Recently a client emailed me with the following concern:
He asked whether he would only be able to use his new accent when he was using the specific material and sentences etc from our Speak More Clearly English accent training course.
He was worried that it wouldn’t generalise into his everyday speech when he used other words, sentences and phrases that weren’t in the course.
He also asked me if I could suggest a solution as well.
This was a great question, and I would like to thank him for it.
If you have this concern too, keep reading.
Usually, if you practise enough, the new neurological pathways for the sound of your new English accent, and mouth muscle memory, kick in and you naturally begin to carry it over into your everyday talking.
Sometimes, you may need to consciously help yourself use a particularly difficult, or different feature of English pronunciation in your everyday speech.
Yes sometimes people learn clear English pronunciation in a course or teaching situation, and then don’t carry it over to their everyday speech and conversations as well.
If someone is a great mimic then they need to just put on the accent when speaking to others even if it isn’t perfect. As they do this, they will fine tune their clear speech, and it will become their new way of speaking with clear English pronunciation.
Clear English Pronunciation. Make it Work For You.
Not everyone is a natural mimic. So I suggest you choose a clear English pronunciation element you have been practising. Then, use the new way whenever you speak to others or begin by using it in short sentences with others.
For example choose a particular sound- maybe the /r/ sound. Use it when you buy a train ticket, or order something in a shop etc.
Concentrate on this one element till you are using it all the time, and then do the same with something else.
You could choose to master another sound, or it could be practising one of the components of English melody and stress patterns:
- stressing main meaning words in sentences
- practising which syllables are stressed and unstressed in multi-syllabic words
- linking and elision
There is plenty of practise material in the Speak More Cleary accent training programs here so you can use your clear English pronunciation in everyday situations for mastery.
Another speech element you could choose could be vocal tone, for example the vocal tone and pitch in German is much lower than in English.
More Ways To Make Your Clear English Pronunciation Work For You.
- Put notes on your computer at work, or other relevant places to remind you to use it when you speak to others. Don’t be afraid to speak slightly more slowly to help yourself do this. No one will notice you have slowed down a little.
- In the morning you could decide which situations you are going to consciously use your new clear English pronunciation in and actually do that.
- You can listen to the audio trainer, record yourself saying the sentence etc then compare your production with the trainers in the course. Continue to repeat this process till you get closer and closer to the trainer’s version.
- Find someone who wants a language exchange and have a conversation with them once a week. You would of course ask them to support you with your clear English pronunciation instead of your English language skills. You can help them speak your native language better!
NOTE: It is important to tell them specifically which speech element they have to listen out for otherwise they won’t know what to help you with.
For example, you could say “if I don’t use an English /r/ sound when I am speaking please stop me and point out the word I said incorrectly.”
Or you could say “ if I stress the wrong syllable in one of the words I say (if a long word I say doesn’t sound right), could you please stop me and tell me which word it was, and tell me how to say it.”
Enjoy mastering your clear English pronunciation!