voice training and accent reduction

How to lose any accent fast

Losing an accent isn’t difficult using a few simple techniques.  The following information should help you get started.

1  The whisper technique

When you speak on a whisper, you cannot hear any trace of an accent, just like when you sing.

To reduce your accent practice speaking on a whisper, reading any sentence from a poem or piece of narrative and then get increasingly louder – when you hear your accent kick in, go back to the whisper and start again. Practice for five minutes a day and you should notice an improvement after just a few weeks.  You must do this daily though to achieve results. Voice Training works by little and often, like building a muscle at the gym.  You can only achieve this over time and by repetition of an exercise.

2 The straw technique

Using an every day drinking straw can really help you to reduce your accent – Place the straw vertically in your mouth as you would for drinking and make sure it is pressing on your tongue and held between your teeth.  Read any sentence out loud repeatedly.  The straw works by forcing you to project forwards and this helps to stop you from speaking into the nose or back of the throat which is a feature of many accents.  BBC English is spoken using forward projection.  English vowels are pronounced by speaking in the front of the mouth and often foreign accents are produced by different use of vowel sounds.  Use the straw for five minutes a day for a period of about six weeks and you will notice a great improvement to your speech.

3 The RIP Approach

Repetition, Immersion and Practice are all necessary to creating good speech.  Repeat sounds you find difficult using the above two exercises.  Immerse yourself in good English by listening to BBC Radio 4.  Well-spoken actors reading audio books or being interviewed on Youtube etc and watching BBC drama.  Try to emulate good speech and absorb it by listening.  We tend to speak the way we hear others speak around us, so you can simulate the environment you had as a child and the way you learned to speak by listening to well-spoken English as much as possible.  Practice good speech whenever you can and with those who already speak well.

For further information on any of our products and to buy programmes by Joanna Gray that will take you through daily exercises in more details, click here.