Oasis of Learning

Co-Creating More Purpose and Joy

Ten Tips for Accent Reduction

  1. Observe the mouth movements of native speakers and try to imitate them. When you are watching T.V. look at the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech.
  1. Until you learn the correct intonation and rhythm of English, slow down your speech. If you speak too quickly with the wrong intonation and rhythm, native speakers will have a hard time understanding you. Don’t worry about your listener getting impatient with your slow speech – it is more important that everything you say be understood.
  1. Listen to the “music” of English. Don’t use the music of your native language when you are speaking English. Each language has its own way of “singing”.
  1. Use your dictionary. Become familiar with the phonetic symbols of your dictionary and look up the correct pronunciation of words that are hard for you to say.
  1. Make a list of frequently used words that are difficult for you to pronounce and ask a native speaker to pronounce them for you. Record these words, listen to them and practice saying them.
  1. Buy books’ recordings. Listen and read at the same time. Record yourself reading some sections of the book. Compare the sound of your English with that of the speaker from the book or tape.
  1. Pronounce the ending of each word. Pay special attention to “s” and “ed” endings.
  1. Read aloud in English for fifteen to twenty minutes each day. This will help you strengthen the mouth muscles that you use when you speak English. Research has shown that it takes about three months of daily practice to develop strong mouth muscles for speaking a new language.
  1. Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes. Many people hate to hear the sound of their voice and avoid having to listen to themselves speaking. However, this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you become conscious of the mistakes that you are making.
  1. Be patient. You can change the way you speak but it won’t happen overnight. People often expect instant results and give up too soon. You can change the way you sound if you are willing to put some effort into it.

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