At the beginning of every new accent reduction group I go around the class and ask everyone what is motivating them to push their English skills to the ultimate level. Here is Kathy’s answer.
“Hi my names is Kathy. I’m Currently working as a sales coordinator in Sydney and in two weeks I’m going to start my new job as an office manager in North Sydney. The reason I’ve come here to learn English is because in my previous work I didn’t have the opportunity or time to speak to people. I was concentrating on computers, paperwork, and this new job will give me the opportunity to practice my English, to coordinate with other people from the office, and I also think I have two things to say. Firstly from my side people sometimes can’t understand what I’m saying. They have to guess what I said. I think there might be a few reasons. One of the reasons might be my pronunciation. And also the same thing for them. When they are talking also I can’t understand. I think there are a few reasons. One of them might be the pronunciation I’m not familiar with and causes me trouble to understand what they are saying. I used to live and work in the UK for a couple of years and I really like the British English. It’s really easy to pick up. It’s very elegant; very beautiful. When I came back to China I had a bit of the British accent, but then I lost it.
Can I ask a question? You are teaching people from different countries. Do you think people have different accents from different countries? But for Chinese people, do we have a specific accent? And how can we improve?”
“Yes of course. Chinese accents have specific features that are different from other accents. It seems to be the main thing for Chinese accents is the stress pattern. SO. YOU. WILL. STRESS. ON. EV. ER. Y. SING. LE. SY.LA.BLE.”
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