4 simple ways to speak English fluently with the correct accent
Many English learners think about getting rid of their accent and replacing it with a popular accent when they reach a perceptible level of English. Many advanced students struggle with this problem and keep thinking about ways that they can use to change their accent while they speak English.
How to speak English with the correct accent
Changing accents when speaking English can be made due to many reasons. One reason can be the lack of understanding in other people. In other words, common people are not familiar with some accents like the Indian accent.
Therefore, when Indian people start to speak English with others with an Indian accent, people might not understand what the Indian person is talking about and keep asking him to repeat or to talk slower.
Another reason for making this decision can be movies, games, and music. Many of these media are made in some popular accents like American. Therefore, English students get used to these accents and believe that they sound better.
Plus, speaking English with no accent sounds boring and monotonous, hence, what students need to do is to practice a popular accent that they like until that accent becomes a part of their speaking.
In this article, we are going to give some tips to improve the English accent in a way that after some time and practice, students can sound like a native speaker.
Choose the preferred accent
The first step for a student to copy an accent is choosing his/her favorite accent. Accents are so different in pronouncing letters and putting stress on them. For example, in an American accent, people usually pronounce ‘d’ instead of ‘t’ in words like ‘butter’.
If a student decides to speak English with a specific accent, he/she needs to devote a viable amount of time and energy to imitating that accent and practicing it regularly until that accent becomes a part of his/her speaking. TV shows, sitcoms, movies, and sometimes songs are great resources for imitating an accent.
All students need to do, is choosing someone that they like his/her accent. Then, they need to listen to their role model and spend a huge amount of time listening, repeating, and copying the words and sentences he/she says. Students need to put their focus on small sounds and pay extra attention to them; since small sounds are the elements that differ accents from each other.
After practicing for a long time and continuously, students will talk with a similar accent. The point often overlooked, the fact that listening to an accent is never enough, even if it is done for years; there are tons of people who have been watching American movies for years, but still, they cannot speak English with an American accent.
Imitating is something more than just listening, it is active listening and repeating. It is suggested to students to repeat what they hear over and over to keep it in mind.
Make sure that your current accent is not great enough
One thing that students need to pay attention to is whether their current accent has a problem or not. Sometimes, English learners have nice accents that do not even need to be changed, but students feel the need to imitate a new accent.
In this situation, we suggest that learners ask some natives who speak English for their advice. Native speakers can easily tell students whether their current accent is understandable and nice or not.
If native speakers realize that an accent is difficult to understand, then that accent needs to be changed. It should be taken under consideration, however, that the change in an accent does not happen overnight and it is something that requires a huge amount of time and practice especially in adults who have been practicing to speak English with an accent for a very long time.
Due to some obscure reasons, studies have shown that kids’ brains can imitate an accent much easier than adults’ brains. Accordingly, the time that adults need to devote to adding a new accent to their speaking will be longer. Therefore, students need to find a way to stay motivated all this time that they are working on their accent.
Work on stress and intonation
Intonation can be called the tone that is used for speaking and the stress that people put on different words. Different accents have different intonations.
For instance, in the word ‘address’, British speakers will put the stress on the second syllable whereas American native speakers put the stress on the first syllable.
Another fact about intonation is, sometimes changing the intonation and stress of the words changes the meaning of the word, accordingly, the meaning of the sentence will be different and these differences make it difficult for people to understand.
The suggested way to practice intonation is the same way that has been suggested for practicing pronunciation. By listening to movies, podcasts, and sitcoms and repeating and practicing for a long time, students can learn the correct intonations.
Practice makes perfect
It is a saying in English that says practice makes perfect. This saying works for learning a new accent too. As soon as a student chooses to learn a new accent and put that new accent into practice, he/she needs to start practicing.
The best way for students to get to the point that they have dreamed about, the point that they speak English with their favorite accent, is to speak English and practice the chosen accent in every chance they get.
The practices should not be just for the classroom or the time that students spend to speak English at school. Students should learn to make changes for themselves, for example, make international friends and talk with them, speak English with their family or friends and watch English materials as much as they can.
In brief, the only way that students can speak English without an accent and sound more like natives who speak English or advanced speaker is by practicing, meaning listening and speaking English continuously and putting themselves in the environment.
They should not expect to get a great result after a short time of practicing. Whereas, they need to stay motivated and continue practicing for a long time.