Top Accent Reduction Tips You Need to Know

What Did You Say?: The Top Accent Reduction Tips You Need to Know

In 2019, there were more than 44.6 million immigrants living in the US. That’s about 13.7% of the entire US population.

They each come with their own unique accent, depending on which country and region they come from. While some immigrants are able to reduce their accent over time, others struggle with accent reduction.

Fortunately, there is something you can do and it’s called accent training. If you’re looking for a solution on how to get rid of an accent, keep reading.

We’re sharing with you the top accent reduction tips you need to know.

What Accent Reduction Is And How to Tell If You Need Help

Accent reduction is based on intonation. It’s how rhythm, pitch, and melody are used to group word phrases together.

And American English uses a very specific melody style that’s unique from most other languages. When you learn how to speak American English with the correct intonation, it significantly improves how you pronounce English words.

Questions to Ask Yourself

To see if you need American accent training, ask yourself the following:

Do you speak too fast, forcefully or in a choppy manner? Do you tend to delete syllables and sounds when you speak?

Do people complain you have a tendency to mumble? Do others constantly ask you to repeat what you’ve just said or that they have trouble understanding you when you’re sharing a story with them?

How to Get Rid Of An Accent

There are several ways to get rid of an accent so you sound a bit more American, or at least don’t feel as though you’re constantly having to repeat yourself.

Speak Slowly

If you speak more slowly, it’s easier to enunciate your words more clearly. Also, people have more time to hear what you’re saying.

Ask friends and family to point out which words they have the most trouble understanding from you. You can make a point of practicing speaking those words until they’re easier to understand.

Once you’ve mastered your English speaking skills, you can start speaking more quickly.

Practice Makes Perfect

English grammar is different from most other languages because English grammar heavily depends on how words end. Try perfecting your American English accent by reading aloud from books.

Focus on saying the last sound of each word.

Also, before you speak on the phone or with customers, practice ahead of time what you plan to say. Once you master what you’re going to say, you can then focus on how you’re going to say it.

Believe In Yourself

While it may seem hard at first, you really can learn how to speak American English without as much of an accent. If you believe in yourself and trust that you’re in control, as you practice, you will make noticeable improvements.

Trust that after a while, you won’t have to try so hard. Instead, what once seemed difficult will soon become a regular habit.

Focus On Speaking Your Consonants

Practice speaking your consonants at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of your words. It will make a big difference.

Consonants are the letters b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, s, t, v, w, x, and z. The ‘r” sound is often the most difficult to master.

Tape Yourself

Using your cell phone you can either use video or the microphone to tape yourself speaking. This will give you a good idea of where you are and help you determine which words you have the most difficulty pronouncing.

Also, taping yourself will help you keep track of how far along you’re coming. This will help to keep you motivated.

Nail Down The Hardest Sounds

The most difficult sounds in the English language are “v and w”, “th”, “r”, and the vowel “o”. The letter “o” actually has a variety of different pronunciations.

The most common “o” sound is actually pronounced like “ah” such as with the words option or flop. The least common pronunciation is “oh” such as with the words no or go.

Commit Yourself

American accent training won’t happen overnight. Try committing to practicing for at least 15 minutes each day five days a week.

If you practice your skills sporadically, you won’t notice any improvements. Committing ensures you’ll notice a difference in as little as three to five weeks.

Learn To Intonate

Practice your intonation or the rise and fall of your voice as you speak. Make sure your voice goes down before a comma or a period when practicing aloud.

This helps the listener to know when you’re at the end of a sentence.

Strong And Weak Stress

You’ll also learn where to place strong and weak stress within a sentence. For example, “That’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever done.”

When you say that sentence aloud, the emphasis is on the word “amazing.”

Avoid Using Slang

While you’re learning, avoid using slang around other people. That’s because slang words tend to be slurred and spoken quickly.

Until you’ve mastered your American English accent, avoiding slang will help people understand you better. Once you’ve gotten better you can begin using slang once again.

Watch TV and Listen To The Radio

Another way to learn is by listening to how others pronounce their words. An easy way to do that is by listening to the radio and watching tv.

Listening to music or an audiobook in English can help you learn how to imitate the accent you want to acquire. Start by listening to a few sentences, pausing it, and then repeating those sentences.

You may want to record yourself to see how closely you’re matching your accent to the one you want to emulate.

Work With A Tutor

The best way to get accent training is to work with a tutor. They can help you focus on your accent and come up with a customized plan to help you lose your current accent.

A tutor will give you exercises to help you work on gaining your desired accent during the week.

Get A Free Consultation

We want to help you with your accent reduction process. We do so by providing online speech therapy.

Click here to get your free consultation. We’ll discuss your individualized plan of action and provide you with payment option.

How Speech Therapy Can Help You with Successful Accent Modification, online speech therapy, accent modification

How Speech Therapy Can Help You with Successful Accent Modification

Whether you’re applying for a job or trying to effectively communicate with your friends, you know that having a strong accent can sometimes make things difficult.

In fact, many people feel that they have been turned down for jobs and directly discriminated against due to their accents.

And even if you haven’t faced any serious (not to mention, highly illegal) “consequences” because of your accent, you might still feel a bit embarrassed by how it impacts your ability to be understood.

No matter how long you’ve known your second language, accents can be seriously tough to get rid of on your own.

So, what’s the solution?

For many, it’s taking a speech therapy

Read on to learn more about how it helps.

