American Accent TrainingHow to Make the Most of Accent Reduction Classes

American accent training can open the door to endless opportunities. Whether you’re already enrolled in accent reduction classes or thinking about signing up, make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. Let’s see how to do it! Selecting the right accent reduction course If you are pleased with your American accent training...

American accent training can open the door to endless opportunities. Whether you’re already enrolled in accent reduction classes or thinking about signing up, make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. Let’s see how to do it!

Selecting the right accent reduction course

If you are pleased with your American accent training program, you will feel motivated to give it your best. There are various factors to consider to find the best American accent training program for you.  Possibly the most important are the program’s curriculum, learning materials, and teaching methods. 

Accent reduction classes are not the same as ESL or English language classes. While some American accent training programs may provide lessons on grammar and vocabulary, that should not be its focus. Choose a program that teaches actual everyday pronunciation for the level of formality that you are interested in learning. Take the word “comfortable” as an example. You may be tempted to pronounce this word as “KOHM-FOR-TAY-BUHL”. If this word were pronounced as it is spelled, that would be the correct pronunciation. However, most native speakers of the American accent pronounce this as “Kumf-ter-bul” or “Kum-fer-d’bl”. Try it.

Since 2017, Accent Advisor has been researching and teaching the ever-changing speech patterns that are spoken and understood in today’s America. 

Making sure that you are learning from the best American accent training program is the first step to getting the most out of your accent reduction classes. What can you do before your first lesson?

Learn about yourself, then learn the American accent

Taking accent reduction classes is similar to visiting the doctor. How so? You are consulting an expert to help you identify and work on areas that need improvement. As is the case with doctor’s appointments, to get the most out of American accent training, you need to come well-prepared.

Take the time to get to know yourself. Think about your goals and motives. Are you learning the American accent to advance your career, audition for a movie, or to improve your everyday conversation? Being aware of your motives for signing up for an American accent training program will help you to be clear about your objective, and to reach measurable goals. 

Analyze your strengths and weaknesses concerning the American accent. Doing so will make you feel more involved in your accent reduction lessons. Try to compare your current speech patterns to those of the general American accent. Identify areas where you can improve the most. Is it a certain sound, like the “th”, “v”, or “r” sound? Or maybe the rhythm and tone of the language? 

Don’t forget to acknowledge all that you have already accomplished while learning the English language. Even though you have a thick accent if you are able to read English, or understand native speakers, that counts for something. Good work!

Granted, many areas of improvement will take a professional American accent trainer to identify, and that’s ok. That’s what they are here for. However, the better you know your strengths, the easier it will be able to address your weaknesses through your accent reduction classes.

After analyzing yourself, what should you do with this information? Let’s find out.

Tell your American accent trainer about yourself

Share what you discover about your American accent training needs and preferences with your American accent trainer. If the training program allows for some customization, ask your accent trainer to tailor lessons for your needs. For example, if you are working on a script or a speech, ask if you can go over it with your accent coach. If you work in a field that uses certain jargon, perhaps you and your accent trainer can go over specific words and phrases that will help. Even if your goals are simply to improve your everyday conversation, let your American accent trainer know.

Tell your trainer about any particular sounds, words, or phrases that you have difficulty with. Your coach may already have an established plan for optimal improvement. However, this open communication will give them a better idea of how to help you. You wouldn’t want a doctor to prescribe treatment before getting to know you, right?

Don’t hesitate to speak up about any of your concerns. Your American accent trainer is interested in your satisfaction. Perhaps they can make some adjustments. Or, maybe this will open up the conversation so they can give their informed opinion on how a given plan will help you reach your goals most effectively. Work with your American accent trainer to come up with action plans that will lead to success.

Discuss these questions with your American accent instructor:
  • Have you taken accent reduction classes before? What did or didn’t you like about them?
  • How do you prefer to be given feedback or correction? Is it immediately after you mispronounce something, or after completing a portion so that you don’t lose your train of thought?
  • How do you feel about homework? How much time are you able to spend on practicing outside of class? Many people are very busy. Your trainer can use this information to your advantage.

Be honest and upfront. But don’t feel obligated to overshare. Share only what you are comfortable with so that your accent trainer can best help you. Now, what can you do during each lesson?

Put in the work during accent reduction classes

Think of what you can do during each accent reduction class to squeeze as much as you can out of it. Pay special attention to anything new that you learn. If, like most of us, you have a poor memory, take notes. 

Try to become familiar with the way your speech muscles work. This is one of the most effective ways that an American accent trainer can direct and adjust your pronunciation. Our speech is amazing. Different phonemes are produced by placing speech organs in distinct positions. This may be difficult to grasp at first, but after practicing for some time, you will likely be able to use this to help you reduce your accent quicker. 

After each Accent reduction class

When the lesson is over, what you do next is vital. Before the day is up, ask yourself, “What can I do to retain what I’ve learned?” Think about what you already knew before the accent reduction lesson, and review what was new. As you reflect on these things, isolate any questions that occur to you and bring them up during your next lesson.

If your American accent trainer has provided you with audio samples, practice them every chance you get. Read aloud materials that feature the sound that you learned. Record yourself and correct anything that you don’t like about your speech.

If you don’t have much time to dedicate to practice, try simple things like listening for a particular American English speech pattern in your daily life. Listen to native speakers who have the general American accent, or another accent you would like to imitate. You can do this in person or with videos and audiobooks.

If your American accent training program has provided you with resource materials, store them in an easily accessible place. For example, if you are having difficulty with a certain word or sound, write out on a sticky note something that can help you remember the right pronunciation and post them in locations that you will frequently see. You can even use “sticky note” apps on your device!

Reap the rewards!

As you can see, there are many things you can do to get the most out of American accent training. So, apply yourself and see which doors of opportunity these new skills will open for you!

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