According to the United States Census Bureau American community survey, 21.6 American’s ages 5 and up speak a language other than English at home.
While being bilingual can give us an advantage in the workplace, an accent can cause misunderstandings and other frustrations due to language barriers. With an accent reduction exercise, however, you can hurdle those barriers in no time.
Whether your goal is an eventual promotion or mastery over your English skills, set yourself up for success with these exercises to improve your accent!
1. Use Your Ears
By listening to someone with an American accent first, you can start strong with an accurate basis of information.
Listen to how native speakers pronounce certain words. Grab some popcorn and settle in for a Netflix binge-watch or listen to a podcast to pick up on the shift in certain words. As you listen, try mimicking what you hear.
You can also record yourself so you can make note of changes to make in the future.
2. Shape Your Tongue
Every language requires vowels to be shaped against the tongue a certain way. This accent retention exercise helps you recognize how certain words should be spoken, rather than how they hear.
Choose two words that rhyme (such as “how” and “now” or “wrong” and “song”) and recognize the different movements of your tongue. If you need a reference, return to the previous exercise and choose words that you find challenging.
3. Break It Down
As children, we’re taught to slow down and break a problem into parts in order to conquer the whole.
To develop your American accent, you can break a word down into separate syllables to focus on how each segment is pronounced. Then, bring it all together, listening to how one syllable flows into the next.
This is especially helpful for longer, more difficult words to pronounce. Remember to slow down when you need to. That way, you can give attention to the specific syllables that you find most challenging.
4. Use a Mirror
According to McKnightKurland, 65 percent of the population is made up of visual learners.
Using a combination of the three previous exercises, you can put your own visual learning abilities to work. As a result, you can improve your ability to retain the English skills you’ve learned.
Standing in front of a mirror, watch your lips shape each word and take the time to sound out each syllable. As you do, listen to your pronunciation.
That way, you can later visualize how you formed certain words as you’re speaking with others.
Practice Makes Perfect: Keep Up With Your Accent Reduction Exercise
You can improve your accent over time with these accent reduction exercises. As you dedicate time to practice your English skills, you’ll notice—and hear—the very progress you’re making every day!
Want to make sure all of your hard work pays off? Contact us today to discuss The Pronunciation Pro Online Course to improve your English pronunciation and fluency!