Learning any new language is a process that takes patience, discipline, and most importantly, a great deal of enthusiasm. I have seen many students in the past who said they were eager to learn languages ranging from American English to Japanese, but in the end weren’t successful because they didn’t utilize the tools and practices available to help them master that new language.
If you regularly visit American English University, you know that there are countless topics and lessons required in order to cover all of the basic pronunciation rules and techniques. American English University is designed specifically to provide many of the most current guides and practice tools available to help you, our student, succeed in your goal of achieving that true American English accent!
But, in order to get that American English accent, you must consider the overall approach you are taking. How often do you practice your pronunciations? Do you immerse yourself in American culture and media? How many times a week do you have conversations with friends and family in American English? For those of you dedicated to learning American English, you probably do each of these things everyday! Even if you aren’t to that point yet, don’t worry! In today’s lesson we will cover some highly useful tips for how to pronounce English words.
This is what I refer to those times when you take 30 minutes of your day to sit down and practice just your American English accent. The best way to learn a language is by focusing on it without any distractions. By setting aside personal time to study, you will have greater success in mastering new mouth movements. In the past, mu students have had great success by setting an accent-training schedule for themselves where they focus on three things in each practice session:
- Learn 5 new difficult words and 5 easy words in English.
- Spend a minute on each word, focusing on mouth movements for each syllable.
- Putting these new words into sentences, as if you are in a conversation. Be creative!
If you want the single best piece advice for American English and improving your accent, this is it! Practice regularly! Doing so will allow your brain to retain more information and continually expand understanding of the English language. Without frequent practice, you will have a MUCH tougher time getting the accent you want. So instead of cramming for hours at a time, try setting aside 30-40 minutes a day, 7 days a week, to read American English University’s free lessons and work on your pronunciations. You will be amazed at your progress!
Identify weaknesses and build strengths
Almost every single person has a different way of learning new languages. It’s all about identifying the things you struggle with and creating a plan to overcome those weaknesses. Maybe you have a tough time new vocabulary words or have trouble speaking American English in conversation. We all have difficulties with new languages, so don’t be discouraged! Instead, make a list of the 5 things you need to work on and 5 things you are good at. You may be surprised at how much this simple activity can help you form a personal language learning plan!
Record your voice
How will you know if you are making progress if you can’t hear yourself? As I’ve mentioned in previous lessons, using a personal voice recorder will help you analyze how you pronounce words, phrases and sentences. If you typically have trouble pronouncing ‘r’, take a few minutes and record yourself pronouncing 10 or 15 words that begin with ‘r’. Not happy with how you sound? Record yourself again, this time making small adjustments to alter your pronunciation and accent. This kind of hard work will pay off in the end, I promise!
TV and Movies
This is one of my favorite ways of learning a new language! It isn’t the first step in the process, but watching movies and TV shows, and listening to music in English will train your brain to identify words more effectively. In addition to being fun, watching American movies will give you more exposure to the American English accent.