How Native French Speakers Can Reduce Accent in English

French speakers reduce accent in English with Pronunciation ProAmerican English can be a difficult language for native French speakers to pronounce. French speakers tend to have a lot of interface, or using characteristics of their first language when speaking a non-native language. When they speak English and can carry their accent and grammar rules into English where those rules may not apply. While the journey towards learning English varies from one person to another, here are the top four issues native French speakers have when learning English.

Rhythm

Although English has a lot of patterns to help non-native learners understand syllable stress, English is much more irregular than the patterns of French. English pronunciation is in rhythm; for example words that end in –tion, -sion, or –ic suffex are stressed one syllable before the suffix. Interestingly, many of those same words can also have –al and –ally added to them causing the stressed syllable to not move and make words like classic become classically.

I vs. E

Native French speakers often substitute the short I sound with the long e sound. The differences between the words still and steel depend on proper pronunciation.

Voiced & Unvoiced th sounds

French speakers often use a z sound in place of the voiced th and an s sound in place of the unvoiced th. This trouble area can cause words like “then” to be pronounced as “zen,” and “think” to be spoken as “sink.” Given that many voiced and unvoiced th words create other English words when used incorrectly, miscommunication can occur very easily if proper pronunciation doesn’t occur.

Ch versus J

English has two sounds that are affricates: the ch sound and the j sound. To properly create an affricate, you must use your tongue to stop air for a small amount of time, and then releasing the air with friction. French speakers tend to pronounce the ch sound as sh, and pronounce the j sound like a zh due to creating just the released sound instead of the entire affricate. This means that the word chip gets mispronounced as ship.

Since many of the issues French speakers face when speaking English are due to creating actual words, just not the intended words, learning where the areas of improvement are can be difficult to pinpoint. For example, many French speakers will wonder if they said “I have a ship on my shoulder” as an incorrect idiom, without realizing that the word ship should have been pronounced as chip. Therefore, it’s extremely useful to work with an ASHA certified online Speech Pathologist who can help you find the areas of improvement and learn correct English pronunciation.

If you’ve been trying to learn American English for awhile now but haven’t had much success, online speech pathologists can help you significantly improve your American English pronunciation in as little as 12 weeks. Instead of struggling to learn American English on your own, begin enjoying learning a new language working with an online ASHA speech pathologist today!

Why Confidence Is As Important As Reducing Your Accent

Gain confidence in English with Pronunciation Pro accent reduction class online with ASHA certified Speech Pathologist

Gain confidence in English with Pronunciation Pro accent reduction class online with ASHA certified Speech Pathologist

Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Learning how to speak English is wonderful, but how you communicate in English determines your ability to converse successfully.

Talking too fast, too slow, and too quietly are just some of the ways static can occur in communication and are often a result of low confidence. Having confidence speaking English is just as important in reducing your accent as learning the words themselves, as confidence helps build English communication skills and can help non-native English speakers feel self-assured in social and work settings.

The first way to help boost confidence when speaking in a non-native language is practice! If you want to be conversational in English, you have to use what you’re learning so the language sticks in your mind and you can tangibly feel the progress you’re making. Without practice, it’s easy to sway from your commitment and move on to easier, less intimidating goals than learning a new language. Remind yourself why you wanted to speak English like an American in the first place, and chat away!

The second step is listening. As you’re talking to a fellow peer in English, pay attention to how they speak English with confidence, and notice if you’re pronouncing words differently than they are. Depending on your native language, non-native speakers can tend to over or under stress words, requiring slightly more effort by the receiver to decode what you’re saying. If you ask, “How was your day?” see if your peer responds, “My day today was…” and pick up on their pronunciation and compare it to yours.

This step is also where working with an ASHA certified Speech Pathologist helps. If you want a second opinion on your English pronunciation, and find areas of improvement, working with an online Speech Pathologist can help critique your progress and work with you to improve on speaking English like an American. Often, working with a Speech Pathologist is one of the most convenient ways to learn correct English pronunciation—they can take the time to work with you at the pace you need.

By speaking more often in English and listening to others to compare your pronunciation to theirs, you’re able to improve your English pronunciation and gain confidence in the process. The more assured you when speaking a foreign language, the more poised you can be during work and social interactions! Start taking the first step towards confidence in your English today for a better, more self-assured tomorrow.

Pronounce English Better: Record Yourself & Get Feedback

English pronunciation can be your lifesaver

Proper English pronunciation can be your lifeline at work, school. and socially.

Often, one of the biggest hindrances preventing non-native English speakers from improving on their pronunciation is not listening to what they say. Most ESL teachers and Speech Pathologists will recommend that students record themselves talking or asking a peer or professional for feedback in order to receive honest critiques.

