For individuals from certain regions of the globe getting rid of accent is purely practical. If you can’t get people understand what you’re saying every time you talk to them, it gets really annoying for both parties… and it doubles your efforts, too: you’ve got to repeat every sentence twice (and possibly even more).
For instance, English speakers often have trouble understanding people who come from India especially when talking to them for the first time. Even though Indians do tend to be OK with grammar, their strong accent sometimes makes an impression they speak the language totally different from English.
However, not only people with strong foreign accent may want to change the way they pronounce words and sentences. Even native English speakers sometimes need to develop local accent when they move to another country or region. Here’s how to do that effectively:
Talk to Local Native Speakers
Try to imitate the pronunciation of the native speakers you frequently talk to. If they are kind, you can even ask them to point out the weakest points of your speech and correct your mistakes as you make them.
Several media sources are highly useful for anyone trying to develop a neutral accent:
- Movies. Try to watch films in English without subtitles and repeat what you hear. This way you can even learn different accents at the same time.
- TV and radio news. News presenters undergo special extensive training where they are taught to speak with a neutral accent. Try to pronounce words in the same manner.
English Language Schools
Find a reputable English language school that has a special program dedicated to accent correction. For most people wanting to know how to get rid of accent this method proves to be highly effective. Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks as well:
- First, some language schools don’t have special programs even though they advertise them.
- Second, it can be hard to find a language school near your location.
- Third, the price at the best schools is often quite high.
Here’s what you can do to make the best choice:
- Take a few tryout lessons at different schools and select the one that most closely matches your learning preferences. At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy taking lessons, the return from them will be dismal;
- Look for language courses given by native speakers exclusively. It’s the natives who have the best pronunciation.
All these methods mentioned above proved to be effective with different people around the globe, yet no one can tell you how to get rid of accent efficiently in your particular case. Keep in mind, the return you get from every specific approach is highly individual and vastly depends on your prior background, learning skills and strengths. Try as many of them as you can and isolate one or several that work best for you.
Finding a correct mix of learning methods goes a long way towards developing neutral pronunciation. For some, accent correction seems to flow naturally, but others fail to make significant progress even though they watch movies in English, practice with native speakers, and take private lessons with a tutor at the same time.
That’s why most specialists in the field argue getting rid of accent is mostly dependent on the ability to devote time to practicing spoken language. Ultimately, the amount of learning effort makes the difference among people who improve and those who don’t.
Getting rid of accent is a hard task which takes effort, time and dedication. You can’t change the way you pronounce words in a matter of weeks. Oftentimes, it takes months, if not years of hard work before you can notice some solid and rigid results. Luckily, you also get positive side effects. For instance, you acquire certain linguistic skills that will help you to learn other foreign languages if you decide to do so in the future.