When I meet people, Filipinos and Japanese alike; students or not, I am always asked about how I acquire my English Pronunciation. My answer to this question is always the same: I taught myself.
When I was a senior High school student, I could not speak English the way I do now, much less sounded the way I do now. I only started getting serious about learning to speak English and sounding right when I was a senior high school student. Just like every Filipino English teacher, I also started my training by watching movies. The first movie I saw for this endeavor was “Pretty Woman” by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, and the first word that made an impression on me, which was why I repeated it many times, was “understand”. The rest is history.
But, in school, I would get criticized by my classmates for the way I spoke English. They thought I was overdoing it and was being pretentious. I took their criticisms as a challenge, pushed ahead, and I was not wrong.
Until now, I have never stopped finding ways to improve myself. I constantly check if there is something to be improved in my sounds by recording myself, listening to it, and making objective judgments. I suppose this tendency is due to my being a perfectionist; the perpetual desire to achieve something perfect or close to perfect. No wonder my motto is “practice makes perfect”.