Languages are fascinating communication tools that both separate yet join people together. When mastering a language not native to you, it’s natural to become insecure about your accent. After all, you want to sound as native as possible. No shame there! When taking business English classes, you might be concerned about your accent when giving meetings or conferences. Don’t worry. We’ll give handy tips to improve your English accent and sound more like a native speaker.
1. Use Google’s pronunciation tool
This tool will be your best friend when trying to improve your accent. When outside of your business English classes, you won’t always have a teacher to listen and correct your pronunciation. Google’s pronunciation tool allows you to speak a word and uses AI to check your pronunciation. Neat, right? Type any word plus “pronunciation” and the tool should become available automatically. For example, type “comfortable pronunciation” into Google and practice, practice, practice!
2. Learn to stress words correctly
English pronunciation is difficult especially because it doesn’t use accents to inform the speaker where the stress should go. Learning how many syllables a word has is the first step. The word “scratched”, for instance, has 9 letters but only one syllable. The word “idea” has 4 letters but 3 syllables. Find out which syllable is most important. That’s the one we call stressed syllable.
The British Council explains it best here:
3. Speak slowly
You can certainly understand your English teacher better when they slow down during your business English classes. Similarly, when a language learner is practicing, it’s best to slow down when speaking so that you can catch pronunciation mistakes better. Not only will you be more understanding, but you’ll also have time to think about what you’ll say next too.
4. Ask for feedback
Have your native English-speaking friends correct your pronunciation. They might not know everything about grammar, but they can surely help improve your pronunciation. Choose an accent you want to have (US, British, Australian, etc.), and hang out with people from there as much as you can.
5. Read with an audiobook
Reading a book alongside the audio lets you visualize words and pronunciation together. This method is particularly great for people who commute to work and have a few extra minutes to read on the go. A few minutes a day goes a long way!
Take Our Online Business English Classes to Reduce Your Accent
At English Services, we also focus on speaking and accent reduction. That way, you can be more confident at work. Remember, non-native speakers have beautiful accents and shouldn’t always focus on eliminating them. Focus more on reducing your accent—not eliminating it. Trying to eliminate your accent entirely will cause more stress and lead to counterproductive learning. Embrace your English learning journey and remember that your accent is a part of you. Your effort never goes unnoticed!
To learn more on how to reduce your accent, check out our service here.