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How can I speak without an accent?

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How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby smalluser » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Hi
I am a former ESL student, now a ESL teacher. I found this site through Google, I just wanted to ask a question, maybe you guys know. I know English very well, probably at the level of a native speaker. However, I don't like the way I talk. I have a foreign accent and any time I talk, everybody know that I am not American. Even when pick up the phone, as soon as I say "Hello?" they know. I have seen accent elimination classes being offered in my area, do they really help, or are they scams? or do you think I should stop worrying about this and just get my confidence up? I don't know if this is a confidence problem or I should really try to talk with an american accent, but all I can tell you is I don't like the way I talk.
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby becki » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:39 pm

There are so many English speakers in the world that I wouldn't worry about your accent. For example, would you want your accent to be British, American, or Australian? Everyone speaks slightly different. Just speak clearly and be confident in your speech.

If you are really worried, you can try a one-on-one lesson with an experienced teacher in your area. They could help train you in accent reduction. If you are interested in American English, there is an excellent self-study guide titled, American Accent Training by Ann Cook.

All the best!
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby Syl » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:52 pm

I second my colleagues' replies, no reason to feel the way you do about your accent. I myself am a Brazilian and many English natives recognize my accent immediately! :D

What I do to improve mine, just for the sake of being understood and pronouncing correctly so that people don't misunderstand me, is this:

- I listen to lots of recorded lectures, which I find in the web, some of them even in YouTube;
- I speak to English natives all the time to a point in which I subconsciously absorb the accent;
- I frequently watch movies without translations in order to force myself to listen to what is being said and also absorb the accent;
These and any other way through which one can be exposed to the native spoken language is a blast. Even songs! Listen to them and sing along.. use YouTube, too!

By the way, I strongly recommend these suggestions when teaching English. Expose the students as much as possible to natural, original, native language. The use of recordings in class is a must.

I hope it helps. :)

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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby esgaleth » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:20 pm

smalluser wrote:Hi
I am a former ESL student, now a ESL teacher.... I don't like the way I talk... I don't know if this is a confidence problem or I should really try to talk with an american accent, but all I can tell you is I don't like the way I talk.

Logically, simply start speaking the way you like it and you'll gain a lot of confidence. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done since through so many years we naturally acquire a certain pronunciation habit. As with any error management, it usually takes a lot of time and effort to iron out all 'inaccuracies', so anything of what has been suggested here would help. But, why not look on the bright side?

Learning is said to happen when students are involved and that's how we can teach ourselves - through teaching others. Speaking from my own experience, my own accent improved substantially when I had to teach pronunciation because it all eventually comes down to hours and hours of drilling. With so many phonetic courses available today, you can choose any model you like. Simply incorporate phonetics into your daily lessons and you'll be surprised by the profound effect. Needless to say, your students could improve their pronunciation skills as well.
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby hkenglishtutor » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:48 am

I agree with the previous answers.

I work in Hong Kong and many English teachers here are non-native speakers. There is a premium on lessons given by native speakers so many of our local Chinese teachers have taken Pronunciation & Accent Reduction Courses themselves. By doing so they have also learnt to teach pronunciation more effectively as well.

Give it a try - the cost is minimal compared with other forms of training.

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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby peterz » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:46 am

smalluser wrote:Hi
I am a former ESL student, now a ESL teacher. I found this site through Google, I just wanted to ask a question, maybe you guys know. I know English very well, probably at the level of a native speaker. However, I don't like the way I talk. I have a foreign accent and any time I talk, everybody know that I am not American. Even when pick up the phone, as soon as I say "Hello?" they know. I have seen accent elimination classes being offered in my area, do they really help, or are they scams? or do you think I should stop worrying about this and just get my confidence up? I don't know if this is a confidence problem or I should really try to talk with an american accent, but all I can tell you is I don't like the way I talk.

Just be confident in what you speak.The more you speak the more you will get confident.So dont shy speaking in public place.
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby Olcha » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:30 pm

I personally think that getting rid of an accent is impossible without living long enough in the country where the language you want to speak perfectly is dominant. I believe that the problem of the accent is somewhat exaggerated. There are millions people speaking English with accent and having no problem with understanding each other. English being an international language today, we learn it to be able to communicate with people from almost any country of the world, and the accent, unless it is really bad, is never a serious obstacle in communication. So why be so much obsessed with speaking English without accent?


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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby StandardEnglish » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:36 pm

I think to say that accent reduction is impossible, is a disservice to half actors alive in the world today. I deliver accent reduction classes using material that was originally intended for english actors to improve their speech, although not exclusively. The mouth, lips, tongue and jaw are muscles and simply need training to form new habits, much like someone who starts to learn to play a musical instrument, or someone who starts to learn how to dance. To say that your accent is not important is a myth. As soon as you open your mouth, people are making assumptions about you, based purely on the way you talk. As a non-native speaker the closer your accent is to Standard English, the more thrilled and secretly impressed a native speaker will be, and I would expect this to be the case even with a non-native speakers too. Indeed a Standard English accent can and will open many doors, as many with strong regional dialects would testify. As an ESL teacher, a good English accent, will speak volumes about what standards you have achieved personally, and all within a sentence or two. Yes it takes time, yes you will have to practice and yes you will need patience and determination, but it can be done.
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby robertsun » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:23 am

I suppose people suggest talking without an Indian accent. This is difficult, however hearing sound videos regarding The english language inside your ideal accent might help.

There are a lot regarding Youtube video lessons on the market. Purely listen closely along with seek to replicate what exactly the particular audio system claim. In time, people will begin to sound similar to these individuals.

As for talking correctly, you must have an excellent comprehension regarding The english language sentence structure. I found that you simply normally acquire sentence structure while you examine grammatically appropriate material. (Generally, decide to examine magazine along with scientific discipline content articles. They are usually grammatically appropriate, even though I have noticed typos at this time there, too. )
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Re: How can I speak without an accent?

Unread postby Syl » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:11 pm

smalluser wrote:Hi
I am a former ESL student, now a ESL teacher. I found this site through Google, I just wanted to ask a question, maybe you guys know. I know English very well, probably at the level of a native speaker. However, I don't like the way I talk. I have a foreign accent and any time I talk, everybody know that I am not American. Even when pick up the phone, as soon as I say "Hello?" they know. I have seen accent elimination classes being offered in my area, do they really help, or are they scams? or do you think I should stop worrying about this and just get my confidence up? I don't know if this is a confidence problem or I should really try to talk with an american accent, but all I can tell you is I don't like the way I talk.


Adding up to what I said before, as long as people understand you, the accent shouldn't worry you. English is taught mainly for communication purposes.

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