What is an accent? An accent is that the carryover of sounds from the speaker’s original language to the second language. once we are infants we literally have the power to talk any language within the world. We are all born with the required speech mechanisms and therefore the capability to find out any language. We find yourself speaking the language that we do solely by reinforcement. The sounds a baby hears and therefore the speech patterns he’s exposed to are those that she develops. Soon the baby gains the fine motor skill and control she must create sounds herself. The infant will begin by babbling and twiddling with sounds. Soon she is in a position to supply simple vowel/consonant combinations which maybe why mama and dada are often their first words, they will make the mixture and therefore the big reaction it elicits reinforces their efforts. By 18 months she is going to be ready to produce about 20 words that have meaning and understand around 50 words. Now babies in fact have the last word immersion experience. so as to get any control over their environment they need to learn the language and that they are surrounded by the language almost 24 hours each day .
Of course the second language learner doesn’t have these advantages. albeit you’re now living in an English speaking country, and attending classes to find out English you’ll still have opportunity to talk and listen to your mother tongue with friends and family, this is often very true in America a county of immigrants where finding a community of individuals with an equivalent language background is feasible .
Another challenge is that the expectation factor. for several years you’ve got heard a accent and there’s an expectation of what you’ll hear when others speak. you’re predicting what sounds will come next supported your subconscious knowledge of language. I call this listening with an accent. it’s necessary to interrupt through this barrier, to actually hear how others are speaking, to actively listen.
To listen is to find out , and that i don’t mean that in an existential way. i actually mean that if you can’t hear the way the sounds are produced you can’t find out how to supply the sound. Maybe that’s why ETS added speaking and listening sections to the TOEFL. the 2 skills are so closely linked.
Once you’ll hear the sounds you want to add them to your own phonetic library. this suggests that you simply have in your mind the knowledge and understanding of the way to produce every sound or phoneme in you original language. Now you want to add on some sounds that are within the American audio system that’s not in your original language sounds system. Record your self reading a quick paragraph. Only 2-3 sentences in English. Then hear the recording. Write down exactly what you hear on the recording. Not what you meant to mention but what you actually did say. How is it different from what was written? Did you say th, when it had been written or did you say d? i might suggest sticking with the consonants initially because the differences are easier to pinpoint.
If you’d wish to get help in improving your pronunciation it might be best to travel to a therapist instead of an ESL teacher. Speech therapists are trained in physiology of the speech mechanisms and musculature. They understand what’s involved in producing each sound and are trained to spot and work with articulation problems. Though an accent isn’t an equivalent as an articulation problem they need similar characteristics. When a client has difficulty articulating specific sounds the therapist can hear and see what they’re doing differently and describe and show the way to roll in the hay correctly. When a client has an accent the therapist can see what the person is doing differently and show and describe the way to make the sound so it more closely approximates the quality .
The most important advice I can offer you is to stay practicing. initially it’s going to desire you’re exaggerating once you “speak with an American accent” but i’m sure that the native American speakers around you’ll not even notice. they’re going to merely be impressed together with your great diction!