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!

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.