Updated: Aug 20
Why would you want to change your accent?
Why would you want to change your accent? One reason might be that your colleagues can't always understand you.
How about that brilliant new software developer from China with sophisticated solutions that might work, if you could only understand what she means? And the talented product manager from India with intriguing ideas, if you could only understand him? Lots of capable and gifted professionals from around the globe speak English fluently, but because they speak with a different dialect and accent, some people may have difficulty understanding them. Add videoconferencing and cell phones to the mix, and it can be truly frustrating.
English pronunciation can be difficult because the spelling often doesn't indicate the pronunciation. Think of "through, thought, food, flood". Also, consonant clusters in English can be hard to say. Think of "streets, purple, world".
Those are just the discrete sounds. But there are also challenges with stress and rhythm. Some Asian languages, for example, give equal stress to each syllable, whereas in English we stress some syllables more than others. Even the rules for word stress seem inconsistent. Think of "democrat, democracy, democratic."
Another issue is that most people begin learning English in their native countries, with instructors from their native countries who speak English with their native accent. So, from the beginning they learn to speak English with a non-native accent.
Given these challenges, how does one navigate American English pronunciation and accent? An effective way to develop a more native-like accent in English is to work with an accent coach. A coach can show you not only how to pronounce the sounds of English, but also how to use the patterns of English stress and rhythm. By learning the pronunciation and rhythm patterns of English, you will feel more confident and self-assured when speaking with others in any setting.
To being heard!
We provide 1-1 courses in advanced English fluency and American accent for non-native English speakers. Your course is customized to your individual objectives and challenges. Classes meet once a week for an hour, live online, and you’ll get practice exercises for reinforcement.