Here are the 10 best tips to reduce your accent….
1. The sound (th) is one of the most important and most difficult to pronounce in English. It is important because it is present in 80% of English dialogue. So when you are correct – you will sound much clearer. It is difficult to master the muscle movement involved. To pronounce (th) put your tongue between your teeth and breathe out. Hint: Remember to feel the vibration of the th (voiceless) against your tongue. It is much more important to get the tongue placement between the teeth for [th] voiceless and [th] voiced than to say them differently
2. The rhythm of your words in English is just as important as the pronunciation of sounds – master your rhythm by stressing each word on the right syllable – and reducing the remaining syllables. Stress only ONE syllable in each word. Most English words have one main stress point. The remaining vowels are de-stressed or lose their sound (schwa).
3. Hint: 80% of 2 SYLLABLE English words are accented on the first syllable
4. Hint: To learn to de-stress syllables correctly, you must make these syllables shorter and softer in volume than the stressed ones.
5. Hint: When the SAME word is used both as a noun and a verb…
On the NOUN: Stress the first syllable
On the VERB: Stress the second syllable
6. Pronounce ALL consonants clearly-especially word endings
7. Use the tip of the tongue precisely for all consonants (except ‘k’, ‘g’ and ‘ing’.) The consonants t/d/l/n/th/r/s/sh/z/ch/ and /j/ – are all pronounced with the tip of the tongue at the front of the mouth. To slide more easily from one sound to another in an English word or sentence – keep your jaw almost closed and your tongue forward in your mouth.
8. Front of the mouth – Remember to keep the jaw somewhat closed while speaking English.
9. Stress the words that carry the message of your sentence and de-stress the linking words.
10. An “up and down” intonation pattern will help you sound friendlier and more interesting.
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