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Part I: Want to 'neutralise' your accent?

Many deserving candidates lose out on job opportunities because of their vernacular accent.

Can I 'neutralise' my accent?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is train yourself to speak English as comfortably and perfectly as you speak your mother tongue.

How do you train yourself? By inculcating certain practices in your daily lifestyle. These will get you closer to sounding like a native English speaker and equip you with a global accent -- and you will speak not American or British English, but correct English.

This is the first step to learn any other accent, be it American or British or Australian.

Lisa Mojsin, head trainer, director and founder of the Accurate English Training Company in Los Angeles, offers these tips to help 'neutralise' your accent or rather do away with the local twang, as you speak.

i. Observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and try to imitate them.

When you are watching television, observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, while imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech.

ii. Until you learn the correct intonation and rhythm of English, slow your speech down.

If you speak too quickly, and with the wrong intonation and rhythm, native speakers will have a hard time understanding you.

Don't worry about your listener getting impatient with your slow speech -- it is more important that everything you say be understood.

iii. Listen to the 'music' of English.

Do not use the 'music' of your native language when you speak English. Each language has its own way of 'singing'.

iv. Use the dictionary.

Try and familiarise yourself with the phonetic symbols of your dictionary. Look up the correct pronunciation of words that are hard for you to say.

v. Make a list of frequently used words that you find difficult to pronounce and ask someone who speaks the language well to pronounce them for you.

Record these words, listen to them and practice saying them. Listen and read at the same time.

vi. Buy books on tape.

Record yourself reading some sections of the book. Compare the sound of your English with that of the person reading the book on the tape.

vii. Pronounce the ending of each word.

Pay special attention to 'S' and 'ED' endings. This will help you strengthen the mouth muscles that you use when you speak English.

viii. Read aloud in English for 15-20 minutes every day.

Research has shown it takes about three months of daily practice to develop strong mouth muscles for speaking a new language.

ix. Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes.

Many people hate to hear the sound of their voice and avoid listening to themselves speak. However, this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you become conscious of the mistakes you are making.

x. Be patient.

You can change the way you speak but it won't happen overnight. People often expect instant results and give up too soon. You can change the way you sound if you are willing to put some effort into it.

Quick tips

Various versions of the English language exist. Begin by identifying the category you fall into and start by improving the clarity of your speech.

~ Focus on removing the mother tongue influence and the 'Indianisms' that creep into your English conversations.

~ Watch the English news on television channels like Star World, CNN, BBC and English movies on Star Movies and HBO.

~ Listen to and sing English songs. We'd recommend Westlife, Robbie Williams, Abba, Skeeter Davis and Connie Francis among others.

Books to help you improve your English
  • Essential English Grammar by Murphy (Cambridge)
  • Spoken English by R K Bansal and J B Harrison
  • Pronounce It Perfectly In English (book and three audio cassettes) by Jean Yates, Barrons Educational Series
  • English Pronunciation For International Students by Paulette Wainless Dale, Lillian Poms
more info: www.ingilizcepratik.net
Greetings SB from Nevada;

Thanks for these great tips on how to learn english. Personally, I am learning a lot more and improving a lot faster ever since I've read them and started following them.

Mario
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
hey mario

I do live in NEvada too;) Good to hear those.. i hope i will share more helpful tips with you guys!

warm regards,
fox
hi

the tips presented by u are very useful and sounds very good.

keep posting msgs like this.

bye
Respectable All,

hello,

My English is not quite well but reading and writing are not matter for me. I wana remove my stage fear because I ven’t the confidence to speak before others. I think it is very difficult to speak English when you have dozen pair of eyes fixed on you and as many ears alert to catch your words which u speak and find where u tripped. I know confidence is key of success, for this u must be improve Ur but communication skill and English play the major role in communication. Can u people guide me how can I remove this fear??????? I am very upset now-a-days for this because whenever u go for interview , Ur spoken English must be fluent and perfect.

Regards

Tahira

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

Motivation is half the Work

»Boring!« Well, that's definitely not the way it works.

Try to find a positive aspect to studying. Why not watch your favourite film in English and write down some useful words or phrases that you want to remember. You could also read the lyrics of Top 10 songs and try to understand what they are about. Or check out celebrity sites and learn more about famous actors, bands and other stars. This sure is good for your vocabulary and on top of that - it's lots of fun.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Don't overdo it!

Studying 15 minutes per day is more effective than studying 2 hours once every week.

For a whole week, try studying 15 minutes each day. Not less. And definitively not more than that (even if you could).

You will see that the following day, studying is much more fun, simply because you didn't push it to the limit the day before.

Know when to stop before you start.

Treat yourself to something good

Everbody notices what you failed to do. But nobody appreciates what you succeeded to do. That's rather frustrating, isn't it?

Appreciation is always a good motivation. And if nobody else appreciates your efforts, you'll have to do it yourself. Set a target for the day, the week or the term and do also set a reward for yourself that you can look forward to, e.g.:

If I achieve the target, I will treat myself to ...
  • an adventurous monster killing game on my computer
  • a visit to the cinema at the weekend
  • a short trip to London
  • ...
If it's a long-time target, write your reward down on a piece of paper and hang it up in a place where it catches your eye. This sure will be a good motivation.

Go for it!
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
hey thank you so much for thi useful infos;)
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