VIDEO: 4 Accent Reduction Tips – Speak English Confidently
Hi it’s Esther here from the Speak More Clearly Accent reduction courses. I am going to go through 4 accent reduction tips that will make a difference to your clear English speech.
4 Accent Reduction Tips:
Tip 1: is a tip to help you pronounce the ‘th’ sound more easily
First, you need to hold your tongue out between your teeth long enough.
Most people who are learning the ‘th’ sound tend to pull the tongue back into their mouth too quickly to get to the next sound.
For example they may say think (quickly). You need to give the ‘th’ it’s full worth and let enough air out first over your tongue before you move to the next sound.
So it’s think – I think so;
It’s not through (quickly) – it’s through- go through there;
it’s not thank (quickly) it’s thank – thank you.
Secondly, as you hold your tongue out between your top and bottom teeth, you also need to consciously make it a bit flat or wider.
This makes it easier to send the air out over your tongue so it sounds like a proper ‘th’ sound.
You may need to just stick your tongue out between your teeth at first without making a sound, and practise making the front of your tongue flat or wide.
You could do this in front of a mirror at first to help you get the positioning and feel of it.
Tip 2: is about using the dark /l/ sound to make it easier to speak more quickly.
The light /l/ – the one up behind the top front teeth,
is mostly used at the beginning of words,
or when the /l/ has a vowel before and after it, and in some common endings such as ‘ly’.
For example look, follow, quickly.
The dark /l/ is mostly used when there is a consonant before or after the /l/, and when the /l/ comes at the end of a word. When you use the dark /l/ in these instances, it makes it easier to get from one sound to the other in a word and to sound more natural.
For example in the word almost, we don’t say almost we say almost.
It’s as if you say the short ‘u’ sound and then quickly and lightly make the front /l/ sound.
He almost dropped it. Don’t overdo the short ‘u’, but say it quickly and move to the /l/.
Another example is felt. It’s not ‘felt’ but felt, felt.
He felt very well.
An example of the dark /l/ at the end of words is the word fell. We don’t say fell , but we say fell.
He fell on the mattress. We don’t say hall, but we say hall.
Go down the hall.
Tip 3: is to be patient and persistent with yourself.
Some of our students have emailed me to say they have used my accent reduction course for a couple of weeks,
and haven’t gained a complete English accent yet. Your mental attitude is important.
Of course it takes time to acquire a new accent. You need to be patient with yourself and persistent, and notice the gains you are making along the way with your practise.
You didn’t learn to speak your Mother Tongue in a matter of weeks.
Work on one or two speech elements at a time, and when you have consolidated them into your everyday speech, then move on to practise something else.
Otherwise nothing becomes automatic. After all your mouth needs to learn to move in a different way from the way it usually moves.
Tip 4: is about how to make your new English Pronunciation automatic.
Follow these fantastic accent reduction tips and they will make all the difference.
Write out a list of sentences that you have to use often at work or socially, and use those to practise,
especially if there are words you always find difficult to say, or longer words that are difficult.
Break down the difficult words into sections , and say them slowly for a few days.
Then put them together and say the word over and over to help your mouth coordinate itself for the correct movements.
Write out dialogues and conversations that you often use at work, maybe with customers or in meetings or on the phone, and practise those.
Practise every day for 2-3 weeks, or until you are happy with how you sound when you listen to yourself saying them in a recording of yourself.
Don’t forget to practise saying your name if it isn’t a common one for the country you live in (the trick here is to say it slower), and the name of your work place or company. Take a book, newspaper or magazine and read aloud to yourself every day for a few minutes, and focus on saying what you are working on correctly, whenever it comes up in the text.
I hope you have found these accent reduction tips helpful. What video do you want to see next? Comment below to tell me.
For more information on how you too can speak more clearly in English, click on the accent you desire below.