Consultation vs. Self-study


When deciding whether to seek out professional help to improve your English accent, the question always arises - Is it worth paying for?

Here are a few things to consider and some alternatives that you should consider first. Learning how to speak with a Canadian English accent is hard work and there should be an understanding of the amount of effort and practice that is required.

Think of a musical instrument. Some people can teach themselves how to play a guitar by watching youtube videos, self-experimentation and consistent practice. The same can be done with your Canadian English accent. The problem is that people underestimate how much effort is required to learn a Canadian English accent because they understand English well enough.


PREP WORK/SELF STUDY

There are many things you can do on your own. Watch youtube videos like Rachel's English to learn the mouth shape needed for specific sounds. You can also borrow ESL books from the library for free to access homework sheets. Record yourself to hear how others sound to you and see if you can catch any of your own tendencies. You can do this while looking at my accented English infographics to see what typical errors are made. Finally, figure out why you want to improve your English accent. If you are a telemarketer and have a script that you usually say on the phone, maybe you can practice honing your accent for that one specific script.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

There are many different areas to improve your English accent. Most ESL speakers focus on just the sounds and whether they can say them properly. The tricky thing about ESL is that it is not just the sounds you make but the rhythm, pitch inflection and word stress. Make sure to pay attention to slang words and English idioms used commonly in your community. If you don't use slang, you will be seen as overly cautious to native speakers. Finally, can you successfully join your words together so it flows properly. ESL speakers tend to enunciate every single sound in order to correctly pronounce each word but this overly cautious behaviour can seem bizarre or foreign to native speakers.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Finally, it is important to be truthful to yourself about your work schedule. Will I practice every day? Will I force myself to speak to family/friends/coworkers in English? Will I interact with native-born English speakers or will I interact with foreign-born speakers? This is important to gain exposure to the accent you want to learn. If you never hear the native Canadian English accent, how will you be able to learn the nuances and subtleties? Finally, what is your English proficiency. If you master the Canadian English accent but your grammar is wrong, a native English speaker will be able to tell.

I am happy to work with everyone but you will only see a benefit from working with me if you are motivated to improve and your daily actions match your ambition.

#educational #Introduction

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