Friday, January 18, 2008

Accent Reduction: Is it possible?

Many students are concerned about reducing their accents, but how much reduction is possible? I always tell my students that eliminating a foreign accent is really impossible because, to be honest, all native speakers have accents. So instead, the goal should be to reduce your accent. One way is to learn how to do word reductions like, "I wanna go ta the party taday." Of course, you have to make sure you know under what situations reducing is desirable, but students should at least become aware of this. With this in mind, I created a Website called Train Your Accent ( to provide a resource for students and teachers to use. Please share other Websites you know about improving pronunciation and any other tips you have about accent reduction that would helpful to other students. Also, feel free to share your ideas on these issues or personal experiences.


1 comment:

  1. It is, indeed, true that many students are overconcerned about eliminating their accents. However, I believe it's impossible to lose an accent. Someone might sound like a native speaker of a language, but it seems impossible to speak/sound as if someone were a native speaker of it.
    As you said, reducing an accent especially in areas where someone's native language accent may be impeding communication is quite feasible. It is a realistic goal that many students should be concerned about instead of trying to get rid of their accent.

    I advise my students to get familiar with their dictionaries' phonetic transcription system, so that they learn how to pronounce words they come across while reading a text, for instance, in a correct way. I think a dictionary is a powerful learning tool and our students should learn how to to make the most of it.
    That's it!
    Take care everyone!


Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.