How do you learn the English accent?

English accent presentation
When coming from a second language, how do you learn to present with an English accent

The language learning market is huge, however 91% of those learners are concentrated on just one language: English.  Unfortunately, simply learning English is not enough on it’s own to be heard, understood and to be able to thrive in an English speaking environment.  This is because when we come from our native language, the pronunciation and intonation patterns of that language impact signficantly on our accent.  In many cases, and paritcularly for relatively new learners of English, that accent can be so strong that it impacts negatively on our spoken English.

So how do you learn English accents and soften your own accent?

Well, the first question must be which English accent to focus on when learning English?  SpeechSchool.TV is the largest provider of video based English accent training online.  The School has offered many different courses over the years, from Standard English (British), American English to Australasian Engilsh.  They have found that 90% of students, including those in the US where an American accent is the norm, choose to learn the Standard English accent.

Why learners choose the Standard English accent?

When it comes to learning English accents and speaking and presenting like a native speaker, the main aim first is to soften your own accent.  Accent softening, requires a structured course whereby you study;

1. The correct tonal pronunciation of all phonetic sounds.

2. The inflection pattern of speech.

3 The rhythm, flow and intonation pattern through sentences.

With Standard English, this is based on Oxford English, and covers 50 phonetic sounds and standardised rules of English pronunciation.  American English in comparison only has about 44 phonetic sounds, uses slang and has variance across different regions.

Students around the world therefore choose Standard English in order to learn all sounds clearly and correctly, which forms the best platform for them to go about softening their own accents.

Accent softening and the learn English accent program from Speech School

SpeechSchool.TV has worked with thousands of students worldwide with its award-winning video based training and as a result has the leading ‘learn English accent’ program for internet learning.

Students generally experience a reduction in accent strength of 20% over a 3 month period and a much larger reduction over months and years, whereby their spoken English becomes like an educated native speaker, considerably improving speech and presentation outcomes for them.


Everyday Efforts To Improve Your Speech

In this post, we invited guest blogger Mike Parsons to share his experience on improving English speech for new speakers of the language.

Speaking clearly is crucial to communication. Even in this era of online business and social media, the spoken word is what we rely on at work, on the street, and at home. Clear speech may be the edge you need to advance in your job, or to succeed in classes. Here are some pointers for things you can do every day, during your regular life, that will improve your speech.

Read Aloud – a LOT

You can’t improve your speech if you do not talk. This is especially true if you are learning a foreign language. Therefore, you need to actually speak the language as much as you can.

Many times, simply reading the newspaper to someone can be the avenue for “getting your tongue around” a language. If your family members are impatient with this, consider volunteering at a hospice or hospital. By carefully reading aloud, you become familiar with the rhythms of the language.


Newspapers are usually written at about a year 5 level. The vocabulary is familiar to the majority of people, and the sentence structure is supposed to be easy to read.

Newspapers also communicate information that is intended to keep the reader informed of important or interesting events in the world around them. By reading the newspaper aloud, you will not only work on your reading and pronunciation skills, you will be more attuned to current events.

If a newspaper is too much for you, reading children’s books is another easier way to practice your pronunciation. Here, you can learn graded material, just as the students do. Usually in children’s books, the sentences are shorter and less intricate, which makes it easier to read. Also, early educational children’s books often repeat one word a great deal to teach vocabulary, or they will repeat a particular blend or consonant pattern such as “sh” or “th”.


Reading to children, especially if you are unfamiliar with the language, can be great fun for everyone involved, especially if you have the ability to laugh at yourself. By asking the children to help you say the words right, you not only encourage them to read more fluently, but you have very cute little coaches correcting your pronunciation.


Reading road signs aloud is also a great way to get practice with pronunciation. That’s right, you can be “one of those” passengers. You may drive your mates crazy, but this can be excellent practice. With advertisements, for example, you have probably heard the names of the stores, services, or products on TV, and as you read the signs, you can compare your pronunciation. Or, maybe your mates in the car will – cheerfully – correct your pronunciation!

Watch TV


How great is it to actually HAVE to watch TV? The only problem is, sometimes the people on TV speak very quickly. This can make it hard to keep up with the conversation or news program. The key here is to try to listen for specific words.

For example, if you are watching a news program about a blizzard, listen for the words “blizzard”, “winter storm”, “snow”, and “freeze”. Learning to anticipate the keywords in a news story helps you to keep track of the context. As you become more fluent with the language, you can pick up on the contextual words in which these keywords are used. It also broadens your vocabulary.


Inflection is key to understanding the spoken word. This involves using a well-modulated speaking voice that drops in pitch slightly at the end of a sentence. However, you do not want it to drop drastically, or the words will be lost.

The key to good pronunciation is exposure and imitation. Find safe places to speak, and enjoy the journey!

Online Speech Training

SpeechSchool.TV is the world’s largest provider of English speech training online with more than 3,000 minutes of structured video immersion, teaching the most preferred Standard English accent to second language speakers around the world. Please visit the website for more information on their English pronunciation course.

