3 Steps to Accent Perfection

It can be very frustrating when you have a reasonably good level of English but people still have problems understanding you.

It is a shame that there are no formal classes that introduce the subject of pronunciation because it is so vital to communicating effectively and being understood by others.

If you are giving a presentation using a microphone, then the issues can be amplified. Many job interview opportunities are also available via Skype.

I have been told by students that they have never come across anyone teaching phonetics or Accent Perfection. My interest came from singing and the importance of 'singing the vowel sounds' more than the consonants.

Remember, there are some sounds that just don't exist in your language, sounds that you have never pronounced. There are shapes and techniques that will seem alien to you (I remember learning to roll my R's, in Spanish)...

However, the good news is that they can be learned and practiced.

Speaking Clearly

This table below, highlights some of the most difficult sounds for students learning English as a second language. It is a table of the phonetic alphabet. I use this chart as a diagnostic tool.

Step 1 - First I select a text appropriate for the students' level to read out aloud.

Step 2 - While the student is reading, I make corrections and a note of the difficult

sounds (see chart above in green circles).

Step 3 - I start the student on a reading programme that is exclusively focused on these pronunciation difficulties.

Within just a few hours of lessons, students have a marked improvement and after a 10-hour Reading Course using my methodology, at least 80% of the problematic areas can be resolved.

Being aware of the exact nature of the difficulty is important. I focus on the problem to work towards a solution. Although this program has a lot of reading in it...

I'm not really listening for the content or worried if the student understands the text. It's purely for pronunciation correction. Learning phonetics is also going to help you when you're ready to visit London.

It's important to plan some trips in your year, for conversation, regular trip will connect you to the culture... Learning English isn't just for the time you are in class! To be truely successful... you have to make it part of your lifestyle.

Get the Sounds App above & start playing with the word games to train your ear & get familiar with the symbols.

For more information or to book a session >> click here

Useful Vocabulary

frustrating - to feel upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something. Tedious & tiring... I've told you three times already and it's so frustrating that you don't understand me.

reasonably good- (adverb) acceptable."he has a reasonably good level of English"

vital - (adjective) absolutely necessary; essential.

vowel - a letter that represents a sound produced in this way:The vowels in English are a, e, i, o, & u.

consonants - all the non-vowel sounds; B, C, D, F etc...

However - (adverb) used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously.

to highlight - (verb) - to draw attention to or give importance

international (IPA) / phonetic alphabet - is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables

to read out aloud - Reading aloud means just that-reading out loud so someone can hear you. Reading to yourself aloud/audibly can also help to build confidence.

exclusively - (adverb) to the exclusion of others; only.

a marked improvement - sometimes a standard sentence on a positive student report. An obvious, and noticeable improvement. (Be sure to add this sentence if you are writing your own reports;)

be resolved - can be fixed or solved (like a conflict, or a problem that holds you from successfully reaching sometfhing).

Although - (conjunction) or 'connecting word': in spite of the fact that; even though."although the sun was shining it wasn't that warm"

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