Speak English like an American
In America, English is the language used by its nationals to communicate. For TALK students who have decided to study English in the United States, learning not only the language but how to speak like a native is why you have chosen to have the study-abroad experience. Here are some tips that will help you understand and speak English like an American.
Tip #1 – Record Your Voice: There are many audio devices you can select from. One of the best ways to learn how to speak like an American is by reading aloud, and recording your voice, and then playing your recording back to yourself. By hearing your spoken English, you can identify what you are saying wrong, correct and perfect your pronunciation. Practising your spoken English this way is an excellent way to improve it.
Tip #2 – Use Audio CD’s For Mastering American Accents: Another approach when learning to master the American accent is to use audio books. Check with your local library for audio books produced for ESL students and other English language learners. These specially designed audio books will run you through different exercises that enable you to speak English with an American accent.
Tip #3 – Use an American Idioms Dictionary: As you will quickly become aware, there are many slang words that Americans use in everyday spoken English, whose meanings it may take a while for you to understand. This is where an ‘American Idioms’ dictionary comes in handy! This type of dictionary provides a comprehensive reference when it comes to common phrases, idioms, and American English sayings, and helps you to understand the living language better.
Tip #4 – Intonation: Intonation is often the hardest thing that ESL students find about learning to speak English. Intonation is about distinguishing the pitch of spoken words as well as how different parts of the word are emphasised over others. Take the opportunity to mix with the local native speakers and notice the way they talk. Watch movies and learn how native speakers use inflections, emphasis and pitch in their voice as a way to change meanings, get attention or make a point.