“But I already have an electronic dictionary with a voice feature.”
At Confidence Learning Services, we have spent several years accumulating materials to help others communicate more clearly in English. When you enroll in an Accent Reduction course with us, all materials are provided, including a subscription to an Online Practice Program and recommended books, websites, and apps. But yet, some people ask, “Why that website and not this one?” or, “Why should I download that dictionary app when I already have a dictionary?”
Those are fair questions, so let me answer them here.
Things to keep in mind when considering Accent Reduction Materials:
– Not all pronunciation training websites or programs are created equal.
Some contain poor pronunciation, grammar mistakes, or inauthentic pronunciation. Some simply don’t do a good job of building you up to clear communication in your everyday speech. We only recommend sites that we have tested and are confident in. One of our favorites is: http://trainyouraccent.com/
– Not all dictionaries or dictionary apps are the same.
Go ahead, download a few dictionary apps in your native language. Now look up a word, and imagine trying to understand the definition if you were learning that language. Now listen to the pronunciation example. Does it sound natural, or robotic? These are easy to evaluate in your native language, but harder to evaluate in a second language. That’s why we recommend specific dictionaries and dictionary apps for you to use, instead of the electronic dictionary or app you may already have. One of our favorites is: www.dictionary.com
– Materials may be negotiable.
If your instructor has assigned something that you hate, or that doesn’t work for you, let them know. Some materials may be negotiable. For example, despite the popularity with most of my clients, one client in particular strongly disliked the website recommended above. Instead of trying to “Power through” it, or pretending to do the assignment and skipping it, that client informed me that the website wasn’t working for them, and we set up something different. Don’t hesitate to let your instructor know about any problems you are having, but keep in mind:
– Accent Reduction isn’t always fun.
Unlike the “entertaining” and immediately gratifying experience of learning a new language and being able to order new and exciting food right away, accent reduction is often tedious and time-consuming. Progress typically occurs at a slow-and-steady pace. Accent reduction is incredibly valuable in being understood, not having to repeat yourself as frequently, and advancing in your career, but it takes time. The materials used reflect this, so if you are frustrated with the practice program or activity your instructor assigned, you can express your displeasure, but be prepared to accept that the particular program assigned is non-negotiable, or that any alternatives are equally tedious and time-consuming.
Remember, with Accent Reduction, slow-and-steady wins the race.
Much like starting a new diet and exercise routine, you may not notice results right away, and they may be so gradual that it is hard to tell if you are improving at all. But at the end of your program, when you have lost that 20 lbs, you can rest assured that those around you can see your accomplishment.
Likewise, with Accent Reduction, you may feel as if no one notices your clearer communication, but by the end of your course, your 50-80% improvement will shine through as you listen to your before and after recordings, and you should notice people understanding you better and asking you to repeat yourself much less.
If you’re still not sure if a personalized accent reduction course is right for you, contact us today at 1-865-226-9477 for a free Accent Evaluation. We’ll go over all the sounds in the English language and determine if Accent Reduction works for you.