How it Works

Curious About Accent Reduction?

At British Accent Academy, the emphasis is on accent acquisition rather than accent reduction.  You are here to gain a valuable life skill – English Pronunciation. You can make your accent sound more British through taking courses at British Academy, however, most students have the goal of perfecting their English pronunciation. There are many many people out there who speak a second, third, or fourth language very clearly and yet have a foreign accent. Everybody has an accent. Accents can be great! I would never encourage trying to become someone that you’re not or changing your identity if you don’t want to. On the other hand, adding to your identity could be fun. If you want to sound more British when you speak English, that could be fun too!

man whispering blue background about english pronunciation

There’s a difference between “accent” and “pronunciation”… I teach both!

So, when does a “foreign accent” become a problem? Having a soft foreign accent isn’t usually a problem but when it comes to phonology, foreign language interference can be an issue. Some people feel that their pronunciation or their accent is holding them back. The best remedy to that is to learn how to pronounce English sounds clearly and with confidence. British Accent Academy is here to help you to take control of the speech sounds you use to speak English. That doesn’t necessarily mean losing your accent altogether. Your accent can change as you learn to pronounce English clearly, but the extent to which you want your accent to change is up to you. You will learn how to take control of your pronunciation. Remember that having a foreign accent is a sign of bravery. It’s a sign that you have put yourself out there and learnt a foreign language. Read on to learn more about the difference between “English pronunciation” and “an English accent”. Find out how I go about teaching you to speak English with more clarity and confidence.

bring your english fluency up a level by learning English pronunciation

What Is Pronunciation?

Learning the pronunciation of a language means learning to use its speech sounds. It means learning to speak in such a way that everyone will understand you clearly the first time you speak. Although people from different places might speak differently, all varieties of English have a range of common sounds. This range forms a set of sounds, which are recognised as being  the Phonology of English.

Take the following words as an example:

“bit” /bɪt/ and “beat” /biːt/

two happy young professional students who have learnt English Pronunciation

Pronunciation & The Phoneme

“Bit” and “beat”. All native speakers of English agree that these two words sound distinct. They would agree that they are distinct in meaning. This is because the vowel sounds are different. This is a matter of pronunciation. We say that /ɪ/ (bit) and /iː/ (beat) are two different phonemes. A phoneme is a sound that is considered distinct in a particular language. If we replace one English phoneme with another English phoneme, we can make a word with a different meaning (e.g. bat). In English Pronunciation, it is very important to be able to distinguish between English phonemes. If your language doesn’t distinguish between /ɪ/ and /iː/, these two sounds are not phonemes in your language. There is no pronunciation difference for you. This may mean that you find it hard to articulate the difference between these two sounds when speaking English. English requires that you pronounce these sounds differently. So, you need to learn how to make a distinction between the two in order to say the words correctly and be understood every time. This is pronunciation.

young professionals talking

Modulating your speech not deleting your accent

 

People change how they say certain words all the time depending on the context they are speaking in. The way people pronounce words differently depending on where they come from or the context they are in is called accent. With accent,  there is no right and wrong. Having a foreign accent or a regional accent is just a sign of your identity. When speaking a foreign language, having a foreign accent is completely normal.  You can improve your pronunciation without getting rid of your accent altogether. However, for some people, it’s useful to learn different accents so that they can modulate their speech and take control over their accent for different contexts and in different environments.

Let’s Look At 3 Different Accents

Earlier, we looked at the phoneme. Think about the phoneme /t/. There are many different ways of pronouncing the sound /t/. Let’s take the word butter.

“butter”

(SBE, Estuary (London), N American)

All 3 times, you are hearing the word “butter”, but you are hearing it in different accents. Saying this word differently, isn’t wrong since this is a matter of accent. Native speakers will understand you whether you say [ˈbʌtə], [ˈbʌʔə], or the North American pronunciation [ˈbʌɾɚ].

Choosing An Accent Model

When learning a second language, it’s a good idea to choose an accent model and stick with it. You can’t learn pronunciation unless you are aiming for something. That’s why British Accent Academy has chosen an accent model for its courses – Standard Southern British English. If your speech isn’t as clear as you would like it to be in English, you may wish to enrol in British Accent Academy’s Pronunciation Course to change that. In this course, you will learn a new sound system, which will help you speak more clearly.

How Does British Accent Academy Teach Clear English Speech?

I encourage you to explore the sound system of your own language. Through practical online training, I will guide you through the sound system of English and help you to use English speech sounds and intonation patterns in context. Unlike many accent reduction programmes, I take a kind and gentle approach, which is focused on learning to practise and learning at your own pace. I use very practical step-by-step method. I encourage you to explore sounds and intonation patterns by feeling your face, becoming aware of your mouth positions, and your voice. It’s worth buying a handheld mirror to check your pronunciation as you follow the course. Alternatively, you can use your phone as if you were taking a selfie. It’s all about building awareness and learning how to practise. I can help you speak more clearly by aligning your speech sound inventory with the speech sound inventory of English. In other words, I will help you to acquire English’s phonology.

Understanding Phonology

When you learn another language, you need to learn how the language that you are learning works. You need to know about the differences between your native language and the language you are learning. I can help you to understand how to do this. Imagine your native language is Spanish. Now imagine you decided to learn Japanese. If you tried using the grammar of Spanish to speak Japanese, it wouldn’t work. You need to learn the rules for the language you are learning. When we talk about “the rules” of a language, we aren’t only talking about grammar. There are speech sound rules. Phonological rules. There are also rules about the combinations of sounds allowed in the language you are learning. Each language has its own sound system. The sound system of a language is called its phonology. If you are interested in learning the phonology of English, you’re in the right place. British Accent Academy will teach you English Phonology and how to apply it so that you are using the full range of English sounds and speech patterns. Subscribe today to begin learning the most important speech sounds in British English.