Sound More American: Three Simple Changes to Improve Your Pronunciation for an American Accent

 Simple changes can often be the most effective. This is a guiding principle in most everything I do, including accent and communication coaching. So often we think that we need to make big, dramatic changes in order to get the results we want. This mindset can keep us from taking action because we think that we’re further from our goals than we actually are. When it comes to improving your accent and sounding more … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Say Contractions Naturally: How to Pronounce Contractions in American English with Stress and Reductions

Because you study contractions early on in your English learning journey, you often learn them as “optional” ways to combine pronouns and helping verbs, or helping verbs and negatives. But they’re not really optional – they’re basically required if you want to sound natural when speaking English. That’s why you have to understand how and why we use contractions in normal speech. Let’s discuss how to say contractions naturally in American English by pronouncing them … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Communicate Clearly in English for Customer Service and Call Center Jobs

 If you’re working as a customer service representative and interacting with a lot of native speakers on the phone or in person, you’re probably really concerned about clear communication in English. I recently received an awesome question from a member of this community who said: “It’s really important for me to sound like a native English speaker because I work as a customer service representative. For this reason I’m working on my communication skills. … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Handle Comments About Your Accent in English | Why Do We Care About Accents Anyway?

 As a non-native English speaker, you’ve probably been in a conversation with someone who made an observation about your accent, whether positive or negative. Even though accents are a fact of life – we all have them, even in our native language – the topic can make us feel sensitive, defensive, frustrated, or discouraged. For most of us, talking about accents is a loaded topic, which means it can cause a lot of different … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Feel More Confident When Speaking English

 Confidence. We admire it in other people. We want more of it ourselves, myself included. If you’re like most people I know, you want to feel more confident when speaking. You probably have a list of things you’ll do once you improve your speaking habits: Maybe you’ll apply for a new position in your company. You’ll give a presentation at a conference. Perhaps you’ll look for a new job. Or you’ll try to make … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Train Your Ear to Hear English Rhythm and Melody

When I start working with my accent reduction clients on stress and intonation, there’s one comment I hear all the time: I never noticed this before. And then this question follows: Why did I never notice this before? Why did no one ever tell me that this was so important? Even for people who have lived in the US or other English speaking countries for many years, the importance of stress and intonation still comes … Read the article and watch the video lesson