Every language has its own sound system and intonation patterns which makes it unique. Learning a new language means incorporating new sounds, new intonation patterns, grammar rules, as well as other skills, so that you can become an effective communicator.
With Arabic as your native language, there are several differences between how you currently speak English and the standard American English accent. Some of these differences do not significantly impact your ability to be understood by Americans, while others make a tremendous difference in your speech.
Because everyone is unique, no two people will be at exactly the same level when it comes to spoken English. When considering accent reduction, it is important for you to make a list of the specific skill areas that you feel are weaknesses for you and the things that are currently preventing you from communicating effectively when speaking English.
For example, if your job requires you to speak on the phone frequently, but people often tell you that they have a difficult time understanding you in this situation, then this is an important skill area for you to master. Another example is that giving presentations may be an important part of your job, but you might have gotten negative feedback regarding your communication style from your manager. People often ask you to repeat and don't understand your speech. Learning how to get your audience’s attention, speaking clearly, and presenting your ideas in a clear and concise way may be important skills for you to master in order to perform well at your job.
The areas listed below are a few examples of general areas your accent reduction program may include.Other areas not included in this list may also be addressed, depending on your particular needs.
1. Speaking rate One of the most important skills to master is maintaining an appropriate speaking rate.Even if you don’t naturally speak too quickly, you may want to consider slowing down your speaking rate to make your speech easier to understand. Speaking Your Best will teach you how to reduce your speaking rate and show you how to maintain an appropriate rate when speaking English.This will be a very important part of your program.
2. Pronunciation of accented sounds There are about several sounds in American English that you naturally have particular difficulty pronouncing.This is because you say them differently in your native language.In addition, you just don’t have some of these sounds in Arabic.The sound that most likely affects your ability to be understood is probably the “r” sound.Because you tend to do what we call “rolling” this sound, it sounds very different than the American English “r.”Once you learn the sounds that impact your spoken English most, you will find that this reduces your accent significantly. These are the sounds Speaking Your Best will teach you first.
3. Stress and intonation differences As an Arabic speaker, you tend to use a flatter pitch when speaking.Your speech doesn’t have the up and down “song” that is customary in American English.Because your stressing and intonation patterns are different, Americans may have difficulty understanding your speech.A very important part of your program may be learning how to make your pitch go up and down in the correct way so that you can “sing” in English.
4. Grammar As an Arabic speaker, you may need to focus on using articles, indirect questions, and other parts of speech. If these parts of speech are not used consistently in your speech, you may be noticing that your written grammar reflects these same errors. Because Speaking Your Best customizes each program, we will determine your current level of grammar proficiency and work with you to develop those parts of speech specific to your needs.
Accent reduction courses with Speaking Your Best are customized to meet the specific needs you have and are designed to help you become an effective communicator in all speaking situations.Contact us today and learn how you can be a success by speaking your best!