If you’re interested in accent modification

Chances are that you’ve already tried to work a little bit on your own to reduce your accent.

The problem is that, without professional help from a native speaker, it can be very difficult to identify the specific words, phrases, and patterns of speech that are tripping you up.

To put things into perspective, think about how you feel when you hear someone else speaking in your native language.

You notice the words they’re not pronouncing correctly, you pick up on when they’re emphasizing different parts of a word, and you can sometimes even see in their lips and tongue where they’re going wrong.

Working with a professional speech therapist will help you to understand the mechanics of how to change your pronunciation for accent modification.

For example, a speech therapist may have you watch the placement of your teeth behind your tongue as you talk about yourself or read a passage out of a book. You might be surprised to learn just how much of speaking without an accent relies on muscle memory.

A professional will tell you the adjustments that you need to make, and will also help you to identify incorrect patterns in your speech.

You’ll Get Conversation Practice

Another reason why speech therapy for accent modification is so beneficial?

Because it gives you the chance to practice your conversation skills with a native speaker.

Especially if you don’t get the chance to speak English very often, or if your friends have other foreign accents, it can be tough to figure out how the language should sound.

Your speech therapist will be able to help you to uncover the patterns in your speech and even the way you form words that are responsible for much of what you say getting lost in translation.

Conversation classes will also help you to understand the natural pacing and rhythm of a conversation — so you can learn how to speak both quickly and clearly. Remember, it’s not just about getting rid of your accent, it’s also about mastering the general flow of conversation.

Finally, conversation and speech therapy will seriously boost your confidence. The more opportunities you have to converse with a native speaker, the better you’ll feel when speaking to anyone and in any situation.

You’ll Get Custom

Each accent sounds different and comes with a unique set of challenges.

If you’re from Dubai, for example, you’re not going to have the same speech patterns and accent tags as someone from Mexico.

The benefit of working with a one-on-one speech therapist is that you’ll get solutions that are unique to your accent. These experts understand the exact differences in accents, and they’ll create a one-of-a-kind curriculum that helps you to reduce your own.

In other words, you won’t be dealing with a one-size-fits-all solution, as you might be with a book or even a podcast about accent reduction.

Additionally, you and your speech therapist will also discuss your goals for accent reduction.

Why is taking this course important to you? What do you hope to achieve? What kind of accent would you like to have? How will this improve your job prospects or help you to realize your dreams?

Having someone to help keep you accountable is an invaluable part of the accent modification process. It’s easy to give up when you’re trying to reduce your accent on your own.

However, having someone to encourage you, reinforce these patterns, and even challenge you to do better?

That’s a recipe for lasting success.

What To Expect From The Great Speech accent modification  training program

Many people may feel nervous before scheduling a session with a speech therapist for the first time, whether for accent reduction or any other purpose.

Remember that there is no reason to feel embarrassed.

Your therapist is there to help you, not to judge you.

Especially in your initial session, you can expect to answer lots of questions about your background, how long you’ve been speaking English, and the different places you’ve lived that have informed your accent.

Usually, the first session will be spent getting to know one another and then creating a unique schedule that works for both parties.

However, you should also expect to hit the ground running — so come to your first session ready to go!

Where Can You Find Accent Modification Programs?

We know that you’re incredibly proud of your accent — after all, it’s part of who you are and where you come from.

However, we also understand that there may be personal and professional reasons behind your pursuit of accent reduction. No matter your goals, our speech therapists are here to find the solutions that are right for you.

We’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure that your accent doesn’t hold you back from doing what you want with your life.

Spend some time on our website to learn more about the wide variety of speech programs we have to offer.

When you’re ready to get started, reach out to us to schedule a free consultation.

Online Speech Therapy

Leave Your Accent Behind

Everyone has an accent. No matter where you go in life, you take your accent with you. It is part of your personal identity and reflects your unique characteristics and background. Some people have regional accents, like a Southern drawl or the Texas twang. Others have foreign accents which indicate that they were born or raised in a different country.

Leave your accent behind with accent modification

While an accent can be a source of pride, it can also be a source of frustration. It can affect communication if others have trouble understanding you or ask you to constantly repeat yourself. Sometimes it can impact job performance, self-esteem and even your social life.

Here’s the good news. Accents can be modified. Actors often change their accent in preparation for a specific role. Businessmen sometimes look to modify their speaking voice or improve their presentation skills as do lawyers before a major court case.

And though speaking with an accent is not a speech and language disorder, the person most qualified to guide you through the process is a speech and language pathologist (SLP). An SLP is trained to evaluate your speech pattern, sound pronunciation and the rhythm and intonation of speech before creating an individualized plan.

When Do you need accent modification?

Here are some typical benefits:

  • Improve your communication skills
  • Neutralize a foreign or regional dialect
  • Modify your speaking voice to portray confidence
  • Build self-confidence and improve your social life

Minor modifications can lead to significant success. For example, actor Alexander Skarsgard from Sweden, had an accent coach when he returned to the states, and his career improved. He is now the lead in several shows and movies.

In business, an entrepreneur may benefit from accent reduction therapy when trying to market their company in the US. For aspiring politicians with an accent, accent reduction therapy can help them reach more people who otherwise may have prejudice to someone with an accent, whether they are foreigners or not.

So if your accent is preventing you from moving ahead, leave your accent behind.

Did you ever feel your accent is getting in the way of your career or personal life?

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