Speaking accent and pronunciation tips for English

1. Take a breath before each phrase or sentence, and let it out as you speak.

2. Go as slow as you need to in order to comfortably and easily say what you want to say. Go as slow as you need to in order to complete a phrase, or thought group, in one breath. Be sure not to allow any slight breaks between words until you come to the end of a phrase, or a thought group. Slight breaks can make speech sound disconnected, and it distracts listeners. People will hear this sort of disconnectedness as part of your “accent”.

3. Extend the vowel sounds in the important words. Push out the important words a bit more than the other words. This helps create an intonation pattern, which is important for clear and easy-to-understand speech.

4. Articulate and enunciate. Practice by moving your mouth, lips, and tongue in an exaggerated manner to produce clear sounds. English sounds require more work.

5. Use more volume; speak up.

6. Speak confidently. Speak like the expert that you are.

7. Be careful not to speak too fast, as this can diminish intonation, reduce vowel strength, and sometimes cause speech to sound disconnected. Speak slowly in order to practice and develop clear speech and good vocal qualities. Do not concern yourself with speaking faster too much, especially while you practice.

8. Exaggerate: Exaggeration is a way to work towards developing and maintaining native-like speech qualities.

V – A – R – Exaggerate this – The names of the consonants include vowel sounds. Elongate the vowels to make the consonant names sound absolutely clear to your listeners. It’s true that you will hear native speakers of English say something like VAR very quickly. The key to this is that their vowel sounds are very strong. It comes from the throat: the vocal cords and mouth have to work more. This takes strength and the strength is developed with practice and repetition. In order to practice and get the result you want, go slow when you say something like VAR – Veeeee – Aeeiii – aRrrr. Practice by moving your mouth, lips, and tongue in an exaggerated manner to produce clear sounds.

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The syllable that receives primary stress should be prominent. There is a steep drop in intonation from the syllable that receives primary stress to the next syllable. It is important to practice and maintain a wide pitch range for words to be clear. This is another type of exaggerating a sound quality or characteristic of English. In order for characteristics and qualities of English to come through clearly, exaggeration is an essential practice technique for non-native speakers who are improving accent and pronunciation and the overall quality of their speech for the purpose of becoming more effective, productive, and efficient English speakers.