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Are you afraid to speak in public?
You can improve your English accent in 6 easy steps.
Are you ashamed of your accent?
Do people have to ask you “can you repeat that please?”
You can do it at ANY age, 15, 65, or 72.
How to Improve your English Accent in 6 Easy Steps:
First of all, look at an interactive phonemic chart & learn to properly pronounce the vowel and consonant sounds.
- What is that? The interactive phonemic chart for English has all of the sounds of American English in a handy chart. Click on the symbol and listen to the sounds. Try practicing this and repeating this over and over again. Keep practicing until you can properly say all of the phonetic sounds!
Learn about linking.
- Linking is VERY important for spoken English. Basically it is when we link sounds together instead of fully pronouncing each word, separately. If you’re curious about linking, check out this awesome TED talk, that explains this concept and the next concept: stress. Linking is VERY important because it can change meaning, a lot!
Learn about proper stresses in words.
- Every word that has two or more syllables in English, has a specific stress. This means that we pronounce the word higher, louder, and often longer than the other syllables in the word. Stresses can be primary, secondary, or even tertiary (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Stresses can apply to single words or entire sentences. To find out more again look at the TED talk, she does a good job explaining the concept with her kid’s “Spaghetti” story.
Learn to take notes.
- When you learn a new word or phrase in English, write it down. Look at the linking, the vowel sounds, the stresses in the word (and in the sentence), and other random notes. Sometimes vowel or consonant sounds change in relation to the word that follows it. The “t” sound often changes to the “d” sound in American English. Check out Rachel’s English on youtube, she explains very well how to make each sound, and she does a similar note-taking technique.
Listen and Repeat.
- To really make a difference you have to listen to a native speaker say the word or phrase, and then repeat it. You can record yourself talking, and listen for any differences. Keep repeating phrases you hear on TV or the internet. You can even load recordings of yourself onto Reddit /r/JudgeMyAccent, and ask others for help.
Finally, practice….a lot.
- So I know I said that ANYONE can improve their English accent, at ANY age. But the truth is, most people will not. Most people will focus on it, until they get distracted on something else. I don’t want you to be that person! So to you I say, practice practice practice. The ONLY way you will get better is to keep trying. Sheri Summers, an accent coach offers an American English Accent course. A course can keep you motivated to practice.
Moral of the story:
These concepts are difficult to understand, and even more difficult to employ. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, try a course to keep you on track.
Remember you CAN do this, you just need to put your heart into it.