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    What is an accent? An accent is the remnant of the speakers sound s of the original language of the second language. When we are children, we literally have the ability to speak a language in the world. We are all born with the necessary speech mechanisms and the ability to learn a language. We ended up speaking the language that we do solely by reinforcement.

    ColoredhandsThe sounds a baby hears and the speech patterns he is exposed unfold. Soon the baby acquires motor skills and control you need to create it sounds good. The baby starts babbling and playing with sounds. Soon she is able to produce simple vowel / consonant combinations which maybe why mom and dad speeches are often their first words, they can make the combination and the great reaction that causes reinforces their efforts. At 18 months, she will be able to produce about 20 words that have meaning and understand around 50 words. Now babies of course have the ultimate immersion experience. In order to get any kind of control over their environment, they must learn the language and are surrounded by the language almost 24 hours a day.

    Of course, the second language learner does not have these advantages. Even if you now live in an English speaking country, and take courses to learn English, you will still have the opportunity to talk and listen to their mother tongue with family and friends, this is especially true in America a county of immigrants seeking a community of people with the same language possible.

    To listen is to learn, and I do not mean in an existential way. I mean, if you do not hear how it sounds you can not learn to produce the sound. Maybe is why ETS added speaking and listening sections to the TOEFL. Both skills are so closely linked.

    To help improve your speech, it is best to go to a speech therapist rather than an ESL teacher. Speech therapists are trained in the physiology of speech mechanisms and musculature. They understand what is involved in producing each sound and are trained to identify and work with joint problems. Although the focus is not the same as an articulation problem and having similar characteristics. SLP when a client has difficulty articulating specific sounds, you can see and hear what they are doing differently and describe and show how to do it properly. When a client has an accent the speech therapist can see what the person is doing differently and show and describe how to make the sound so that it is closer to the norm.

    The most important advice I can give is to keep practicing. At first you may feel like you are exaggerating when you speak with an American accent, but I am sure that American native speakers around you even noticing. They simply impressed with your great diction!

    The Author: Ms. Adeline Yeo


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