Do you need to lose your accent?

by Sara

Below are a couple of recent requests sent to tutors from our registered tutees.

"I'm looking for some elocution lessons. I'm a lazy speaker to be honest. I've always accepted this but I need to work on it and be clearer particularly for the public presentations I have. I still pronounce my "th" as "f" and I tend to speak very quickly. I'd like some help in developing a clearer mode of communication." Michael from London.

"My English is quite good but I'm not a native English speaker. I'm looking for someone to help me improve my pronunciation. I would like to get rid of my Hungarian accent." Tamas based in Southhampton.

You may think that you have no accent when you speak but you have, everyone has, though some accents are stronger than others. We tend to think that ours is the right one and that others sound odd, but this is a reflection on our attitudes, rather than other accents. We should all be proud of our heritage and the way we speak. When you meet people from other parts of the country, listen to the radios or watch television, think about how people speak. Decide how the the sounds differ. You will probably find that most of the variations are in the ways vowels are pronounced. How do you pronounce the a sound in plaster? Do you make a hissing sound at the end of bus- or is it more like a z? What do some other people say? Listening carefully will help you to learn a lot- but remember, your accent is no better or worse than anyone else's: it is just different. There is one accent called Received Pronunciation (RP) which some people regard as superior to others. This is also called the Queen's (or King´s) pronunciation. It is the accent of many (but by no means all) people in southern England and is used by presenters of news bulletins. It is no more correct than any other accent, but it is one that almost everyone understands. If you are looking to improve your accent or your pronunciation, elocution lessons are what you need. Check out the following tutors and send them a message today!