, it is essential that you listen to yourself talking. The easiest way to do this is by recording yourself with your smartphone while you practice. Afterwards, you should listen to these recordings and take note of sounds that you mispronounce most frequently.
Poems and Songs
Memorizing and reciting poetry is an excellent way of developing an ear for the sound, intonation, and rhythm of the German language. The same goes for pop songs, although you should be careful to choose ones where the focus is on the lyrics instead of the music.
No, we are not talking about the popular type of craft beer but the "International Phonetic Alphabet"! It is used to transcribe words into phonetic code, which makes it possible to record their correct pronunciation in writing. As most school books and dictionaries include phonetic transcriptions of the vocabulary, it can be very helpful to be able to read these.
Tongue twisters are often designed by stringing together sounds that are either hard to enunciate or very similar in their pronunciation. That is why they offer great opportunities for working on your pronunciation while also having tons of fun! It is most enjoyable and motivating if you can find other language learners that join you in this activity.
Tandem Partner & Stay Abroad
Undoubtedly, talking to native speakers is by far the best and fastest route to perfecting your pronunciation. The more often you enter into an actual, real-world conversation with someone from an German-speaking country the better! Use apps or university websites to find tandem partners around where you live, take part in a student exchange program, or go and live abroad for some time.