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Speaking English faster to sound more American?

Usually this is not a good idea. Often speaking fast will make your accent sound stronger. Here's why:There are specific rules that native speakers subconsciously follow when they speak quickly. If you don’t follow these rules your speech will be harder to understand. Americans reduce certain words and stress or emphasize certain others. This creates [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 February 8th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

American pronunciation of your foreign name

How do Americans pronounce your name? Do they struggle to say it? What name do you give when ordering coffee at Starbucks, your real name or an Americanized version?This is a common topic that comes up in my classes. Some of my students insist that Americans should pronounce their name the way it's pronounced in [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 January 28th, 2009|Uncategorized|3 Comments

free dowloads (response to a question)

A recent blog reader asked:"Do you know of any free downloads (listen and repeat type, if those exist)? I think those would help me a lot since I pronounce the individual words and short phrases really native-like but when I talk for a few minutes or say longer sentences in conversations my accent is evident."Actually [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 January 19th, 2009|Uncategorized|1 Comment

What Your Voice Says About You

I found this interesting article on Career Builder. It confirms what I say to my students over and over again. Don't speak so fast. Not only will your accent be stronger, but you might be perceived as insecure or not careful about details. There's nothing wrong with speaking slowly unless your voice is monotonous. This [...]

By | 2009-01-11T05:41:00+00:00 January 11th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

response to comment about embarassing mistakes

reader wrote: "Thanks very much for putting up this wonderful blog. I have been in the US for more than 7 years. My accent now is somewhat of a hybrid between American and Indian. Still at times I end up pronouncing some words (out of no where) in my native accent which in some cases [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 January 3rd, 2009|Uncategorized|3 Comments

When your mouth hurts from speaking English

I was inspired to write this because of what happened with one of my accent reduction students today. First I want to tell you about my personal experience with speaking French.When I go to France, the first few days that I am there it’s a struggle to get the words out smoothly and my mouth [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 December 18th, 2008|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Don’t stop practicing! Here’s how:

1. Pick a topic that you can speak about for three to four minutes. Record yourself giving this speech. Listen to the recording and write down all of the errors that you have heard in your speech. Then, re-record the same speech, and try to correct the mistakes that you made before. Repeat this same [...]

By | 2008-11-28T05:07:00+00:00 November 28th, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments

No Bad Words Allowed!!

Yesterday my student said to me that he had a client in “Newport Bitch.” I told him not to use bad language in my office!!! Of course, he meant “Newport Beach.” He told me that his American client laughed a little when he said that word in front of him. Have you made the same [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 November 24th, 2008|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Who are your role models for good speech?

In an effort to sound more American, some of my students try to imitate the speech of their native speaking friends, colleagues or spouses. While this is generally a good idea, you need to be aware of the fact that some native speakers may not be such great role models for you. Be careful of [...]

By | 2008-11-20T04:06:00+00:00 November 20th, 2008|Uncategorized|5 Comments

analyze your speaking style

Here’s something that will help some of you quickly improve your accents.Do a little self-diagnosis of your individual speaking style. Here are three questions to ask yourself:1. Do you tend to speak quickly in you native language?If yes, you probably speak fast when you are speaking English as well. This can cause your accent to [...]

By | 2017-01-24T23:22:16+00:00 November 7th, 2008|Uncategorized|1 Comment