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Accents American

The first step is to become mindful of your tongue

If you’re have a desire to improve your English accent (American or British) you should focus on one thing at a time. In the context of accent training, focus on one body part at a time. Can you guess which part though? Here are some hints:

  1. It seldom sees the light of day but does on the dentist’s chair-albeit artificial.
  2. It is extremely strong.
  3. It is highly discarded in language learning and communication in general.
  4. It is rather associated with something racy instead of accent prowess.

It’s the tongue. Now let’s identify the default position of it- sort of when a motorboat is in a stationary position in an ocean (of saliva) in your mouth. *Sigh* to park the motorboat in its default position. Sigh through a ‘duh’ sound and feel your lips, jaw and tongue relax. Now your tongue should be somewhat in the middle of the mouth. Close your eyes so you can turn on your tongue GPS. Now that you’ve located the default position of the tongue, what happens to it when you see this and articulate it?

Coffee beans or /ˈkɑː.fi biːnz/

“Coffee beans!”. So from the default DUH position of the tongue, it should move to ea/ee. Does the tongue move forward or backward? Answer: It moves forward to just in front of the lower teeth. Congratulations! You’ve just gained more insight into language learning the most people will because getting to know your tongue will unleash your fluency potential. Below is a video to show you the default tongue position and the new front position it must engage in to generate the /iː/

By Matthew

Hello! I'm Matthew and I have more than 11 years of teaching experience with a certified TESOL qualification and a Bachelor Degree in Applied Languages. I specialise in standard American and British accent training. In addition, I am half Japanese (and part German) and have lived in many places including Tokyo, London, Milan, Berlin and Budapest so I know how to bridge different cultures!

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