When you speak English in America, do you ever notice yourself holding back in conversation or avoiding it altogether? Do you ever feel nervous or agitated at being asked to repeat yourself all the time? How about feeling that you’re being chronically misunderstood, underestimated, or judged? These are all signs that you’re experiencing something called accent...
When you speak English in America, do you ever notice yourself holding back in conversation or avoiding it altogether? Do you ever feel nervous or agitated at being asked to repeat yourself all the time? How about feeling that you’re being chronically misunderstood, underestimated, or judged?
These are all signs that you’re experiencing something called accent anxiety. Accent anxiety is when you feel discomfort and anxiety when speaking English in America. American accent training can help.
Accent anxiety is due to a disconnect between your native accent and the way English is commonly spoken. Along with knowing a language, you must know how to speak the language in a way that people will readily understand you. There is a large variety of accents in English, and when you move into a new area, you may find that people speak differently from what you are used to. If your native accent is too overpowering or distracting to a listener, they won’t be able to understand you. This is more than just awkward. It can seriously impact your work, social life, and income.
You might believe that if you live in America long enough, you’ll pick up the accent effortlessly. However, scientific studies indicate that after age 12, the length of residence in another place won’t help you lose your accent.
Our top-rated American accent school helps people with accent anxiety every day by teaching them the standard American accent.
We know the toll that this anxiety can take over time and how accent coaching can alleviate it. In this article, we will discuss accent anxiety, its underlying fears, and 5 things you can do to conquer it today.
5 Ways To Banish Accent Anxiety and Speak English with Confidence
1. Become Aware of Your Specific Fears
Facing the prospect of chronic misunderstanding wherever you speak English can exacerbate many deeper, universal fears. If this is true for you, it’s essential to identify what these fears might be so you can address them with a proper solution. You can also rest easy, knowing that these fears are normal and that many people experience them for a good reason.
While you may not experience all of the fears on the list below, you can probably relate to at least one. Make a mental note of which ones resonate the most, if any.
- Fear of mispronouncing something and being misunderstood
- Fear of being underestimated at work or in life
- Fear of making mistakes in front of other people
- Fear of being judged or stereotyped
- Fear of rejection or being laughed at
- Fear of being identified as “other” or otherwise undesirable
- Fear of losing income or work opportunities
Because accent reduction coaching softens your native accent and teaches you the American accent, it can ease these fears, if not eradicate them altogether.
2. Practice Speaking in the American Accent
Now that you have an idea of the fears you may be experiencing, it’s time to talk about the solution: accent training.
This is the process of reducing your native accent and training an American one so that you don’t just know English – you can sound like an American when you speak (or close enough). To do this, you need to practice your pronunciation as much as possible.
Of course, we know how hard this can be if you have accent anxiety. Our accent reduction coaches offer a safe, non-judgmental space to practice conversation and vocal skills so that you develop your accent bit by bit. All of our accent coaching classes are tailored to your personal needs because you work one-on-one with a coach. So, you don’t need to be nervous about getting things wrong in front of others.
3. Slow Down When You Speak
Slowing down when you speak accomplishes two essential things.
First, it gives you the extra time you need to clear up your pronunciation. Like any skill, learning an accent takes time. Your brain and muscle memory need additional time to hear, process, and create new sounds.
Second, you may be speaking English at a speed that’s too fast. This makes it hard for native English speakers to keep up and understand you. Different languages have different “speeds,” and English is a mid-range speed. If your native language is faster, like Spanish, you’ll need to practice speaking slower for the “locals.”
Our accent coaches can help you find the right pace so you can sound words out correctly.
4. Embrace the Process
Learning or mastering a new accent is a huge skill and accomplishment. Not only will it lead to confidence, but accent adaptation can also lead to more social opportunities, income, and employability.
These are great reasons to learn the American accent and embrace the process. While this process can be challenging, it can also be fun, motivating, and uplifting. Just read how hundreds of our accent reduction students took full advantage of the process.
5. Hire a Professional Accent Coach
Taking accent reduction coaching is much easier, faster, and more effective than trying to learn the American accent on your own.
There are several reasons for this. During accent coaching, your teacher can guide you to slow down so you can hear subtleties you may have missed and come to pronounce things more clearly. They can give you immediate, on-the-spot corrections. They’ll assess your unique accent and tailor lessons to you and your trouble spots. Finally, a coach can encourage you and keep you on track when you feel discouraged.
If you’d like to learn more about our accent reduction coaches and accent correction, check out our top-rated accent training program. Accent Advisor’s one-on-one classes are affordable, always online, and effective.
Let us be a part of your success story. Enroll today and learn to speak English with confidence.