Have you ever wondered if you can reduce your accent? Or get rid of it completely? Well, the answer is YES! All you have to do is… Listen to English!
Don’t get confused. This article is on speaking. But what I want you to understand, is that listening is very, very important. To speak, you must know how to pronounce letters, and more importantly, how to pronounce those letters in words. If you are still being challenged by pronunciation, you can always refer to the international phonetic alphabet on Wikipedia.
A popular saying in America is “practice makes perfect”. If you have heard of it, I am not surprised. Maybe your language has a different yet similar saying. And if you have never heard of this saying, it simply means that the more you do something, the better you get at it.
So in this article, I want you to focus on listening to any American speakers that you can. But as you are listening, I want you to repeat. That is the speaking part. Repeat what you hear out loud. It is understandable if you feel self conscious, many people do. When you are alone or somewhere comfortable, start speaking. Having someone to practice with is also a great way to learn.
When you are thinking about English, that is a good time to practice your speaking aloud. When I am working on learning a new language, I do the same thing. I think about the things I want to say, and I say them out loud. Even if I’m not talking to anyone but myself. That way you can hear your speech aloud and you can hear the things you might be mispronouncing or not emphasizing.
For example, the numbers in English. Yes. You may very well know the numbers, but how well can you say them? Fluency in a language means knowing the language well. Think about how well you know your language. You can say the numbers really, really fast. This is due to your tongue knowing how it needs to move. Your tongue has been trained in a certain way since you were a very little child. Can you do the same in English? Maybe, but maybe not. That is my point. You should know the numbers by heart and be able to say them fast. That is a way of practicing to reduce your accent.
Another great to reduce your accent is to speak out loud English Tongue Twisters. You don’t need to know them to learn English, but if you just practice speaking them, your tongue will get more and more comfortable in the way it needs to move. There are a lot of tongue twisters to find on the internet. You can find one you like, and practice saying it. You may never get it right (that is the point of a tongue twister) but your tongue will learn. Always remember to use different ones at different times so your tongue can learn different positions.
If you practice speaking this way, you will get comfortable speaking English and you may even start to lose your accent. You will not lose your accent to the point that you can’t speak your native tongue, but you will be able to control your accent a lot better. Your accent is part of who you are, but gaining control of it will give you an edge in your English learning and studies.