Learning British UK Accent (RP): 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011

How to Slow Down Fast Speech

American English Pronunciation blog

If  you find that people don’t always understand you when you are speaking, try to slow down a bit.

Here are two things you can do to help you slow down fast speech.

1. Learn to use content and focus words

Native English speakers emphasize the content and focus words in each sentence or phrase. They pause slightly after these important words. Learn about how native speakers use content and focus words and you will slow down too.

2. Learn to use syllable stress

In English words some syllables are stressed more than others. The vowels in stressed syllables are articulated in a long clear way, not in a short choppy way. Short choppy syllables will  contribute to fast speech. Learn about how native speakers use syllable stress and you will slow down too.

Speaking at a good pace is a fundamental speaking skill that everyone, including native speakers need to learn in order to be a good public speaker.

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how do I say Almond in a British Accent?


Unfortunately the original audio player to which the recording was uploaded, has been discontinued and no longer available.

To listen to this British Accent training please do click on the link below :

Dont forget: If you have an RP British Accent pronunciation question do get in touch either post on my facebook wall at http://www.facebook.com/LearningBritishAccent, twitter @LearnBritaccent or email: alison@thephonevoice.com 

Regional Accents: It's All in Your Head

Accent Reduction Blog | Accent Neutralization Blog

NPR recently published a fascinating article entitled, Unfamiliar Accents Turn Off Humans And Songbirds.   If you were to read this title, wouldn’t you assume that meant unfamiliar accents are a ‘turn off’ to people and birds?  That’s what I assumed…and it led me to read further.

As we know, a ‘turn-off’ is an idiomatic expression that means to repulse or repel.  This article, however, was certainly not talking about a supposedly abhorrent nature of unfamiliar accents.  For as we know, depending on our experiences and perspectives, accents can either be a ‘turn-off’ or a ‘turn-on’.  Think of a French accent and all kinds of ooh-la-la come to mind! 

The article was highlighting a phenomenon that neurologists from Scotland recently discovered when examining brain activity in people exposed to unfamiliar accents.  Their findings?  Activity in the temporal region of the brain (the region that process voice discrimination) ‘turns off’, or at least greatly diminishes.  But does this suggest that accents are a turn-off?  Hardly!  It simply notes that sounds which don’t occur in one’s native language are processed as an ‘accent’ and not given as much relevance. In the world of cognitive linguistics, this phenomenon is known as NLNC, Native Language Neural Commitment.  It means that as we identify the speech patterns of our native language, our brains create neural pathways that recognize, respond, and commit to the pronunciation patterns of our first language.   Over time, other speech sounds are seen as “accented” speech.

Interestingly, researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Duke University have discovered that songbirds, like people, have regional ‘accents’ and tend to respond to songs in a familiar accent.  Swamp sparrows from Pennsylvania sound markedly different than swamp sparrows from New York.  Does this mean that one bird’s accent is ‘right’ and the other is ‘wrong’?  Of course not! 

unfamiliar accents

As far as people and our accents are concerned, heavy accents that create language barriers may prevent effective communication.  But accents that don’t impede communication are an important part of our identity.  If, as seems to be the case, birds of a feather sing together….it might do us some good to remember we need sopranos, tenors and everything in between to create perfect harmony.

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Vocab Examples All About Money