Gotta, Wanna, Shoulda, Coulda: How and When to Say Words This Way

American English pronunciation and accent reduction help with American slangGotta = Got to

Wanna = Want to

Shoulda = Should have

Coulda = Could have

Americans have a funny relationship with English. In some circles and circumstances, it would be totally unthinkable to say “wanna” instead of “want to.” For example, you will probably never hear someone in a board meeting say, “We wanna really increase sales this quarter and I think we coulda done better last quarter.”

But in other instances, learning to speak English like an American means you will need to loosen up. For example, many Indian, Chinese, and Arabic native speakers have a hard time letting go of the very formal English when they are in a social and relaxed atmosphere. For example, if you were out at a club with friends, over-pronouncing and using absolutely perfect diction can be seen as uptight, and make you seem as though you can’t loosen up—this means it isn’t entirely bad to engage in the use of gotta, wanna, shoulda, coulda, and other technically misspoken words in certain settings.

This doesn’t mean you should over-use these variations on the correct pronunciation of words in English, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should speak this way immediately. As they say, you must walk before you can run, so having an excellent grasp on English pronunciation and after you feel very confident with the practice of your accent reduction program, you can begin to use the more relaxed versions of words that are so incredibly commonplace.

Before you start feeling brave, discuss with your English pronunciation Speech Pathologist whether or not they feel you are ready to take this step. It is entirely possible that once you have completed a 12-week pronunciation course online, your American pronunciation coach may tell you that it’s okay to start blending in more relaxed versions of common speech.

Either way, chances are, you will know when the time is right. And when you do, try to keep in mind the contexts in which the difference between the two. It takes time and practice, but once you have perfected your American English accent, there’s no reason you can’t blend in with your American counterparts—but only if you wanna :)

English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction: What We Can Learn From My Fair Lady!

improve your American English accent with pronunciation pro My Fair LadyThere’s a lot to be learned about English pronunciation and accent reduction from the fair lady, Eliza Doolittle, and her accent reduction coach Professor Henry Higgins.

As the story goes, Higgins makes a bet with his buddy, Colonel Pickering that he can turn the unwitting street urchin, Eliza, into a high society socialite in a mere six months time. He works tirelessly with Eliza to reduce her cockney accent to make her sound like a proper lady of the times, and in the end, he is a smash success, and wins his bet with Pickering.

At PronunciationPro.com, speech pathologist and accent reduction coach Annie Ruden offers to non-native English speakers the same kind of English pronunciation help—but Ruden gets it done in HALF the time it took Henry Higgins!

How is this possible? How can you begin to speak English like an American in just 12 weeks? Well, our old friend Higgins and his protegé Eliza didn’t have access to the Internet, and they surely weren’t able to interface using MP3 recordings, live webinar training, and live feedback from a certified American English trainer based on unique recordings from each student. Perhaps if Higgins had this kind of access, he would have taken up English pronunciation training as his full-time job!

But the essentials of Professor Higgins’ approach is not unlike what Pronunciation Pro uses today: the use of intonation training, working on the rhythm of spoken English, phonetics, and other accent reduction exercises are what made Professor Higgins successful, and this is exactly the framework that Pronunciation Pro uses as well—but with the added benefit of taking less time, working at your own pace on your free time, and at an unbeatable price that begins with a 7-day free trial.

Interested in reducing your accent in spoken English? Check out PronunciationPro.com’s $19 monthly subscription and read through the FAQs and testimonials to see how you too can enjoy the benefits of a 50-75% reduction in your foreign accent in English. It’s simple, builds confidence, and you’ll do it in half the time Eliza Doolittle did!

How to Pass the TOEFL Exam: Prepare for the Spoken TOEFL Test

pass the TOEFL spoken English test PronunciationProFor foreign students in the US, the TOEFL iBT test is an important step towards job placement and advancement. The test is administered as at sit-down exam, or via Internet, and measures ability to use and understand English at the university level, and evaluates how well you combine listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills.

Over 27 million people have taken the TOEFL exam, including students planning to study at a higher education institution, scholarship and certification candidates, and students and workers applying for visas. Known as “The Test of English as a Foreign Language,” TOEFL was developed by the ETS that many colleges and universities in the US require ESL students to take. These people must have a passing TOEFL score before they can apply to programs.

Designed for advanced learners who are ready to prove they have the ability to live, study, or work in an English-speaking environment, knowing how to pass the TOEFL exam is important for many—and preparation is key to success.

To pass, applicants must pass the speaking portion of TOEFL, which accounts for a fourth of the total grade. There are six speaking questions: two about familiar topics, and four based on short readings and conversations. After hearing a question, individuals must provide a response, and are evaluated on delivery, language use, and topic development. Many who take the exam find the speaking portion to be challenging.

In order to score well on TOEFL speaking section, English pronunciation is important, but unfortunately, many are not aware their accents can hinder results on the exam.

With a mandatory two-month waiting period between exams, many college hopefuls only have a few opportunities to pass the TOEFL before their desired application date. Considering the $160 to $250 testing fee per exam, passing the first time is ideal.

For those who want to prepare for the TOEFL exam, English pronunciation and accent reduction courses online can help their ability to speak English clearly and have a better chance at passing.

PronunciationPro.com offers help online in a 12-week program that is tailored to your schedule and budget to enhance confidence while speaking English. Providing a free trial and a basic version that costs less than the price of one TOEFL exam, there are a variety of options complete with online trainings with affordable ASHA certified Speech Pathologists.

Speaking English clearly is important for the TOEFL test, for participating in classroom settings, and for job placement. Preparing before the exam with an English pronunciation expert is beneficial and can help relieve stress before the TOEFL exam. Prepare for the exam in a way that will yield results, by signing up for Pronunciation Pro.

Accent Reduction and Pronunciation: American English Versus English Spoken in India

accent reduction for Indians learning English pronunciation

Many regions and provinces in India mean many dialects, many languages, many accents in English.

Native Indian accents vary greatly due to the diversity of languages spoken within Indian states and Union territories. While the native languages are Hindi and English, French and Portuguese are also widely spoken, providing great diversity, but also a unique blend with how words are pronounced that is unique to India. Some individuals speak English in a manner similar to the Standard British accent, with others leaning towards a more native-tinted accent for their English pronunciation. Indian professionals and students in the US may have difficulty communicating effectively with Americans due to the differences between Indian English and American English. In becoming aware of how Indian accents vary among American English accents, focusing on adjusting pronunciation can allow for stronger, more effective communication that is more widely recognized.

With vowels, many Indian speakers do not make a clear distinction between the letter o and a, making a word such as not sound like nat. This can be adjusted by pronouncing an increasingly rounded o. Rounding the letter c in addition to o, can help properly change pronouncing “coffee” as kaaffi, and saying “copy” clearly instead of kaapi, etc. Words including class, staff and last are often pronounced with a back /a/ as in Northern British dialects, unlike American English. Recognizing frequently used words and learning when to stress the letters and round them can help eliminate confusion for those working on accent reduction in English.

Consonants pose their own struggles in communicating Indian English with American English. With standard Hindi and most other vernaculars not differentiating between the letters v and w, many Indians use the letters in free variation, letting words including wet and vet become homophones. Other letters often interchanged in sound include f with p and s with the letter z. It is this issue with pronunciation that makes taking an online accent reduction class very worthwhile for non-native speakers from India.

If learning how to pronounce American English is important in either your personal or professional life, listening intently to how American English is pronounced can introduce you to ways you can improve your American accent.