When speaking English as a non-native English speaker, a great deal of energy is dedicated to keeping track on producing the correct language rather than monitoring the language. Because of this, many speakers don’t get to listen to themselves making pronunciation mistakes as they’re speaking.

By recording yourself talking in English, you can listen to what you’ve said afterwards, fully concentrating on your language production, and can try to find areas of improvement. By taking the time to practice recording yourself talking, you can gain increased understanding on what needs special attention and can have a benchmark for future reference to track your improvements.

It may sound strange, hearing your voice repeated back to you after recording, but this form of a pronunciation exercise is something most individuals get used to fairly quickly after listening to themselves a few times.

Working with an online Speech Pathologist can further your progress by enabling a comparison model for you to follow. One of the most powerful ways of learning correct English pronunciation is mimicking the way native speakers talk. By working with an online speech pathologist, you can work on repeating words or sentences back to your instructor until both versions are identical in pronunciation or submitting recordings of yourself talking to see if there’s anything more you can improve upon.

Pronunciation Pro offers a variety of mp3 files and worksheets to practice your English pronunciation online, in the privacy of your own home. Available 24/7, you can test out how Pronunciation Pro is beneficial to improving your English by having a free 7-day trial, or you can sign up for targeted help, by receiving a full accent assessment for $98.

Even if English isn’t your native language, you can learn how to speak English like an American and achieve accent reduction with time and effort. Find out your areas of improvement today and begin working on speaking English more clearly in a way that makes you confident both personally and professionally

Is Pronunciation an Issue You’re Willing to Face?

Americans with pronunciation problems and accent reduction for AmericansThroughout the United States, American English varies from one part of the country to another. Many citizens who speak English as their first language have learned to pronounce words and phrases based on how their families and friends talk, rather than from teachers and books. Mispronouncing words based on heavily accented regional diction can cause static in communication, and while every region in the United States has a dialect, how you speak can affect how people perceive you.

Depending on what region you’re from in America, fellow citizens may assert that people in other parts of the country speak with a drawl or twang or that in some places the residents may speak too fast; in others, slowly. Unfortunately, differences in pronunciation have contributed to widely held stereotypes, for instance, that Southerners are friendly but perhaps not as intelligent as Northerners, and that Northerners may be more rude.

For professionals who want to break free of regional diction stereotypes, taking pronunciation classes can help increase confidence and be seen more as an individual, and less as a stereotype.

Online pronunciation classes are becoming highly sought-after with one in five people working on accent reduction in order to sound more sophisticated at a job interview or to be considered more professional by clients. Within the competitive job market, individuals from Texas, Boston, and New York are most likely to work on accent reduction in order to break free of regional stereotypes, specifically for phone interviews. In a study of 1,000 adults by Trulawn found that eight percent of Britons have worked on accent reduction in order to sound more posh, while many of the well heeled in politics and law have adapted their current dialect in order to appear more ‘of the people.’

While the motives are many and varied, taking online accent reduction classes can help users speak with more confidence and come off more clearly and trustworthy to others. Stop being boxed in as a stereotype of where you’re from, and start being seen for the unique person that you are. Start reaching for your full potential today!

English Pronunciation Classes for Legal Professionals

pronunciation and accent help for lawyers pronunciationpro helps reduce foreign accents in English for TOLE and TOEFL

You can read and write in English, but how will you sound in a courtroom without reducing your accent?

When studying to have a career in the legal profession, taking classes on English pronunciation should be made just as an important as a priority as the rest of the required curriculum. Working in the field as a paralegal, lawyer or court transcriptionists a significant expectation of the position is giving off a sense of trust and professionalism.

Studying to be in the legal profession as a non-native English speaker unfortunately requires many paralegals, lawyers, and court transcriptionists to dedicate more time into preparing for a life of the law than native English speakers.

Multiple studies, including one by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology have all shown that clients are less likely to trust non-native English speaking legal representation, than those who can speak English like an American.

Even further, witnesses and jury members are less likely to trust information spoken by paralegals, lawyers and court transcriptionists if they speak with a foreign accent. Researchers believe people associate truthfulness with the ease of understanding and accents make that more difficult. The more difficult people have understanding someone, the more uncertainty there is in the listeners’ minds and uncertainty leads to a lack of trust. By improving English pronunciation, students are more likely to be seen as professional and trustworthy both in and outside the courtroom.

Luckily, gaining trust and a sense of professionalism within the courtroom is easy and convenient. Students can improve their American English pronunciation and fluency in just 12-weeks online. Starting with a free 7-day trial, legal professionals and students have access to worksheets, lessons, and videos to help students gain confidence and be heard more easily. Begin improving your English today, in your time with Pronunciation Pro!

