Accent Reduction - Sound more like a native speaker of English in business

  • Do you feel like your accent may be holding you back in your career?
  • Do people sometimes find it difficult to understand you when you speak English?
  • Would you like to sound more fluent, more native and more professional with your English?
  • Receive a full breakdown of all parts of your speaking which you can change to sound more native
  • Get a full action plan to transform your accent with me, David, a linguistics graduate who has studied phonetics, phonology and accent in-depth
Book a Free Consultation and Accent Assessment

Do you know what the most common sound is in both British and American English?

The answer is in fact a very lazy 'uh' sound, which you might recognise from words such as 'the'.  Incredibly, it is the most common sound in both British and American English, and it is used in around 15% of all syllables.  It is known as a 'schwa' and it is one of the keys to sounding more British or more American.

The sound is very lazy, but it is used in formal and professional English in 15% of all syllables..

👑  The former Queen of England used it in 15% of all syllables

👑  The new King of England uses it in 15% of all syllables

🗽  The President of the United States uses it in just under 15% of all syllables

How many lazy 'uh' sounds do you think are in the sentence below?

 "The sentence that you can see contains a lot of these sounds."

Incredibly, there are a total of 7 'uh' sounds in the sentence.  All of the letters in light blue are pronounced exactly the same..like a very lazy 'uh' sound.  In professional Business English, King's English, American English, the same 'uh' sound would be used for everything in light blue below.  How would you pronounce these sounds?

 "The sentence that you can see contains a lot of these sounds."

This schwa sound is so important in English, not only because it is so common, but because it completely changes the rhythm of your English.  If you hardly use a schwa in your English, the chances are that you are speaking with a different rhythm to native English speakers, which can make your English difficult to understand.

In fact, if you are a speaker of French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese or Japanese then the chances are that the rhythm you speak with in your native language is completely different to English.  If you would like to find out more, and see English in a completely different way than before, feel free to book a consultation, where I can give you a full assessment of the areas of your accent that we can improve.  Find out more about how I can improve your accent below!

Book a Free Consultation and Accent Assessment

Alternatively, email me at [email protected] to book a consultation!

What process will you use to improve my accent?

Stage 1: Full Accent Assessment

During the consultation lesson, I will assess all areas of your accent:

    • Consonant sounds
    • Vowel sounds
    • Diphthong sounds
    • Connected speech (joining words together)
    • Use of the 'schwa' sound and reduction of vowels
    • Stress-timed rhythm

If you choose to take lessons and begin your accent transformation, I will send a detailed assessment document like the one below:

Stage 2: Accent Transformation

After we have assessed everything that we can change, we will follow a specific process with each element:

Phase 1: Articulation - Learning how to say the sound in a native English accent

      • Training with individual words

Phase 2: 'Muscle Memory' - Making the sound automatically without thinking

      • Training with sentences and repetition
      • Training with paragraphs

Phase 3: Implementing 'muscle memory' in active speech

      • Training with 'guided speaking'
      • Training with free speaking (the 'end game')
  • 1

    Full Accent Assessment

    Get a detailed assessment of all areas of your accent from a professional with over 10 years' experience in accent training.

During our consultation lesson, we will speak about various topics about yourself, your job, where you live etc. During this time I will be making detailed notes about all aspects of your accent, and at the end I will give you an explanation of all sounds that you can improve to sound more native. If you choose to take lessons after, you will receive a detailed document with an assessment of 5 aspects related to your accent: consonants, vowels, diphthongs, connected speech, use of the 'schwa' sound (reducing) and rhythm. An example of the assessment that you will receive can be found in the link below:

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    Accent Transformation

    The end goal of our lessons is that you can sound more like a native speaker in your day-to-day business activities.  This can be a very long process, because we have to change speaking habits which you have been using for many years. However, it is certainly possible, and I have achieved this with speakers of many languages such as Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese and Indonesian.

We therefore have to go through a very gradual, step-by-step process with each individual sound that we need to change.

Phase 1: Articulation - Individual words

The first stage is to work on physically pronouncing each sound as a native speaker.  For this we do mini-pronunciation drills to train your tongue.  We then look at making the sound in individual words.

Phase 2:  'Muscle memory' -  Sentences and paragraphs

The next phase is to train your tongue to make the sound automatically, without needing to make any conscious effort from your brain.  This is known as 'muscle memory'.  This is a long process which involves the constant repetition of sentences, as we train your tongue to stop using your old accent and to start using a native accent.  With every student, I create a Google Document, which contains an index of sentences including the sounds that we need to improve.  These sentences need to be repeated in and out of lessons consistently.

Once we have established muscle memory with sentences, we then need to take things up one level, and start to implement the sound in longer paragraphs.  This is slowly moving towards simulating the use of the accent in longer conversations.

Phase 3: Muscle memory in active, spontaneous speech

Once we have established muscle memory, we still have a little further to go in the process.  When you are reading sentences and paragraphs, you are still concentrating on getting your new accent right.  We now need to move to a stage where you are able to apply this new muscle memory to active speaking, where you are focusing on what you want to say instead of focusing on your accent.  We can begin this with a process that I call 'guided speaking', where I create a number of letters on my screen as we speak to remind you of the new sounds that we have learnt.  I also monitor and give real time feedback to train you to implement your new accent into active speaking and discussion about business topics.

The final stage, what I call 'free speaking' is normal discussion without any help from myself or any help from the screen.  We speak as if we are having a normal conversation.  I monitor your accent as you speak freely without thinking about English at all. Once we have mastered this stage, you accent should be ready to take out into the world of business!

Book a Free Consultation and Accent Assessment

Alternatively, email me at [email protected] to book a consultation!

David is always well-prepared and very supportive during and outside the classes. Unfailingly ready to answer any questions.

Lucie Kristenova Language Teacher, Lyon, France

David is a professional! His lessons are focused on a result. He sets goals with students and reaches these goals

Denis Gvozd Co-Founder at Dev Team Inc. Minsk, Belarus
See over 50 more reviews!

How much do lessons cost?

The price is made for each individual lesson, with a discount for packages of 5 lessons or 10 lessons

Training your accent, otherwise known as 'accent reduction', can be quite a long process.  The length of training can depend on many factors, such as how many elements of your accent we need to change, as well as your native language and the ease to which you adopt new sounds.  For this reason, there is of course no fixed length to the training.

It is possible to pay for as many lessons in advance as you like.  It is also possible just to pay for 1 lesson at a time at the beginning.

You don't have to pay anything until I have assessed your accent in a free 30-minute consultation.