Everyone has an accent of some kind. However, sometimes an accent can be so heavy that it gets in the way of basic communication.
Online PR News – 10-March-2016 – Everyone has an accent of some kind. However, sometimes an accent can be so heavy that it gets in the way of basic communication. Allowing your accent to become a barrier to communication can even prevent you from achieving all you can. Claudette Roche provides tips on how to reduce a strong accent.
Chances are, if you have a heavy accent you are probably nervous about communicating with others. Making yourself understood is a challenge to anyone in this situation. That is why it is no surprise that many people with strong accents tend to speed up their speech. Anxious nerves cause people to rush through their sentences in order to hurry through the conversation. This has the unfortunate effect of making it even more difficult for the listener to understand.
The first step towards making yourself understood is to slow down. Speaking slowly will give listeners a better chance at understanding your speech. It is also easier to use the correction pronunciation when you are forming the words more deliberately. The best way to remember to do this is to take a deep breath before speaking. This will make you feel calmer and keep your anxieties about your accent at bay.
The next thing to remember is the endings of each word. English pronunciations rely strongly on the way that a word ends. This is different than the way many other language are spoken, making it a challenge for learners. Think of it as sticking the landing. It doesnt matter how well you perform on the rest of the word if you dont finish well.
The best way to practice is to read out loud. Find an accent reduction coach or partner that will spend time listening to you while you read. They can make corrections to your pronunciation as you go. Ask them to stop you when they notice that the last sound of each word is not clear. Many people find it helpful to listen to audiobooks, states Claudette Roche. Try listening to the book and then reading it out loud to a friend.
Another thing to practice while reading aloud is your intonation. Intonation is one of the most important aspects of pronunciation. The way that your voice rises and falls while speaking will convey much of the meaning of the sentence. It will also provide context to your audience regarding when a sentence ends and a new one begins. Use the commas and periods in the text to guide your intonation. Modulating your speech this way will allow listeners to better grasp the meaning, regardless of the strength of your accent.
You can also reduce a strong accent by getting the basics right. It is impossible to learn everything at once. Try perfecting some of the most common sounds in the English language. The letter o is pervasive and has many different pronunciations. Learning to produce these sounds correctly will put you on the right track. It will reduce your accent by making your speech more easily understood by others.
“Try listening to the book and then reading it out loud to a friend.”