Affordable Pronunciation Classes: Dean’s Award for Foreign Students

accent reduction and TOEFL help for college students

Use a Dean’s Award to make pronunciation and accent reduction classes affordable!

With universities relying on international students attending their campuses, now is the perfect time for international student hopefuls to apply—and the Dean’s Award makes it possible for them to pay for classes, including online pronunciation courses!

International student enrollment has grown across the nation since 2005, mostly from Asian countries. Many international students believe that American universities make a better impression on US employers than schools in their native countries, and it also helps them avoid having to pass post-university exams to legitimize their non-native diploma.

With the odds of getting into an American university favorable for international students right now, this is a great time for non-native English speakers to apply. Using the Dean’s award to afford pronunciation classes and help with accent reduction online helps to complete English fluency and improve spoken English.

Working with a Speech Pathologist specializing in accent reduction, student hopefuls can learn how to speak English like an American and perfect their English pronunciation to pass the TOEFL exam and successfully apply to learn in an American university. Once admitted, international students can use their Dean’s Award fund to work on their accent reduction online, to better their chances of landing their career after graduating.

With the funding available, now is the best time to work on English pronunciation for students especially. Pronunciation Pro offers online pronunciation courses that work with student’s busy schedules and make the content available for viewing 24/7.

Ready to learn more about how to pass the TOEFL spoken exam? No problem, Pronunciation Pro offers that too. It’s all part of what you’ll get when you sign up for your free trial today!

ESL Teachers: Teach English Pronunciation to Your ESL Students this Year!

ESL teachers and pronunciation new school year teach accent reduction

A new year, a new road to better ways of complete English learning taught by ESL teachers with the help of PronunciationPro.com!

September marks the beginning of a new school year for many, a challenging yet rewarding new road for ESL teachers who work with non-native English students.

Teaching ESL or ESOL comes with difficulties, as language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners face in learning English arise from the degree in which their native language differs from English. While teaching grammar and vocabulary to students stays relatively the same, teaching accent reduction to perfect English pronunciation can be difficult, due to the variety of language backgrounds students come from.

Qualified ESL and ESOL teachers often try to implement new teaching strategies for students to get the most out of the classroom time, and that’s where Speech Pathologists can help. While ESL instructors have the specialty to teach non-native English students how to learn the new language, speech language pathologists can help students gain the skills and confidence to speak up and carry a conversation speaking English like an American.

Allowing students to work with Pronunciation Pro in a 12-week accent reduction and pronunciation training program, students can have access to videos and worksheets specifically aimed at individual accent reduction that can be a great supplement to the classroom setting.

This school year, combining the in-classroom teaching with a one-on-one online pronunciation program allows students to become well rounded in all aspects of English fluency no matter their language backgrounds or the challenges that arise from student to teacher ratios in the classroom.

Allow students to reach their maximum potential. Students can get started with Pronunciation Pro online courses for a low subscription fee of $19.97 per month per student.

Top 10 TOEFL Idioms

common English sayings TOEFL exam cat is out of the bag

The cat is out of the bag! Do you know what that really means?

Learning how to use proper grammar and writing skills isn’t enough to show you fully understand the English language. An important and oftentimes tricky part of English is mastering common English idioms. Used to express a figurative meaning, English idioms are so common that they can appear on the TOEFL exam to measure English comprehension.

If you’re preparing for the TOEFL or TOEIC exams, this list of common idiomatic expressions can be useful to learn before taking your test.

The bottom line: The result; the final outcome; to get to the point

Used in a sentence:

I understand it won’t be easy, but the bottom line is that we need the presentation completed by Monday morning, no excuses.

Taking the heat: Taking criticism or blame for something you didn’t do, typically to protect another person

Used in a sentence:

Thanks for taking the heat for me Rachel, and saying it was you who left the door unlocked.

The cat’s out of the bag: The secret has been made known.

Used in a sentence:

Sarah’s surprise party will just be a party now; the cat’s out of the bag on that one.

Smoke and mirrors: Deception and confusion used to mislead people instead of inform them

Used in a sentence:

I thought that housecleaning company was legitimate, but turns out it was nothing but smoke and mirrors covering up a money laundering operation.

Draw the line: To stop; to know the point where something goes from okay to not okay.

Used in a sentence:

I told you that you could decorate your office, but I draw the line at you repainting the walls. 

Silver lining: To find the good or positive side in a bad situation.

Used in a sentence:

So you got fired, look at the silver lining—now you can focus on your photography like you always wanted!

