As an ESL speaker, you can have a strong accent and still be perfectly well understood. It is not the accent that you need to address but rather you need to practice and try to perfect the different sounds in the English language which your native tongue does not possess. That, and good grammar, will get you along nicely without having to change your accent. As you become familiar with different sounds and are able to master them, your accent will necessarily be reduced.
Some tips for reducing you accent
Here are some tips for reducing your accent in a way that makes you more understandable to native speakers
- Go online and study the video lessons which address your specific pronunciation issues. These videos demonstrate with clear diagrams the mouth and tongue positions your need to make certain sounds. Use this and other software to help you with pronunciation.
- Focus on sounds you find difficult. Try online accent reduction exercises and note the words with these sounds when you read or watch TV and movies.
- Read aloud.
- You share the same sound problems with other students who speak the same native language as you. Get together with these students and practice sounds you find difficult.
- Listen to native English speakers, on television, movies or those that you encounter in your daily life. You will notice things like stress and intonation with particular words..
- Don’t speak fast. Speak slowly, and consider your pronunciation. You will speed up eventually.
- Let native speakers know that you are wanting to be corrected with your pronunciation, or if they cannot understand you. Ask what it is that they cannot understand and what is the correct way of sounding out a word or syllable.
It is not the accent that you need to address but rather you need to practice and try to perfect the different sounds in the English language which your native tongue does not possess. Keep your accent, but make yourself understandable in English.