What is your superpower to succeed with accent reduction?
This is a really interesting topic. For this we have to go back to how everyone learns their native accent. Of course you learn your native accent by listening to the sounds around you and imitating them. And you do this BEFORE you can read and write. Long before.
Now here is the problem with learning a second language. How did you learn your second language? 99% of us will have learnt our second language mainly through reading and writing, and then trying to speak it, and a lastly by listening to it.
This is totally backwards!
Now your second language is a bunch of visual images in your head that you translate into sounds when you speak, rather than sounds that we translate into visual images when we write. So your primary source for you second language is the written word. When you think of a word in your head you see the letters. When you see the letters you are a prisoner to your wrong memory of those sounds. So what we must do is bypass your memory, let go of your visual basis of the language and recreate it from listening.
In my classes we train you to listen. You are bombarded with sounds you don’t recognise and told not to translate them into words that you know. The moment you translate them into words that you know then you will stop listening to the real sounds that are being made! Instead you will just hear what you want to hear. So the best way to change your accent is to learn to hear a language the way a baby hears it. Just sounds that are really being heard and not interpreted. Then you learn to imitate them. Then and and only then should you associate meaning with the sound. Now you are building a new memory of the sound of that word.
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