5 top tips to improve your accent
|5 top tips to improve your accent|
If you want to improve your accent, here are five great ways. Follow these top tips to get the English accent you desire.
Tip #1: Decide on an English accent to improve.
First things first, you have to have chosen the accent you want before starting to improve it. It’s one thing nailing the pronunciation of a word in a British English accent, but if you have been learning American English all of your life, it won’t be that helpful. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible to change your accent. So, whatever you already have - whether it’s an American accent, a British accent, something in between, or a real mix of many accents -- harness your inner method actor and start pretending! Before you know it, you’ll sound like a native speaker.
Tip #2: Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet
You can improve your accent by understanding and using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to ensure that you know exactly how to pronounce a word in English, even if you’ve never heard it before. The IPA is probably the best reason to choose a ‘standard’ accent, such as General American or the British RP accent. This is because most major dictionaries nowadays will offer the phonetic pronunciation, using the IPA, for each word. Using this amazing, free resource, you can always work out how to pronounce any word in a General American or British RP accent without using it having ever heard it before.
Tip #3: Join a Pronunciation Course
Getting lifetime access to a pronunciation course is a great way to kick start your pronunciation journey and have a fantastic resource to come back to. Many pronunciation courses are available, some very cheap, some very expensive. It’s essential to do your research. You want to find one led by a trained expert that gives you lifetime access and has a comprehensive set of lessons that covers how to make the sounds and gives you lots of practice. Courses like the Pronunciation Course is my recommendation as it covers all of the bases across a vast 189 lessons. A lifelong resource indeed.
Tip #4: Improve your accent with shadowing
Shadowing is where you copy the teacher, mimicking their pronunciation to improve your accent. A good pronunciation course will provide many shadowing exercises in a style that suits the student. However, you don’t need a course to get started. Instead, choose your favorite actor, teacher, or podcaster, select a piece of content and start copying! Just make sure that you listen hard to both the speaker and your voice to understand where your pronunciation is different.
Tip #5: Practice, practice, practice!
Let's face it; if you want to improve your accent, there's only one way to achieve your goal: practicing. Shadowing is a great way to do it, but you want to do it in real life. Practicing your target accent in real conversations is the best way to make it your natural, permanent accent. You can start in a safe space like the English Like A Native Conversation Club, and build your confidence. The best thing about conversation clubs is that everyone is there to learn, practice, and support each other. So don't worry if you make mistakes, and ask for feedback without worrying.