English Accent Training: How to Neutralize Your Accent at Home
As businesses continue to thrive and expand in a global setting, the need for effective communication rises with it. English accent training has become a necessity for foreign business professionals hoping for personal improvement and the ability to close business deals consistently in an intensely competitive market. A neutral accent makes the exchange of information more efficient while building a sense of camaraderie between clients and business partners. Studies have shown that people are more trusting of those people who have an accent similar to their own.
English accent training: What is Accent Neutralization?
English accent training aims to reduce–but not completely eliminate–characteristics in your speech that can pigeonhole you as being from a specific region or country. Regional accents can sometimes get in the way of effective communication, especially if you speak a dialect that could be difficult for native English speakers to understand. In turn, that can reinforce whatever stereotypical beliefs they may have about your intelligence level, ability to speak English, professionalism, and other variables.
Unfortunately, the idea that you must make a strong first impression is doubly important for foreign speakers of English. Not only must you prove to your listener that you are a fluent English speaker, but also that you have thorough knowledge of whatever you happen to be discussing.
English accent training: Take The Initiative
The English accent training process starts at home, outside of a clinical setting. There are different exercises you can practice to slowly ease into speaking English without the regional traits that your tongue has gotten used to. One common English accent training practice is imitation. To maximize the effectiveness of this exercise, look for examples of people speaking using neutral accents, such as on the news or in audiobooks. Pay special attention to vowel sounds and any words that are pronounced in a dramatically different way than you are used to. Briefly record yourself reading a passage of dialogue identical to that found in your preferred source of media, whether it be a TV show, audiobook, news broadcast or movie. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times to see if any consistent pronunciation patterns emerge which you can mention to your accent coach during your English accent training sessions.
Although this may seem to be redundant at first, understanding your pronunciation habits through repetition will allow you to get a gradual feel for how words sound in a standard American accent. Moreover, it gives you a starting point from which you can base further English accent training assessments. Compile a list of words and statements that use the sounds which give you the most difficulty and try to include them into everyday conversations. This strategy also works well when you are trying to expand your vocabulary.
English Accent Training: How to Learn More
This is just one of our many blog articles that help educate and inform the public about English Accent Training If you’re interested in learning more about ways to reduce your foreign accent, check out our free Accent Reduction screening. Within 48 hours you will receive results regarding your accent on a severity scale of 1 (very heavy) to 7 (very mild) accent. If you’re looking to start on your Accent Reduction, we have office and online English accent training starter program options! Within 12 sessions, all clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.