Ever felt like you were speaking clearly, but native English speakers couldn’t understand you?
It can be frustrating, to say the least.
The fact that you don’t have a native accent may cause some English speakers to have difficulty understanding your accent. However, it isn’t your fault if you are speaking clearly and are still not understood.
Psychological experiments have shown that native brains can block out even obvious things, like clearly-spoken sounds, when they think someone is a non-native speaker.
With the right approach and effective English-speaking practice, you can sound like a native English speaker and be understood.
You can do it all on your own today. I’ll show you several ways to increase your fluency, decrease your accent, and sound like a native English speaker.
1. The first step is to copy a native English accent you like
There are many accents in English that come from different parts of the world.
The list goes on and on: British English, American English, Australian English, South African English, Singapore English.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is no one “proper” English accent.
Even native English speakers may have difficulty understanding English accents.
It can be difficult for natives to follow a conversation when a word is pronounced differently or a phrase is used that they don’t understand.
Copying a native accent is one way to sound like a native speaker.
Choose a native English accent that sounds natural to you when you’re copying it. You still want to sound natural when you do. Even if an Australian accent is fun to copy, it may not be right for everyone, especially if you live in Canada, because each voice is unique.
Find an accent you like and want to copy, and immerse yourself in it!
Take note of the intonation and rhythm the native speakers use as they speak. Listen to as many native speakers as you can that sound like that. Watch movies and TV shows with that accent to imitate their pronunciation. By combining all of the native examples you learn with, you can develop a native voice that fits you.
2. Master individual sounds with sound transitions
A hallmark of fluency is mastering the individual sounds of English, which may not exist in your native language.
Initially, you learned your native language by mimicking the sounds the people around you made. You moved your mouth and tongue to match their facial expressions as they spoke slowly.
Adults are taught this method for learning English pronunciation – but it is misguided.
Instead, I developed a technique called Sound Transitioning. It connects the sounds we make with the right facial motions.
Try making the sound ahhh, like you would after drinking something cold on a hot day. Most languages have this sound, so you might be familiar with it already.
It’s ahhh ahhh ahhh.
Then, by moving our mouths into an O shape, we’ll turn that ahhh sound into an ou sound, as in loud or sound.
This helps you hear exactly what mouth shapes make what sounds. This is why I call it transitioning; you move from one sound to another.
You did it! We just transformed one sound into another, without any complicated lessons or diagrams.
3. Discover how sounds blend together
Observe how native English speakers link words together, shorten sounds, and use contractions to create a smooth and connected flow of speech.
Frederick is a great tool for practicing both individual sounds and phrases, which are groups of words together.
Frederick can improve your English intonation and voice almost overnight, without studying any rules! It’s a university-level listening, pronunciation, and accent-reduction training program that looks and feels like a game.
With Frederick, you can instantly compare letter combinations with scrollable wheels to distinguish English sounds like a native. Through fine-tuned listening exercises, you can reduce your accent. You must try it if you want to be understood every time.
In many sentences, you will learn how to connect things naturally, like a native. For instance, “an apple” becomes “an apple” when spoken together.
4. Learn English Phrases Contextually
Additionally, native English speakers use phrases and words that have multiple meanings. The context helps listeners understand what they are saying.
Watching a movie from start to finish is a great example of understanding English phrases in context.
As a result, you learn everything there is to know about the characters, the setting, and the plot line. You understand what is happening in the storyline even if you don’t understand all the words.
You may find it more difficult to follow the plot if you start watching the movie in the middle because you are not familiar with the characters, their motivations, and the story.
The same applies to learning English phrases – you need context. Instead of memorizing word or phrase lists, listen to new words or phrases as you hear them. This will help you understand them in depth.
5. The ability to understand English idioms
Some of these idioms may be familiar to you, while others may be new to you.
In everyday conversations, books, songs, and movies, English idioms are used all the time.
An idiom is a collection of words or expressions that have a figurative meaning rather than a literal meaning.
Someone may not be referring to the last drinking straw left in the box when they say “This is the last straw!” in an angry tone of voice.
By using this example, the speaker is expressing that they have reached their breaking point and cannot handle it anymore.
Another common idiom is “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The “last straw” was the piece of straw that caused the camel to collapse. Imagine stacking pieces of straw on top of a camel’s back, piece by piece.
6. Engage in conversations with many native English speakers
Speaking with native speakers – and lots of them – is the best way to improve your spoken English and sound like a native speaker once you’re confident about your vocabulary and grammar.
The more native English speakers you come into contact with, the more opportunities you will have to learn different accents, vocabulary, and speaking styles.
In case you don’t have native speakers nearby, you can find them online in groups or through YouTube videos, where people discuss topics you are interested in.
7. Talk about what interests you
You’re more likely to sound like a native English speaker if you talk about things you’re passionate about.
Authenticity and passion will make you sound more like a native English speaker.
Talk about things that excite you, such as hobbies, work, or personal experiences. You’ll learn idiomatic expressions and native-like phrasing in your conversations by discussing things that interest you.
Talk about your favorite recipes, cooking techniques, or experiences in the kitchen if cooking is something you are passionate about.
Join a cooking class where you can speak with others who share your passions or discuss your passions with other native English speakers.
With Fluent for Life, you’ll sound like a native English speaker
Now that you have a few new tools at your disposal, it’s time to learn English as a FIRST language so that you can speak more like a native!
I can help you get the natural practice you need, all by yourself, if you are worried about making a mistake or people not understanding you.
The only language that teaches English as a first language is Fluent For Life, which guarantees fluency and helps you sound native.