While people from Japan often have excellent reading and writing skills, their spoken English can be very difficult for others to understand.
Japanese speakers frequently struggle with spoken English for several reasons. These include:
- Syllable stress & vowel length in English are VERY different than in Japanese
- Spoken English employs linking between words
- Spoken English uses many types of intonation
- The /r/ & /l/ sounds are distinctly different sounds in English
When I work with Japanese professionals in my accent reduction coaching program, I start out by teaching them how to lengthen their vowel sounds & use intonation. ♫
I use this strategy because, although it doesn’t erase their accents, it allows them to be more easily understood. ✔
That’s the first step~
Once my Japanese clients can speak American English in a more comprehensible way using vowel length & intonation, I move on to consonant articulation & linking.
My Japanese clients often need to take one of my longer programs…but because they always practice on their own between our session, they always make progress improving their accents.✰
This article from Reuters explains the problems that many Japanese businessmen are currently experiencing with spoken English.
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