Accents form a significant part of who we are. Everyone has an accent. However, these accents affect the way those around us perceive us. Like any aspect of our lives, they may cause frustration and anxiety. One question that most non-native speakers ask is whether it is possible to lose their foreign accents.
Is it Possible to Completely Lose Your Accent?
By the time most people reach puberty, they have a defined set of sounds locked in. This means that children below 11 years old can easily learn and speak a new language without a foreign accent. This typically occurs naturally.
But how about older people?
For most adults, it is possible to lose an accent completely. However, this can get more difficult as we grow older. Losing an accent is typically a conflict against muscle memory. However, an accent is a habit and does not run in your bloodline. Therefore, if you were raised in a foreign country, you can change your speech patterns and speak like native English speakers.
Accent reduction involves teaching our ears to listen to different speech patterns and training the mouth to make new sounds. With expert auditory training and regular practice, slightly accented or accent-free speech can be achieved. A successful outcome comes from dedicated practice by taking an English pronunciation course.
How Long Does it Take to Lose an Accent?
It is difficult to say how long you need to drop your strong accent. However, you can start improving your English pronunciation skills from day one. The duration it takes depends on several factors, including your accent proficiency, the degree of perfection you need to acquire, your level of English language and the resources available.
Different individuals require varying amounts of time for effective accent reduction. Typically, most people notice a difference in English pronunciation after three weeks of daily practice. After half a year, there will be a significant difference in accent reduction and speech clarity. For some people, losing an accent can take a few years.
Keys to Achieving a Successful Outcome
If you pay attention to your accent regularly, you will learn enough to forget it and acquire a new one. Setting a weekly or daily schedule for practice and learning is advisable. Always remember to be consistent, whether for 5 minutes or 30 minutes daily.
2. Be open
Shying away from communicating with native speakers will only limit your potential. The best way to acquire a British accent is to increase your exposure to the language. Making mistakes and asking questions can help you get the experience you need.
3. Keep Learning
if you are misunderstood or often mispronounce certain words, look for the reason behind the mistake and stay calm. Once you identify the problem, do something to improve.
We Can Help You Acquire a Native Accent
The good news is that improving pronunciation and losing a foreign accent is achievable. At the Pronunciation School, we have a bespoke accent training approach to help you speak English like a native speaker. Book an accent assessment to get help from an accent coach.