Communication is an extremely vital skill to possess, especially in the business world. Having a foreign accent can make it difficult for your colleagues to understand you. However, with some effort, a strong foreign accent in spoken English does not have to be something you face for a lifetime. You can improve spoken English by overcoming how your mouth shapes words, working with recordings and accent reduction exercises and worksheets, through online English pronunciation courses, and so much more.
Speech therapy and/or accent reduction classes
Finding a speech therapist or accent reduction teacher online can be extremely helpful in reducing communication issues stemming from a strong accent. Your language therapist can help you identify areas you are having problems with and work with you on remedying those difficulties. They can also assist you in practicing English pronunciation, which can greatly aid in reducing your foreign accent. Other than speech therapy, you may want to consider English pronunciation classes as well to bolster your efforts.
Utilize television and radio
Try watching TV or listening to the radio, even if they’re just on in the background. Subconsciously, you may be able to pick up a few words or sentences from listening to spoken words. You may, surprisingly, find yourself understanding more and more English words this way, leading to reducing in your accent in English. You may also consider listening to recorded books or having someone read to you. Listening to the spoken word in any form can be beneficial to an ESL learner.
Develop a relationship with your community
Get involved and take part in community activities. Try going to church or neighborhood events. Speak to others in your community and ask them to correct your English if necessary. Utilizing English speaking skills is the most critical way to learn. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to speak to others in English or to speak publically. While speaking to others or in public can be nerve-wracking, it is imperative for you to develop these communication skill sets if you want to speak English fluently.
Speaking is not the only way to improve your spoken English. Writing is also a very valuable tool and can help in refining your skills. You may also want to consider finding an editor—whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional—to go over your writing. Have them show you what edits they have made. They can assist you in learning by correcting your spelling and grammar and educating you in proper usage of both.
Effectively speaking English requires a good amount of communication skills, and if your listeners cannot understand you, you are not using your skills to their fullest potential. Try a speech therapist, listen to the radio or watch TV, practice face-to-face interactions, get involved in your community, and write as much as you can. All of these exercises will help you overcome your accent and expand the depth of your abilities in English. Learning a language takes time, effort, and a lot of hard work, but with enough hunger to learn and people to help you out along the way, it’s definitely possible.