If you’re from a non-English speaking country, learning the American accent can feel like an uphill battle. But no matter where you are or where you’re from, having an American accent will give you more job opportunities and help you fit in faster if you’re planning on staying in the United States for any length of time. The catch is that it’s not easy to change your speech patterns. Learning an accent requires hard work and dedication. However, there are some techniques that can make it easier for you to pick up on certain sounds so that your accent becomes more American than whatever regional speech habits you have now. High-quality mimicry requires intense concentration and practice to master someone else’s speech patterns, but with these six tips, learning the American accent fast is not impossible.
Commit To Practice Every Day
Commitment, consistent practice, and diligence are crucial when your goal is to speak English fluently with an altered accent. The most critical piece of advice is to practice daily. You should set aside time each day to work on accent reduction exercises such as pronunciation and listening to an authentic American accent. If you’re working on your own, you can use American accent practice sentences such as ‘tongue twisters’ or listen to audio recordings and imitate speech patterns. Accent improvement will be quicker if you practice enough.
Repeat words and sounds you’re learning over and over again.
You may have had a teacher or professor who told you that you should repeat something at least 10 times to learn and master a skill. The more you repeat, the quicker you will be able to pick up on these sounds and the easier it will be for you to learn. Don’t be afraid to repeat words over and over again until you can pronounce them correctly.
Mimic native speakers as much as possible.
Depending on where you are in the world, it’s possible to find video and audio recordings of native speakers on the internet. This is a great way to start working on picking up certain pronunciations. You can do this in two ways: audio only or video only. There are a few downsides to video only. First, people make a lot of gestures with their hands when they speak, and these can be helpful in letting you know how a word is pronounced. Second, text can be a lot easier to manipulate than video. You can slow it down, speed it up, go back and reread it as many times as you want. As a result, you might want to start with audio only and then once you’ve got the hang of imitating some of the pronunciations, move on to video.
Record yourself speaking and compare it to a native speaker.
This can be a very useful tool in helping you pick up on your mistakes when trying to imitate a native accent. There are many apps that allow you to record yourself while reading or while simply talking, and then play it back while you listen to a recording of someone with an American accent that you can compare it to. This will not only allow you to identify your mistakes and fix them quickly, but it will also help you pick up on how certain words are pronounced differently when compared to the way you pronounce them. One thing to keep in mind when listening to yourself compared to a native speaker is that we all have different ways of speaking and depending on the person, there will be some sounds that you will pick up quicker than others.
Ask native speakers to point out the sounds you’re having the most trouble with.
This is another excellent way to help you pick up on the different pronunciations. In the same way that you would ask them to correct the mistakes you are making in your speech, you can also ask them to point out the sounds that you are having the most trouble with. This can help you pick up on the sounds that are a bit more subtle and that you might not otherwise notice.
Subscribe to an Accent Course
This can help you stay on track as you learn the American accent quickly and effectively. Accent programs usually include a combination of pronunciation exercises and listening comprehension activities to help you become more familiar with the rhythm and sounds of the standard American accent. Your American accent coach will be able to personalize lessons and provide customized study plans on how to improve your spoken English and make your speech sound more natural. There is a great article that compares programs in detail and helps you find the program that fits you. Read this article here.
With these tips, learning the American accent fast is not impossible. If you’d like more support, ChatterFox offers an accent reduction program and American accent training. We have hundreds of 5-star reviews on Facebook, Google Play, App Store, and Trustpilot. We’ll help you sound like an American.