When students are new to learning English they can sometimes worry about their accents. Accents are okay, we love accents! However, if you want to master a language it is important to understand how to form new sounds that perhaps you do not use in your language. Working through new or difficult sounds will make your speaking more clear to those who are listening and make you more confident speaking.

Every language has unique sounds and ways to speak, and depending where you are from, you may have difficulty creating the sounds that are new to you. Don’t feel embarrassed by this! Learn what these are, and remember that these are new to you!

As well, your accuracy in your speaking with increase with practice of sounds and intonation (the rise and fall of the voice when speaking). Full language immersion is an excellent learning tool for this, and trying to copy how native English speakers move the rhythm of their voice while speaking will help a lot. The more you open your ears to new sounds, the more you will improve!

Remember that learning a new language is a process that takes time, and that pronunciation really is about practice.

In a nutshell, here are some tips that can help you:

1. Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Practice makes perfect!
2. Repetition is key to success
3. Practice with others or with a mirror (see how moving your mouth differently creates new sounds)
4. Immerse yourself in your learning environment and try to copy the sounds and intonation of others.
5. Have fun!!!

Natalie MacIsaac