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Learn English Accent using Idioms & Colorful expressions

Learning to use idioms correctly can help you sound more "American". Once you start using idioms correctly you will be able to respond much more confidently.

Non native English speakers often have difficulty using idioms in everyday conversation.  As an accent coach, many of my students often tell me they wish they had better knowledge of everyday phrases.  Many of these phrases and colorful expressions are called idioms.  Like it or not, the American workplace and social scene are full of colorful idioms and expressions.  People don’t begin a project.  They get a project off the ground.  Many professionals who work in teams don’t just talk about ideas.   They like to brainstorm and run some ideas by us!


Many people who speak English as a second language don’t recognize how important idioms are.  You will need to get comfortable using idioms.  How is this best accomplished?  When they come up in conversation and you don’t understand, be sure to write them down.  You can ask an American who you know about the meaning or look them up so you’re not out of the loop!!


Try to familiarize yourself with these expressions and look for them everywhere.  Newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and business sections of the daily newspapers are full of these idioms.  Eventually, when they come up in conversation, you’ll be soon prepared to respond confidently, instead of becoming silent while thinking to yourself, “What are they talking about now?”


How often have you heard these common expressions, “they pulled the plug”, “sales went through the roof”, “and it slipped my mind?”  If you find yourself struggling with idioms contact qualified accent coaches, who can custom design an American accent program along with an idioms and expression workshop, to help improve English speaking skills. 


Students often ask how often they should practice using these colorful expressions. It is important to practice using these expressions daily for at least 30 minutes.  There are several reference books available that have idioms and everyday expressions.  Your accent coach can help guide you to select the most appropriate materials for your level.  It’s best to have several short practice sessions rather than one long session.  The use of idioms will add color and excitement to your language, help you develop a deeper meaning of the English language, and make you sound more like a native speaker. 


 The English pronunciation online customized programs at the Institute of Accent Modification have been developed after more than 20 years of applied researchArticle Submission, 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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