If English isn’t your first language, and you want to speak more clearly in English, there are some easy steps you can take.
Let’s first look at the goal. I believe that is isn’t necessary to sound completely North American. You can be proud of your accent – yes, PROUD! It tells people about your culture – and that you speak two or even three languages. The goal of accent reduction is to sound clear and confident, and to eliminate communication barriers.
The first step is to establish what sounds,(consonant and vowel sounds) rhythms (word rhythm and sentence flow), and tones ( intonation) you will need to change, to sound clear in English. You won’t necessarily need an entire course in accent reduction – just in the areas specific to your speech.
Next— learn the new changes one by one, not all at once—and spend time practicing the muscle changes and auditory changes necessary to make the new patterns permanent. For each sound – start off practicing in single words, then build to sentences and then conversation.
Finally—BE BRAVE – use the new changes in your daily conversations. They will seem awkward to you at first, and you may feel as if you sound like “ someone else”, but that just because you’re not used to talking with the changes. Gradually you will adapt, and your reward will be that people will stop asking you to repeat yourself.
Good luck! If you have any questions please e mail me at Bonnie@speechscience.com, and I will be happy to respond as soon as possible. Also, you can give me a call at 416-323-3881/New York – 1-877-939-3881, and visit our website – www.speechscience.com.
I look forward to talking to you via, phone, skype, e mail or even live.
“See” you soon,