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How Much Do I Need to Practice?

Time and time again, I always get asked some form of the same question.

How long will it take to improve?

Whether it's in those exact words or in some sort of iteration of that same sentiment, the deadline for perfection is always questioned.

When will my English accent be perfect? When will I speak like a native English speaker? When will the first question I am asked when I meet a new person not be, "Where are you originally from?"

I wish I had an answer.

As the professional, I am supposed to have these answers. I am supposed to be able to give a guarantee that you too can get achieve everything you desire and more for a low, low price and money-back guarantee.

But I can't.

It's my job to find out the best way to teach. The best use of your time. And to point you in the right direction. I am the personal trainer for your Canadian English accent. But I can't do the work for you. What I can show you though, is the areas you are weak in [going along with the personal trainer metaphor. I am not suggesting a variation in regional/foreign accent is a weakness] and effective techniques that you can practice to target those differences. Now, you tell me if you do 10 minutes of ab workout, whether you'll have the six-pack of your dreams.

Now, the way I personally see it, the way you should approach accent modification should be similar to how an actor approaches a role. American actors pretend to be British actors. British actors pretend to be American actors. People who already know how to speak English and may be a native English speaker can still have difficulty with a convincing accent.

And it's their job to learn it properly.

I think ultimately, learning to improve your English accent is a life-long goal and skill. People who have dedicated years to the skill like Jack Ma and Arnold Schwarzenegger still have their subtle nuances. The thing is, your ambitions for yourself must match your work ethic on the skill. If you work 15 minutes a day on hearing yourself speak, you will be better off than doing 0 minutes a day but likely worse off than someone who spends 1 hour a day. I think that should be obvious but the challenge is that your mastery of the skill is hard to quantify. Everyone desires to speak like a native English speaker without realizing all the subtle nuanced skills involved.

#Accent #Practice

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