When we learn a new language, we like to be fluent or as close to fluent as we can possibly be. Learning a new language is not an easy thing to do, it takes time to master, and the learner must stay motivated throughout the process. To get to a more fluent level, we must focus on the way we pronounce words. When you learn a second language you usually have a unique accent that comes through in the language you are trying to learn.
Take Your Time – When we learn a new language, we tend to rush the words in a hope that it comes out right and the listener understands us. This is a mistake that many of us make and at adult speech therapy you will be encouraged to slow down and take your time when speaking. It is a lot easier for a native speaker to understand you when you slow your rate of speech. It is important to focus on the different sounds to ensure they come out when you pronounce each word. To do this successfully, you must slow down.
Practice the Unique Sounds – Every language has its own unique sound, like the /PH/ sound in English or the way the Spanish language makes you roll the /R/. Even the voiceless /TH/ is not common in other languages. When you are trying to improve your accent, focus on each unique sound and try to get better at it.
Speak Out – When some of us learn a new language we tend to be shy when speaking it to other native speakers. Although this is normal, it sometimes causes difficulties. When trying to improve your accent, project your voice so others can understand you. Just remember there is a difference between projecting your voice and shouting.
Rhythm – Each language has its own unique rhythm. To improve your accent, it is useful to listen to native speakers as much as possible. Go to local restaurants and sit in local bars, it will help improve your accent. If this is not possible, listen to radio stations and movies in the language you are learning.
Improving your accent takes time, but it is not impossible. You just have to use the right methods and listen carefully to your speech therapist if you are attending one. Try immersing yourself in the language by listening to professional speakers and imitating native speakers on TV and on the radio.