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How to speak with a native-like English accent

The definition of a native accent is something that is fairly difficult to get your head around. The simplest way to put it is that it is the way you pronounce certain letter and words based on your location. Accents that differ throughout a country are known as dialects. It is difficult to establish what a native English accent actually is due to the differing dialects. I suppose the best way in which you can get an idea about what a ‘standard native English accent’ is to take a look at the news, your goal is to mimic an accent that is similar to theirs.

The goal of anybody learning English is the ability to mimic the native accent and sound as close to as a natural English speaker as possible. You will probably notice that when learning a language you will find small parts of your own accent will be creeping their way into your speaking even if natural English speaker do not sound like this. Thankfully there are a number of things that you can do in order to develop a native-like English accent.

What you should remember is that it is always best to pick up a language at a young age. It has been proven time and time again that children are able to mimic accents almost perfectly; the sooner you begin learning English the more likely you are to eradicate your accent totally when you speak.

You will need to spend many hours listening to the target accent. This comes in the form of watching TV, listening to the radio or any other way of absorbing English. The key thing here is to just listen. You don’t want to mimic the words straight away, the first stage is always listening. The goal here is to ‘tune’ your ears to the sounds. You will want to pick up on the patterns of speech and the way of pronouncing certain words. The duel benefit here is that you will be picking up a number of new words to add to your vocabulary.

The next stage is listening to the words at a much slower pace. Your goal here is to mimic the accent in the best way possible. Spend a number of hours on this each week. You will find that your pronunciation comes on in leaps and bounds because of this. Many people often record themselves here and play the recording back to listen to the way they attempted the accent, they will often be able to pick up on a number of errors which they can correct in the future.

The final stage is putting your language to the test. You will need to find a native speaking friend (easy to do on the internet) and repeat phrases to them. They will then be able to comment on your pronunciation and offer ways in which you can improve yourself. You may find that immersing yourself in an English speaking country will help immensely.

If you employ a few of these techniques then you will be well on your way to speaking in a more native-like manner when you are communicating in English. This is a vital stage in the learning process and if you can master this then you are one step closer to mastering the English language. 

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