How Can You Improve Pronunciation to Neutralise Your Accent

How Can You Improve Pronunciation to Neutralise Your Accent

FastInfo logoBy FastInfo Class Published On 24 Dec 2022 Updated On 13 Jan 2023 Category spoken English course

Do you wish to appear to be a native speaker of a foreign tongue? The real test, more significant than the breadth of your vocabulary or the nuance of your sentences, is your accent. While vocabulary and grammar are typically the main focus in the early stages of language study, it's a good idea to research techniques to neutralise your accent and improve pronunciation before developing negative habits.

If you believe it is impossible to master a foreign language's accent, you may simply be doing the incorrect technique. We concede that they are challenging but not insurmountable! Regardless of the language, you're learning, here are some useful strategies to help you improve pronunciation for reducing your accent.

1. Learn the phonetic alphabet

 

Studying the phonetic alphabet can help you identify new sounds more quickly and give you some reference points as you progress through the language you're learning. Understanding a language's phonemes makes it simpler to recognize sounds that your ear isn't already "tuned" to. When speaking and listening in your new language, you'll begin to notice these sounds much more frequently once you've mastered their recognition.

Knowing the variety of sounds that are present in the language you're learning will help you distinguish between sounds that may appear to be comparable to the untrained ear, which will make spelling simpler. This can be particularly beneficial if your primary learning methods are reading and writing.

2. Get familiar with the spoken language

 

Get as much exposure to your new language as you can, moving from theory to practice to improve pronunciation. Try to talk with native speakers as often as you can (even if that means utilising the internet! ), even if it's certainly easier said than done. If there is a word you are having trouble pronouncing, ask someone to repeat it or even record it on your phone. Then, by replaying it, you can practice saying it as often as you'd want. You can hear the correct pronunciation in online dictionaries, which will help you form the habit of studying in the target language.

Increase your proficiency by watching TV programs or listening to podcasts in the language. Put it on in the background while you're performing your duties, even if you can't comprehend anything, so you can grow acclimated to the specific melodies and strange sounds. You'll notice a natural improvement in your comprehension, and you might even start to unconsciously lessen your accent!

3. Identify what’s ‘weird’ about the pronunciation

 

You'll soon discover that your new language and your native tongue share a lot of sounds because of this exposure (even if those sounds are written differently). You can concentrate on the sounds that don't exist in your own tongue once the similarities have been noted. Defy the urge to merely compare these foreign sounds to equivalent ones in your local tongue to improve pronunciation. This may appear to be a helpful shortcut, but it's a terrible habit that will ultimately make it more difficult to improve your pronunciation.

At best, you'll sound ridiculous if you ignore the strange sounds of your new language; at worst, you might even end yourself uttering the incorrect words! A rolled R distinguishes the Spanish words pero and perro, and this variation in pronunciation corresponds to a change in meaning.

Use notecards if you are having problems with a certain phoneme. Together with other overlapping but distinct phonemes, note it down. Say them out loud a few times. You will learn to appreciate subtleties and master those minute variances as a result.

4. Listen, Listen, Listen!

 

The internet provides access to a wealth of audio content that can aid in your pronunciation improvement, as indicated in point two. As much as you can, listen frequently! Spend time studying the language's phonetic features rather than just grammar and vocabulary. Focus on rhythm, breaks, and intonation while listening to brief audio tracks, such as podcasts to improve pronunciation. Consider what gives the sentence its fluency and make an effort to emulate it. When you watch a movie in the language you are studying, turn off the subtitles and focus on the actors' mouths.

You can slow down the speed of the video or music you're watching if you find it to be too difficult (most digital media players let you do this; you can even do it with YouTube videos). You can distinguish and separate each syllable using this. On the other hand, if you already have a high degree of comprehension, you can push yourself by increasing the speed. For all those quick-talking native speakers, practicing focus at this level is beneficial!

5. Speak slowly

 

The majority of the "thinking" involved in changing your accent is done once you have identified which sounds you still need to concentrate on and take the appropriate action to alter your mouth or tongue shape when those sounds occur. It's now a matter of developing the new sounds automatically and changing your previous speaking patterns.

If you speak more slowly than you normally would during this phase, you will have more time to consider the new rules you have learned to improve your pronunciation. Speaking more slowly may be a little unpleasant at first, but giving yourself time to intentionally select the more exact pronunciations you have studied increases their likelihood of sticking over time.

According to some experts, it only takes a new habit around two months to become regular, so you won't have to wait long to see noticeable improvements!

6. Spend more time talking to native speakers

 

Talking to native speakers is the most efficient way to reduce your accent when speaking a foreign language. How often, without even trying, have you found yourself picking up a friend's speech habits or slang?

Asking your English speaking buddy directly about your accent can be really helpful. They can assist you to uncover errors that you can't hear yourself by pointing out which words you speak differently to improve pronunciation. English languages typically have different word stress patterns, especially within sentences. Establish some important sounds to improve with your partner, and ask them to correct you if you make a mistake.

If you think it might be awkward to approach an English-speaking acquaintance for pronunciation advice, consider scheduling some lessons with the experts of FastInfo Class. They will have guided other students through similar mistakes in the past and can create an exercise regimen tailored to your requirements.

Conclusion

Videos, podcasts, and music are all great tools for working on your accent at home, but nothing beats speaking to a native or fluent speaker in person!

You'll be astounded at how rapidly your accent changes after taking an online English speaking course with FastInfo Class. You can pinpoint the qualities you want to improve, such as clear pronunciation, with 1-on-1 classes. Your teacher will provide feedback on the terms you need to practice and suggest exercises that are unique to you. With some helpful critique, you'll be conversing like a native in no time. Wishing you luck as you learn a new language!


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