American Accent Training for Native Chinese Speakers
This article describes some of the problems experienced by native Chinese speakers as they speak American English. Learning which sound and error patterns contributing to your accent can be helpful when learning the American accent. Get the help you need today by using a certified accent coach who will customize a program for you to fit your budget
Recently, I started working with a computer programmer who is native Chinese. She has lived in the United States for only ten months. She was having difficulty pronouncing final consonants in reference to word endings. She also was struggling with hearing the difference between the words “pool” vs. “pull”, also “reach” vs. “rich”. She would pronounce these word pairs and they would sound exactly the same. It’s very common for non-native speakers to not be able to hear the differences between American English vowel sounds. For example, in the Mandarin dialect there is no final l,t, or b consonants and there are several English sounds not occurring in the language.
I’ve learned that Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. There are four tones which are associated with each syllable. Americans use the level of our voice to express feelings or emotion. For instance, Americans can transform any statement into a question by raising the level of the voice at the end of the statement. It is difficult to notice when listening to many Mandarin speakers, if they have made a statement or a question. There is a lack of emotion or musical intonation in the speaking patterns. In Chinese, raising the voice will change the meaning of the word.
It will take some time and concentration, but all of these deficits can be remedied. What’s the solution for these problems? Working professionals and students who are serious and committed about improving the way they communicate should consider working with an American Accent coach in person or take the program online.
It’s important to have an American Accent coach to help you identify exactly which sounds and error patterns are contributing to your accent. An accent coach will analyze your speech and make suggestions that will save you a lot of time. A coach can teach you to hear the differences between words and customize a program to fit your needs and budget. Once you become aware of the sounds in everyday life, you now have to train your ear and month to consistently use them.
It is important to first not to focus on how words are spelled, but to focus on the sound and the context in which they are used. The word associations will soon become more comfortable and you will sound much more fluid when you speak. For more details on the Institute of Accent Modification’s core program, with over 20+ years of applied research, and used with students who speak over 100 languages, visit the website, www.instituteofaccentmodification.com
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.