Miami is a large, ethnically and linguistically diverse metropolis that has become one of the world’s most important cities in the twenty-first century. Unlike most large urban areas in the United States, Miami is a bilingual city where both English and Spanish are important languages of business, government and society, and competence in both languages is a key to personal, social and professional success.
Whether you are a native English speaker with nonstandard pronunciation or an English language learner attempting to improve your English pronunciation, the ability to speak Standard American English (SAE) with a clear, neutral accent is a critical skill in Miami’s multicultural and multilinguistic environment.
Here a few of the top reasons why you should study English Accent Reduction in Downtown Miami if you haven’t already mastered the pronunciation of Standard American English.
1. Gain Confidence
Improving your English accent will give you added confidence when interacting in English, especially with native English speakers. The more confident you feel when speaking English, the less likely you are to make grammatical, lexical (vocabulary) and pronunciation errors, which will in turn lead to more successful communicative interactions in English.
Research shows that speaker anxiety can substantially reduce one’s ability to produce fluid, accurate speech in a second or foreign language, so whatever you can do to reduce your language-related anxiety, the more fluent you will be when speaking a foreign language.
2. Boost Awareness
Taking professional English accent reduction classes will dramatically increase your insight into and understanding of the types of pronunciation errors you make, which is critical to correcting them. The mistakes you make when pronouncing English are likely to go unnoticed by you, but will probably be very noticeable to the native English speakers you’re interacting with. Taking an English accent reduction course with a professional English accent trainer is the most reliable way to improve your pronunciation. After all, if accent reduction were easy, then you would probably already be speaking like a native!
3. You Can’t Teach Yourself
Only an experienced language expert can provide you with effective accent reduction techniques. Because the brain has special circuits that control pronunciation (for those interested in the technical details, the most important relevant neuronal pathways start in Broca’s area and lead to the left premotor cortex in most individuals), the instructional strategies that work for teaching English grammar and vocabulary are typically ineffective for achieving reliable improvement in pronunciation and accent reduction.
The fact of the matter is that you just can’t teach accent reduction to yourself. In order for English accent reduction training to be effective, it must come from someone who has been specially trained in linguistics (particularly phonetics and phonology) and modern language teaching methodologies. Only English accent reduction experts with appropriate education, training and experience can help you attain lasting, reliable improvement to your English pronunciation.
4. Make a Great First Impression
You only have one chance to make a first impression. People tend to judge others based on how they speak and before your interlocutor (the person you’re speaking to) is able to process the content of your message, they will probably notice your pronunciation, even if only at a subconscious level. Linguistic research has shown that native English speakers tend to be annoyed by certain types of non-native pronunciation features (such as failing to produce the right vowel sounds in words like hit ~ heat and look ~ Luke), while they often ignore or are barely aware of others (like pronouncing the initial consonants of words like pet, tip and cut without aspiration, or the brief puff of air that makes the English consonants /p/, /t/ and /k/ sound stronger than their Spanish or Portuguese counterparts).
By taking English accent reduction classes taught by pronunciation specialists, you will learn to minimize the types of pronunciation errors that native English speakers are most likely to react negatively to, which will go a long way toward helping you achieve communicative success in English.
5. Pronunciation is as Important as Grammar
The more proficient you are in English, the less room for error you have when speaking English and this definitely includes your English pronunciation. Although many beginning and intermediate level English language learners are rightly concerned about their English pronunciation, it is paradoxically those with the most advanced proficiency in English who may have the most to lose from pronunciation blunders. This is because native English speakers tend to have higher expectations for foreigners with advanced English proficiency, even if they are not consciously aware of this sociolinguistic bias (and most are probably not). Stated differently, native English speakers expect those with basic to intermediate English proficiency to make patterned pronunciation errors, but their linguistic expectations are higher for fluent English speakers.
If you are a non-native English speaker with advanced English fluency, you should consider taking accent reduction lessons in Miami to ensure that your English pronunciation is as accurate as your English grammar and vocabulary. Even a few English accent reduction classes in a conveniently-located Miami language school can help you develop critical awareness of the types of pronunciation errors you make, which can help you polish your English pronunciation for more effective communication in both social and business settings.
Contact us to get started and begin reducing your accent today!
Instruction for Private Accent Reduction Classes is provided by Premium Languages, the private tutorial, foreign language, and test preparation partner of Language On. Courses provided by Premium Languages are not accredited by CEA and do not qualify for F-1 (student) visas.