So what is 80% of the road to success in English accent reduction?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the sounds, stress patterns etc that you may need to work on for your accent reduction?
It’s natural to feel this, but 80% of the road to success for clear English speech, is to just take the first step.
You might say, OK well that’s obvious. But when you take the first step you need to really take it!
You need to commit to sounding different. I have worked with students who are willing to sound different in a lesson. Then, the next time I speak to them, they aren’t trying to use their new pronunciation.
Just taking the first step to really sound different in English, makes all the difference!
Break it down. Choose 1 thing. Work on it. Use it.
Really commit to sounding different and your mouth moving differently when you speak.
For example, one of the differences between the Chinese ‘sh’ sound, and the English ‘sh’ is where you put your tongue in your mouth while letting the air out the front of your mouth- this also changes the sound of the air. So if you want to sound clearer you have to really change things in your mouth and not just do things the way you have always done.
Just one key English pronunciation change makes a difference to the listener understanding you the first time. Changing 2 key speech accent elements makes even more difference to your accent reduction!
If you don’t know what those key accent reduction elements are for your own English pronunciation, you can always get a speech assessment to guide you, so you can target key accent reduction elements.
English Accent Reduction Practise tips
1) Take the time to record yourself and compare your speech production with the trainer in our course. Do this several times if you need to so you are getting closer to the trainer’s speech each time. One of our students who speaks 5 languages said she does this over and over every time she learns a new language. Her speech in English is very clear.
Keep your recordings at first so you can notice how much you’re improving.
2) Start with an accent reduction speech element that is tricky for you, but start with a simple one. Your English language may be good, but your mouth needs to get used to moving differently.
Start with a sound you know you can’t say well- especially a vowel sound– or a consonant you know you can’t say in English words. You are changing the way you organise your mouth to go from sound to sound.
3) Choose a phrase or word to practise and speak aloud to yourself at home as you make dinner, as you comb your hair, as you get dressed, as you do the dishes etc. Say it over and over to make it automatic.
As I said before just changing one element makes a huge difference!
So, really as with anything new, I hope I have inspired you by realising that 80% of the road to success is to just take the first step.
Best wishes, Esther