accent reductionUnluckily, even after you study in a foreign country for some time, your accent won’t miraculously vanish. Like thousands of ESL students, you can be embarrassed by your pronunciation and thus afraid of speaking in class. To overcome this problem and find your public voice in English, you can try out the following time-proven techniques for reducing your accent.

3 Simple Tips You Could Start Using Right Now

Include accent reduction into your daily to-do list and allot at least 10 minutes a day to this activity. But use also every opportunity to reduce your accent, by following these 3 tips that you can start using right now:

  • Open your mouth wider. Yes, you’ve got it right, even if it feels and looks a bit strange at first, open your mouth wider. It will make your sounds more distinct and your pronunciation “more English-like”.
  • Speak slowly and make more pauses between sentences and words. This will give your listeners more time to understand you.

  • Pronounce each word entirely without “swallowing” particular parts or sounds which you do not like for some personal reasons.

As you can see, the answer to the question “how to reduce accent in English” is pretty simple.

4 Killer Strategies for Improving Pronunciation

In addition to the previous tips, if you have a firm intention to master English and significantly reduce your accent, you may want to check out and test the following suggestions:

  1. Use tongue twisters. If you think that this is too boring, you should check out the following section:
    • Purple paper people, purple paper people.
    • She sells seashells by the seashore.
    • We surely shall see the sun shine soon.
  2. Record your speech. You can use the simplest recording device such as your cell phone and listen to your own voice to detect your own mistakes.
  3. “Look into the mouth” of native speakers. Seriously – pay special attention to the position of lips, teeth and tongue when they pronounce certain sounds.
  4. Do a bit of lips and tongue gymnastics, using a small mirror.

Meet the Sounds That Make English So Special

Sound How to pronounce it? Words
[t, d, p, b, k, g] – plosive sounds Add some air to the pronunciation of these sounds. Take a sheet of paper and put it in front of your mouth when you pronounce these sounds. See how the paper waves because of the air stream. Tattoo, Daddy, pepper, baby, candy, Google.
[w] Get your lips together as if you were trying to blow a candle. Why, warm, worm
[h] Give a light sigh – do not include any voice in this sound. Hotel, honey, hall
th = [ð] - voiced Touch your upper teeth with the tip of your tongue and add some voice to this sound. This, though
th = [θ] - voiceless Touch your upper teeth with the tip of your tongue and do not add voice to this sound. Tooth, theme

So, the program featuring accent reduction tips and ideas is already over, but you can also check these additional ESL activities that might help you further. Include some accent reduction activities in your daily routine and enjoy the amazing results you'll obtain.

Comments (2)

  • Galen Morgigno Posted:

    Hey Julie, interesting article. I didn’t realize there were exercises for Accent reduction. Pretty Cool!

    posted by Galen Morgigno

    • Julia Reed Posted:

      Hi Galen,
      yes, articulation muscles can be trained, just like any other muscles in our body. These exercises can be a perfect workout for those who speak English as a second language or learn any other foreign language.
      Thank you for leaving your kind comments and have a nice week!