accent reduction

 In Accents and Pronunciation, Grammar

There are many courses for accent reduction.  They are both online and offered by colleges.  Accent reduction does not mean eliminating accents entirely.  What an accent reduction course will offer are ways to reduce your accent so that you are understandable in the language you have chosen to learn.

accent reduction tips

There are some practical ways that you can reduce your accent without having to do a course.  Here are some tips:

  1. Observe the mouth movements of native speakers when they say certain words that you struggle with.  Try to copy those mouth movements when they say these words
  2. Slow your speech right down until you are confident that you are speaking in a way that is understandable.
  3.  Study the rhythms of the language, which will be different to your language.  Study the intonation the native speakers use when they talk.
  4. Learn phonetic symbols so that you can ‘see’ how words sound when you refer to a dictionary.
  5. Ask a native English speaker to sound out those words which you are having difficulty with.
  6. Take out some audio books on subjects that you like – fiction or non-fiction – from your library. Read the same book with the audio book running at the same time.  Read out loud if necessary, and compare how you say words to how the audio voice speaks them.
  7. Pronounce the ending of each word.
  8. Take time to read aloud in English.
  9.  Pay attention to ‘s’ and ‘ed’ endings, which are unfamiliar to you.  If you sound them out you will develop those mouth muscles that are used when pronouncing these word endings.
  10. Watch TV and employ all the above tips for studying mouth movements, intonation, rhythm etc.
  11. Listen to recordings of your voice when speaking English, and record again if you are dissatisfied.  Practice makes perfect.

Accent reduction does not happen overnight, but if you are willing to work at it, you can focus on the parts of accent reduction which make you less understandable to native speakers around you.

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