Get something off your chest: To talk about something that has been bothering you for a while, to make a confession

Used in a sentence:

I wanted to get something off my chest, and let you know that it really bothered me that I wasn’t invited to your birthday party like all of our other co-workers were.

Fish out of water: To feel out of place

Used in a sentence:

Attending a comic book convention made Ben feel like a fish out of water, as he had never read a comic book in his life.

In the nick of time: To accomplish a task right before it’s too late

Used in a sentence:

I turned in the homework for my online college class in the nick of time at 11:59 pm, when it was due by midnight.

Put your foot in your mouth: To say something you shouldn’t have

Used in a sentence:

Matt put his foot in his mouth when he asked a woman if she was pregnant when she wasn’t.

With over 25,000 English idioms, knowing which ones will be on the TOEFL exam may be hard to predict, but becoming familiar with common English idioms can make you better prepared. To gain additional help with idioms or preparation for the TOEFL exam, consider signing up for the free 7-day pronunciation course to get you started on the right foot!

Avoid Misusing the Words Go, Went, & Gone

go went gone when to use what tense in English

Are you going? Did you go? Who went with you? Know which word is correct to use when you’re coming and going in English!

When learning English as a second language, one of the most common grammatical misuses comes from the verbs go, went, and gone.

Unlike every other English verb except be, the simple past tense of go is not etymologically related to its infinitive, instead the simple past tense of go, went, descends from the Old English word wend. Why it may not make sense when learning English as a non-native speaker, the use of these verbs happen frequently in conversation, making it significantly beneficial to learn how to use the verbs go, went, and gone, properly.

Go – The present tense form of the verb displaying that the act of “going” is happening now.

Used in a sentence:

I go to the grocery store twice a week.

I’m going to the mall today if you would like to join me.

My brother goes to church every Sunday. 

Went – The past tense of the verb which means the act is finished and over with.

Used in a sentence:

I went to Disney World for vacation last summer. 

My friends went to the movies and recommended the movie.

My daughter went to the beach last weekend and had a great time. 

Gone – The past tense of the verb that is only used after the words have, has, had, is, or any form of the word be.

Ex. Had gone, has gone, is gone, have gone, will be gone, are gone, were gone, am gone.

Used in a sentence:

I had gone to the gym by myself, as my friends were all at work.

Everyone thought the cold weather would be gone by now. 

All the cookies from the party are gone.

Using the verbs go, went, and gone properly is important in being understood in English and is the difference between sounding like an American and speaking English correctly.

It’s important to never use went after has, had, is, have, will be, are, or were, as it is grammatically incorrect.

Working on mastering the use of these verbs in English initially is a lot easier than trying to re-learn proper English later down the line. For additional help and practice, the 7-day FREE TRIAL with Pronunciation Pro is available and can help prepare you with the basics of these verbs alongside the 3-month online pronunciation class.

7 Warning Signs Your English Pronunciation Isn’t What It Could Be

socializing for immigrants learning English pronunciation

Being more social will help improve your English pronunciation!

If you’re trying to improve your foreign accent in spoken English, there are some dos and don’ts you should be aware of. Here are seven things you can do to avoid making common mistakes while learning to pronounce American English.

1. Don’t be scared to leave the comfort of your cultural group—spend time with Americans and engage in conversation regularly. Watch how they pronounce words and sounds you have trouble with.

2. Don’t avoid learning the rhythm of English: it’s not enough to read and write English well if you’ll need to speak English in a work setting or socially. Use an English pronunciation and accent reduction class online to help you understand American English rhythm.

3. Don’t forget to breathe: In any new language we learn, it’s always better to breathe and speak slowly and deliberately so listeners can focus on what you’re saying rather than how you’re saying it. Speedy speech is not the hallmark of excellent fluency, and can often make you seem more anxious.

4. Don’t think your accent will go away on its own over time. You need to engage in routine activity socially, at school and/or work, and also practice your spoken English. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have a speech pathologist listen to your recorded voice and give you feedback about where you need help with your pronunciation in English. Practice, practice, practice, and help from an online accent reduction coach—all of this can be done for less than $20 per month.

5. Don’t avoid social media: Take the time to listen to accent reduction videos online and join social media groups that focus on American English pronunciation learning. You’ll hear from others who are going through a lot of the same things you are, and also find a wealth of helpful information about accent reduction exercises and other tips to improve your English.

6. Don’t avoid social groups or clubs: Joining a club or group with common interests such as sports teams, book clubs, and even volunteer activities will help grow your circle of native English speaking friends and enhance your understanding of conversational English.

7. Don’t be scared to ask for feedback from friends and family—ask important questions, including, “Can you understand my English better now than when we first met?” and so on—likely, you’ll be very encouraged by what you hear.