English accent training: The role of stress and emotion
English accent training is a process that takes time. Some people can incorporate learned English accent training techniques into their speech rather quickly. Many others may find themselves slipping back into pronunciation habits common to their native language when they are tired or faced with a difficult situation. It is normal for natural instincts to take over in an effort to resolve a stressful situation as quickly as possible. Although you cannot control your emotions in times such as these, you can control how you react to them by always being aware of how your voice sounds during a given situation. The following English accent training exercises can help you get accustomed to your transitioning accent.
English accent training: Getting used to the sound of your voice
- Watch movies in American English. Watching movies in American English allows you to see the conversational words and phrases discussed in English accent training in practice. The situational and emotional context of each scene can give you cues as to when it is appropriate to modify your vocal intonation to convey emotion. Careful selection of movies is important, and progressing to those that feature predominantly slang in them should only come later when you are confident in your speaking voice regardless of the situation. One thing that may help is to look for documentaries to watch. Those that have visible speakers rather than documentaries that make use of voice overs can be beneficial to see how difficult words are enunciated.
- Read materials aloud. Reading materials out loud can help build confidence in one’s own voice. Sometimes, this is what is holding foreign speakers of English back—not being accustomed to the sound of your own voice when speaking a secondary language. By practicing alone, one can begin getting used to the sound of his or her own voice while speaking English with a standard American accent. Don’t trap yourself into believing that what you read aloud has to feature difficult vocabulary words and complex sentence structures in order to be effective. Read aloud materials can come from newspapers, magazines, novels—pretty much anything that the reader would find interesting.
Curious to know which sounds to focus on when reading aloud? Please don’t hesitate to ask your English accent training coach for assistance. If the idea of reading aloud to yourself still sounds awkward, try doing it in front of a mirror and observe how pronounce certain sounds
- Download audio books. Audio books serve a similar purpose to that of movies. They can give clearer examples of how to speak English with a standard American accent. Since listeners can’t see the narrator, they are forced to listen to the audio book closely. Paying more attention to single words or the group of words being pronounced will help ingrain the rhythm of American English as spoken by native speakers into listeners’ minds. English accent training programs may also have supplementary materials for listening purposes that can be used at home
English Accent Training: How to Learn More
This is just one of our many blog articles that helps educate and inform the public on English Accent Training. If you’re interested in learning more about English accent training, 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 English accent training, we have office and online starter program options! Within 12 English accent training sessions, all clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.