Reducing your native accent and improving your English pronunciation skills seems to be one of the most challenging difficulties that English students like you face.
Let’s face it. If you want to speak fluent English and sound like a native…then you need to reduce your accent.
However, my guess is that there are still a few sounds in English that give you the most trouble…and that you can’t seem to get rid of.
Take This Simple 3-Question Accent Reduction Quiz to Discover Exactly How Serious You Are About Improving Your English Pronunciation.
1. Are You Improving Your Pronunciation By Listening To Native Speakers?
This is a simple concept, but is extremely important to reducing your accent and improving your pronunciation. This is because you need lots of contact with the language to familiarize your ears to sounds that do not exist in your mother-tongue. The easiest way to do this is through the use of mini-stories and podcasts.
Think about it for a minute. A child grows up listening to the people around him. He learns to speak like the people around him. He pronounces words the way he hears others say them. If you grow up in the southern U.S.A. like I did…you start talking with a southern draw.
So, if you want to sound like a North American…then by all means, listen to North American speakers. If you want to speak like someone from England…then watch the BBC like my student Franklin Veras. Everyone who hears him talk thinks he is from England…even though he has never traveled abroad.
Now, if you live in a country where people don’t speak English…then you need to find a way to listen to the language. And the easiest way to do that is to listen to mini-stories and podcasts recorded by native speakers.
2. Are You Reducing Your Accent By Systematically Studying Each Sound In English?
So, once you get serious about reducing your accent and start listening to native to improve your pronunciation…then you can take it to the next level. At this point you can begin systematically focusing on specific sounds in the English language…especially the ones that give you the most trouble.
You can find lots of pronunciation classes and courses online. You can study specific lessons and reduce your accent with specially designed exercises that will help you improve your pronunciation. I recommend that you start off by simply listening to the sounds you want to work on and familiarize yourself with them. Then you can go back over them and repeat along with the audio so that you mimic what you hear. And you can even find specially designed mini-stories that focus on specific pronunciation sounds in the English language.
3. Does Your Current English Learning Material Provide You With Proper Exercises To Develop The Fluency You Desire?
Many English students study the language in one of two ways. Some buy a single book and follow it blindly…whether or not it contains the material they need or not which means that they don’t get all the information they need. This is especially true since many English materials focus primarily on grammar…and less on improving your pronunciation.
Other students go to the other extreme and simply pick things to study at random. They just study whatever seems to catch their eye at the moment with no real plan or purpose. Both of these extremes can cause problems.
To avoid this…you must define what your goals and objectives are first. This means that you need to evaluate yourself and develop a strategy that will allow you to reach your specific goals.
The best thing to do is find good language coach who has sufficient experience in the area who can help you create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and can tell you what sounds you need to focus on and can point out resources that will help you improve your pronunciation and reduce your accent.