In collaboration with MosaLingua
Improving their accent in English is the desire of all those who are learning the language but still feel uncomfortable at the idea of talking to foreigners for fear of being made fun of for the Italian accent.
Having an accent is not a problem, especially at the beginning of your learning, however, as our language level improves it is good to improve the accent too, in order to be able to express yourself fluently. And you have to distinguish between pronunciation and accent: in general having a little accent is fine, but you should learn the correct pronunciation from the beginning to be sure that others will understand us. There are several ways to improve your English pronunciation, here are 5 tips to do it quickly and effectively:
Council no. 1 watch movies and TV series in their original language
The best way to improve your accent in English, and in any other language, is definitely to expose yourself to the language as much as possible, so watching original version movies and TV series is a great way to understand different aspects: pronunciation, l intonation, rhythm – all essential elements for improving oral production.
At the beginning it is better to watch films and TV series already seen in Italian, to better focus on the vocabulary and pronunciation of words, rather than on the story being told. While subtitles are useful for understanding, they are not useful for pronunciation, especially in English, a language in which you don’t read as you write. Therefore, in the case of films seen previously, there is no need to use subtitles.
Tip # 2: Look for the pronunciation of unfamiliar words
When learning a language, you are usually exposed to different types of resources. Those seen so far allow us to improve our accent directly, or by hearing the pronunciation. However, it may happen that you read a book or an article and do not know the meaning or pronunciation of a word.
The best way to discover both is to use an online dictionary, since together with the translation of the term into Italian it often also offers the pronunciation, or more pronunciations, of the word itself. This is a great way to memorize new words correctly.
Tip # 3: Listen to podcasts and videos in other languages
To improve your accent, you need to expose yourself to the language as much as possible. Listening to resources in English is therefore essential, to do so you can use different times of the day: the journey by bus or train to go to work, waiting at the dentist, training in the gym, when cooking.
There are podcasts and videos on everything from politics to hobbyists to filmmaking to sports, so they don’t necessarily have to be related to language learning. Indeed, having passions and listening to podcasts and videos on those topics will allow you to talk about them in no time at all, expressing yourself like a true native speaker.
Council no. 4: find a partner for language exchange
There are several online platforms that allow you to find a partner for a language exchange: a person with a different mother tongue with whom you can talk about this and that or about specific topics and improve oral production and, consequently, also the accent.
Having a partner online also saves us the embarrassment of talking face-to-face with a person who doesn’t necessarily speak our language and allows us to correct each other.
Council no. 5: practice, practice and practice again
Yes, there is no better way to improve your accent in English than to practice the language as much as possible. Practice is key to exercising any acquired learning and skills, so you shouldn’t be afraid to get involved and talk at any opportunity.
It will happen to make mistakes, to give birth to a few smiles due to an imperfect pronunciation, but this is precisely how you learn and above all you remember what you have learned!