Speaking English like a native can be a challenge for many English language learners. As a non-native English speaker, you may think that it is impossible to get rid of your native accent and learn American accent. Moreover, you may be reluctant to speak in English because of your accent. Indeed, a good accent is necessary for non-native speakers to be understood clearly, especially when talking to native speakers.
Even if you have excellent grammatical knowledge and speaking ability, your native accent may cause misunderstandings and even more serious problems. Therefore, a good, understandable, and prevalent American accent is necessary to speak like a US citizen.
The good news is, acquiring an American accent is not impossible; in fact, it can be learned by everyone as long as they work hard on it.
Getting a clear American accent is necessary in order to sound like an American naturally, yet you should remember that there are also many different American accents that are used in different regions in America (New York, Chicago, Boston, etc.).
In this case, you may ask: “Should I learn every accent to speak English naturally? Getting rid of my native accent is hard enough, why should I do this?”. First of all, do not panic. A standard American accent is all you need. That is, the accent that you’ve heard from movies and TV shows. Nobody expects a Boston English accent from you, so you can relax.
Accent reduction and improving your pronunciation play an important role in becoming, a fluent English speaker. American accent training helps you speak like a US citizen and has many more benefits. Let’s have a look at the top reasons to learn an American accent.
Communication is the key to everything, especially for your career and job interview. Your language skills are definitely important for your employers, so you need to prove to them you have excellent English language skills even if you are a non-native speaker. A good American accent and perfect pronunciation may be the only thing that leads you to be selected for the position you’ve applied.
It will give you self-confidence while speaking
Many non-native English learners lack the motivation to speak in public because of their native accent. Even if your other language skills are perfect, without accent reduction you may feel insecure. At that point, American accent training will give you the courage to speak since you know you’ll be understood clearly and cause no misunderstanding.
American English is one of the most common accents in the world
Today, over 800 million people speak English, and more than 500 million people are non-native speakers. There are English speakers from various nationalities. Therefore, a standardized English accent is necessary for these people to be understood. American English is the closest accent to this standardized English. That’s why acquiring an American accent will help you communicate with both native and non-native people easily.
It is easier to learn because of its common use in media
Today, most of the movies and TV shows are made in California. As a result, your exposure to the American accent is massive. Since you are more familiar with American English, it will be easier for you to learn the accent. Moreover, you can practice your accent just by watching movies, TV series or documentaries by mimicking their way of speech and paying attention to what form do they make with their lips when they utter certain sounds.
It is a key for healthy social interaction and positive impression
If you speak English fluently even if you are non-native, it will build a sense of trust to the person to whom you are speaking. This is because the person will feel like speaking with someone who understands him; and eventually, you will develop an intimacy with the person. A natural accent will definitely help you develop good social skills and network.
It will reduce the prejudice against non-native citizens in America
Unfortunately, like in any other countries, there are prejudices for the non-native speakers in America. Some individuals think everyone living in America should speak in an American accent. Sometimes this can cause problems for the non-native speakers since they may feel they are not a part of the society they are in. In this case, it is recommended to acquire an American accent in order to be integrated with the society they are in. Moreover, it will help you break down this prejudice as the more non-native speakers speak English naturally, the fewer people will have prejudice against them.
To sum up, speaking a language naturally is important for you to be an active speaker in a community. A good and clear American accent will without a doubt help you improve your communication skills with the people you interact.