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Acquiring & Improving the American English Accent Top 8 Helpful Tips

Here are very helpful tips that have helped my foreign clients greatly improve their fluency and English pronunciation. These tips have been used by former clients who speak over 25 different languages.

1.       Try to observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and try to imitate them. You can do this activity while in the comforts of your home while watching the news on television.  Also, watch mouth movements of good speakers when you are out in public.  Repeat what they say and practice the intonation (the way they say it), to gain a greater understanding of the rhythm and flow of the English language and improve English accent.

2.       Make a list of frequently used words that you find difficult to pronounce and ask someone who speaks well, to help you pronounce them.  This will help you improve the American English accent. 

3.       Read aloud in English at least 30 minutes every day.  Develop good presentation skills.  Read the newspaper, short magazine articles to friends who speak English well and ask for feedback which will help you improve English speaking skills.

4.       Listen for pronunciation mistakes.  This will take some practice, and it is best to have a speech coach to help you so that you develop good practice habits while you practice English pronunciation.

5.       Be sure that you slow down your speech and pronounce the endings of each word. Pay attention to the “s” consonant at the endings. This is a common problem among students who are trying to learn American accent.

6.       Do not confuse pronunciation of words with their spellings.  Learn to practice only what you hear.  English pronunciation training takes time.  The English language has many “voiced and unvoiced” sounds and it will take dedication and practice to learn correct English pronunciation.

7.       Get comfortable using idioms.  Like it or not, the American workplace and social scene is full of idioms and expressions.  You will want to familiarize yourself with all of them.  This way, when they come up in conversation, you’ll be prepared to respond naturally and confidently.  How often have you heard these common expressions, “that was a shot in the arm”, “I’m fed up”, “He’s stopping cold turkey?”  You will want to listen for idioms everywhere, and start using them.  The use of idioms will add color and excitement to your language and make you sound more like a native speaker.

8.       Regarding frequency of practice. It’s better to practice three, 10 minute segments per day, than a long session.  Look for opportunities to practice, such as ordering your takeout and when speaking on the telephone.  This will help you to start speaking English fluently and learn English accent.   

The English pronunciation online customized programs at the Institute of Accent Modification have been developed after more than 20 years of applied researchFree Articles, and with students who speak well over 100 different languages.  Find out more about our programs by browsing through

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Tracey Ingram, M.S., M.A, is the Director/Founder of the Institute of Accent Modification, located in Chicago, Illinois.  She is a Speech and hearing professional certified by the Institute of Language and Phonology to provide foreign accent modification training utilizing the Compton P-ESL approach.  Her team utilizes an integrative customized approach to reach their client's goals and objectives.  Tracey Ingram is nationally certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association and is a member of ITBE (Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).  She is also a member of Toastmasters International.

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