Accent Reduction Tip 1- a trick to help you pronounce the voiced and voiceless ‘th’ sounds more easily
Besides holding your tongue out between your teeth long enough, and not flicking it back too quickly, there’s also another tip you need to know.
As you hold your tongue out between your top and bottom teeth, you also need to consciously make it 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.
Accent Reduction Tip 2 – Using the ‘dark /l/’ sound makes 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’.
The dark /l/ is mostly used when there is a consonant before or after it, 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.
Accent Reduction Tip 3 – Create a new audio recording in your head
Alfred Tomatis a famous Ear, Nose and Throat doctor said ” What the ear can hear, the voice can reproduce.”
When you want to sound like a native English speaker, or if you want to speak English more clearly, you need to build a ‘recording’ or auditory image in your brain to refer to when you want to know how a word or sentence needs to be pronounced. You do this by listening, and listening, and listening to a native English speaker or trainer. You need to expose and immerse the auditory centres of your brain to the sound and nuances of the accent or pronunciation you are aiming for.
Most of us can call up in our minds the sound and accent of our parent’s speech patterns, and how they sound. Just like that, you need to make a strong ‘picture’ or recording of how English sounds. This makes it easier and quicker to sound more like a native English speaker.
Accent Reduction Tip 4 – be patient and persistent
Some customers 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.
Accent Reduction Tip 5- Ideas To Make Your New English Pronunciation Automatic
- write out a list of sentences that you have to use often at work or socially, and use those to practise
- 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.
- 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 and focus on saying what you are working on correctly, whenever it comes up in the text.