Good listeners can reduce their accents
Over the weekend I was working on the American vowel sounds with one of my accent reduction coaching clients.
We were working on the /iy/ as in Green vowel sound & the /I/ as in Silver vowel sound.
- /iy/ as in Green is the vowel sound in the word leave
- /I/ as in Silver is the vowel sound in the word live
I can’t hear the difference
My client, a project manager at an international communications company, said
“Susan, I can’t even hear the difference between these two sounds. How can I say these sounds correctly, when I can’t hear the difference?”
This is a question that I get every week.
And it’s a good one!
Learning to listen for American English sounds
If you’re an adult non-native speaker, you won’t naturally hear the subtle differences between American English vowel sounds.
Your kids will hear the difference.
But adults almost always need focused listening practice.
Test your listening skills right now!
Can you hear the difference between these American vowel sounds?
- /iy/ as in Green & /I/ as in Silver (leave & live)
- /ɛ/ as in Red & /æ/ as in Black (expend & expand)
- /ʊ/ as in Wood & /uw/ as in Blue (foot & food)
Were you able to easily hear the difference between each pair of sounds?
The difference may not be noticeable to you, but American English speakers will easily hear the difference!
Listening, noticing & change
Once you learn to hear the American vowel sounds, you’ll clearly notice them when people say them.
You’ll hear native speakers using these sounds all the time and you’ll wonder why you never heard them before!
Learning to listen is the first step
Once you can hear the American vowel sounds, you can learn to articulate them clearly.
I use the Color Vowel Method to teach vowel articulation.
It’s an excellent methodology that really works!
I can show you how
Learning to listen for American sounds and patterns is the first step toward accent change.
If you’re a non native speaker of American English who’d like to learn how to pronounce the 15 American vowel sounds, select the link to check out my Skype accent reduction coaching program.
In my coaching program you’ll learn to speak American English in a way that your colleagues and clients will understand.