Books, lectures, and other learning materials are helpful resources when it comes to providing basic information on a specific topic. If you are looking to learn more about the sounds of the Standard American accent, you may find it most beneficial to first try out an American accent tutorial. Not only will a tutorial provide you with the basic information you would need to begin your learning, but this resource will also provide you with information and examples in a much more interactive format. A tutorial is simply a learning tool designed to teach users new materials using interactive steps and examples. American accent tutorials are fairly simple to follow as long as you have a basic sense of where you should begin.
Hearing the American Accent is the First Step
When first beginning an American accent tutorial, you should strive to hear sounds accurately by developing the ability to differentiate between to or more different sounds. You can do this by asking a friend or relative to help you with this exercise. Log in to our free accent tutorials and while you are not looking, have someone click on an individual sound. To test yourself, write down the letter you believe to be associated with that sound. This will help you determine which sounds you know and which sounds still need to be learned. Once you achieve 80% accuracy in naming the sounds you hear, you should be ready to start practicing them out loud.
Our tutorial offers a number of different languages to choose from and you should select your native language. In each tutorial, we list the sounds typically most problematic for others who speak the same language. Once you determine which sounds you should begin to improve, you can get started. Because vowels are a bit more difficult to learn than consonants, you may want to begin with the consonant sounds.
Voice and Voiceless Consonants – Does this impact an American Accent?
There are both voiced (produced when vocal folds vibrate) and unvoiced (produced without vocal fold vibration) consonants. It is recommended you start by learning the voiceless, and most tutorials should separate all consonants by voiced and voiceless. When you feel your voiceless consonants have improved, you can move on to voiced consonants. Practice all sounds by first saying them over and over again on their own and then eventually try using them in words and sentences. The same advice goes for vowels. If there is ever a time you feel unsure about how you are positioning your articulators (lips, tongue, teeth) to produce a particular sound, use the video sample provided.
Overall, American accent tutorials are great tools for helping you reduce your foreign accent and improve your American English. As long as you know the basics of where you should begin, as well as understand how to maneuver throughout the tutorial steps, they should be fairly simple to use. If you still feel you need further assistance, seek training from an accent reduction specialist. He or she will help you reduce you accent even more and provide you with one-on-one attention, useful tools, helpful feedback, and significant results in speaking with more of a standard American accent.