I always tell my accent reduction clients that one way to speak more clearly and sound more American is to lengthen your vowel sounds.
Why do you need to do that? Well…in spoken North American English every word has one vowel sound that is stressed. Stressed vowel sounds are said a bit louder and a bit longer than the other vowel sounds in a word.
Stressing the correct vowel sound is one of the best techniques you can use to reduce your accent and make yourself understood by North Americans.
Here is a short story from the New York Times that describes a Japanese student changing his accent to sound more American. And yes….he started to lengthen his vowel sounds.
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Tags: accent reduction japanese speakers, Accent Reduction Techniques, american vowel sounds, learn american accent