If you’re a non-native speaker of English and struggle to be understood, you’ve probably thought to yourself, ” What can I do to help lose my accent?” You may have even searched the internet and seen some inexpensive prepackaged kits with CD-ROMs designed to help you speak with an American accent just by listening to their recordings and practicing.
Perhaps you also found some accent reduction specialists offering to work with you individually or in a small group but the cost was higher. Which one is better, you may wonder. And is it worth the cost to hire a speech coach to help you speak like an American?
Great question! It goes back to the old adage that says “you get what you pay for.” Many of those kits have some valuable information in them, and you may find them helpful. However, they are not targeted to a particular individual, so you may find yourself practicing sounds that don’t really affect your speech.
For example, there are 51 sounds in the English language, but most non-native speakers only have 10-15 sounds affecting their speech. How will you know which ones you need to work on? A qualified accent reduction specialist should provide you with a customized speech analysis and a personalized plan that addresses only the sounds that you need to speak with an American accent.
Also, most of those kits cannot provide personal, objective feedback to be sure you are pronouncing the sounds correctly. If you can figure it out on your own, that’s great!
But, if you would like the guidance of a highly trained professional, the assurance of knowing that you are producing the sounds correctly, and the support of having others alongside you as you work toward your goals, then an accent reduction class will be a great investment. If you prefer to work with a professional privately, most accent reduction specialists offer individual lessons, some will come to your home or office, and a few even offer classes over the internet. Sometimes, a company will pay for the training when an employee’s job performance is affected by their accent.
When you are ready to hire someone to help you with your American accent, look for a specialist with a speech pathology background, as speech pathologists have Master’s level specialized training in how the mouth works to produce sounds and have experience in how to teach those sounds to others.
Once you find an accent reduction specialist and begin to practice, you will quickly see the benefits of having a personal speech trainer; you will speak with more of an American accent, and others will see the new and improved you!
Before you leave, download my FREE report How to Speak English Like an American: 6 Steps You Can Take Today! just by visiting my website: