I want to improve my accent but I don’t know where to start
During a consultation this week a new client said to me,
“Susan, I want to improve my accent but I don’t know where to start. There are lots of videos on YouTube and I’ve looked at those, but I don’t know exactly how those lessons apply to me.”
And she’s right!
There are lots and lots of YouTube videos (and even some apps) for improving your accent. And many of them are very good. I especially like the videos by Rachel’s English.
But, as my client said, where do you start?
How do you know which lessons apply to you?
Start by learning syllable stress patterns
I strongly believe that the best place to start (for most of you) is learning the American English syllable stress patterns.
If you learned to speak English in India, China, Russia, Belarus, Korea, Japan, Latin America, France, Vietnam…..you should absolutely start by learning the rules for syllable stress.
Two reasons to start with syllable stress patterns
Here are two reasons you should start your accent training by learning syllable stress patterns.
1. No one taught you the rules for American English syllable stress. You missed out because you learned English through reading and writing. AND you did not have an American English teacher.
2. Syllable stress is a fundamental feature of spoken American English. If you stress the correct syllable in each word, Americans will almost always understand you.
Using syllable stress makes your speech sound clear
I guarantee that once you master the rules of syllable stress, your speech will sound more clear.
Americans will understand you much more easily. I see this happen all the time with the people in my accent reduction coaching program.
My American accent training courses
All of my American accent training courses provide you with clear, concise lessons on how to use syllable stress when you speak.
• In my American Accent Training for MBAs course you learn to say business words clearly using syllable stress.
• In my American Accent Training for IT Professionals course you learn to say information technology words clearly using syllable stress.
• In my American Accent Training for South Asian English Speakers you learn the syllable stress patterns that you never learned in India.
• In my American Accent Master Class you get a solid foundation on all aspects of American English syllable stress.
You can take a free trial lesson for any of the training courses above on my ConfidentVoice training platform.
Don’t underestimate the power of syllable stress
You can read more about the power of using the correct syllable stress here on my ConfidentVoice blog.
About the author
Susan Ryan is an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.