Many of my clients have asked about their English accent and how to keep it going strong, or even how to practise if they don’t have anyone to practise with. A good question!
The key is to continue to listen and mimic even if your accent is already good. Think about it. If you are talking to people who are native English speakers then you are continually reinforcing the sound of the accent when you hear them talk. You are continually, reinforcing your muscle memory for your English accent (if you are pronouncing it correctly) as you talk to them. Listen and mimic or practise using your English accent.
I have put down 5 things you can do to help you practise or maintain your English accent.
Practise or Maintain your English Accent
1. Of course the first recommendation is to continue to make your English accent stronger and better with my accent training courses (this is especially useful if you are in a non-English speaking country and have noone to practise with)- British , American, Australian. Even if your accent is already good, you can keep it good by periodically listening and repeating using the hundreds of sentences and the dialogues in the course.
2. Listen to podcasts in the English accent you need to maintain. But again only listening isn’t enough. You will need to mimic or repeat after them to keep your English accent pathways in the brain used and strong. You could listen to talk back radio, or conversation shows on the radio. There are plenty of podcasts you can access on the internet on all sorts of interesting topics as well.
3. Watch movies, DVDs, or TV shows in English. DVDs can have the subtitles on at first, and then watch again without the subtitles and mimic exactly. If you like TV comedy series shows you can mimic them as well. Just be careful you are mimicking the accent you want, and not an accent only from a particular region of the country.
4. If you are in an English speaking country, but still don’t have anyone to practise with at home or socially, make a concious effort to at least have a short conversation with people you do have to talk to. For instance with the ticket salesperson, or salesperson in a shop, or the person next to you on the bus. It isn’t easy I know, but you can always start by commenting positively on something they are wearing or something about their job etc.
If you have work colleagues who have a native English accent, really pay attention when they speak. Choose a word or phrase they say often and make sure you are saying it exactly how they say it. Once you have it, then choose another one etc.
5. Record yourself reading something in English aloud and listen to see if you are speaking with the English accent you want.
You can listen to the trainer in my course say a sentence, then record yourself saying the same sentence. Then, listen to yourself, and listen to them, and see how close you are or where you need to make changes.
I would love to know if you have other suggestions that you have found useful and that other people can use. Please write them in the comment section below.