Contributor Bio

Mike Parsons enjoys researching speech and language techniques. He currently works for a translation company found at

How to improve English speaking

Learn English Speaking
Learning to speak the English language clearly and well can be a very satisfying experience.

So you already read, write and speak English to a reasonable level?  However, can you be clearly understood and do you make the right impression on your listeners? 

Aurelien Gasc was a French engineer who had been working and living in an English speaking country for a number of years.  Yet, he always felt that when he was communicating with colleagues and friends he was “that French guy in your face.”

Mr. Gasc joined SpeechSchool.TV, a leading provider of British accent training and online tuition in English speaking.  The school helped him to soften his accent and now he is able to speak more easily and clearly with those around him.

Learn how to speak English like a native speaker

The challenge for learners is always to learn to speak the language in a similar way to native speakers so they can be clearly understood and fluency is evident.  SpeechSchool.TV teaches English pronunciation and helps achieve clear pronunciation across sentences, focusing on the Standard English accent.  While the School recognises that some local accent adds colour, it’s English accent course helps to ensure that such accent does not impede understanding or overpower the clarity of the message.

Should I go for British accent training or American accent training?

The best advice for students is to learn pure Standard English which is essentially without an accent.  This is spoken English as found in an Oxford dictionary and contains 50 unique phonetic sounds.  For students living and working in America it is very easy to modify the tone and flow of this speech toward an American accent (which has around 44 phonemes).

More information on English speaking and British accent training is available from SpeechSchool.TV, a well recognised provider in online education.

Learn the English Accent – which one?

Learn English Accent
Hugh Grant had a ‘breakout’ performance as an actor in Four Weddings and a Funeral. His classic Standard English accent is also the most favoured accent for learning English.

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a well known movie in which Hugh Grant plays Charles, a debonair but socially clumsy Englishman who falls for an American woman, Carrie (played by Andie MacDowell) that he repeatedly meets at four weddings and then a funeral.

For students of English, of most interest is his classic British accent.  It is a very clear form of English but also somewhat posh and according to SpeechSchool.TV, a leading provider of online accent training, it is the most sought after form of English speech amongst learners.

Received Pronunciation and the English Accent

Grant’s accent is very close to Received Pronunciation, an English accent commonly associated with well educated speakers in the South of England and the Home Counties around London.  However, the main reason it is taught as the Standard English Accent by SpeechSchool,TV is that it is also the standard pronunciation used in the Oxford Dictionary, and compared to most other English accents, in fact has very little accent and no regional indicators.

When it comes to learning English, learners need to also learn pronunciation and this comes down to deciding on which English accent to focus on.  If the aim is clear English and intelligibility anywhere in the world, the clear tones of Standard English are recommended.  Moreover, learning correct English pronunciation allows the learner more easily to adapt their accent later on according to the environment in which they are living but with a secure understanding of elocution.  Hugh Grant himself for instance does not speak pure Received Pronunciation but rather an accent based on that with some London undertones.

Preferences to Learn English Accent

Even in America, SpeechSchool finds that students prefer to learn the English accent based on Standard English.  American accents can be quite varied and even compared to General American (the American accent most often used in the news media) the clarity of Standard English is preferred.

American accents are also blended with Standard English, most commonly in the form of the authoritative ‘Trans-Atlantic’ accent which combines Received Pronunciation with General American.  Again the clarity of this accent is based on its pure English accent roots.

Perhaps another reason for the teaching and learning preference for the English accent (as opposed to the American or other accents) is that Standard English contains the most phonemes, in total 50 unique sounds, whereas General American has only around 40 – depending on which version is used.

SpeechSchool.TV has one of the most complete programs on the internet to learn the English Accent.  For more information on the English learning programs, please visit the English accent course page:

Learning English pronunciation can sometimes be a challenge

For migrants like Brian, learning the natural lingo of English can give major personal and professional advantages when settling into their new country.

Brian Park moved from Seoul, South Korea to Auckland, New Zealand 2 years ago.  A qualified engineer and relatively proficient in English, Brian thought it would be relatively easy to get a job as  it was widely known and advertised that New Zealand had a shortage of qualified engineers.

However after more than 9 months of searching for a job, Brain became disillusioned.  “I could not understand it,” he says.  “My English is good and my experience was the same as the employers were looking for.  In fact in Korea I had been exposed to working on even bigger projects than the local ones here.”

However when Brian came to SpeechSchool.TV and did his first assessment test, his spoken English was not as proficient as he first thought.  “The assessment showed me that my spoken pronunciation in English could actually be quite hard to understand for the local speakers.  This surprised me a lot as my written English has been shown to be very strong.”

Brian then realised that while is understanding of the English language was in fact very good his ability to pronounce it was not because most of his life he had been only using written English, not actually speaking it every day in an English speaking country.

The most important things are the “accent” and the local “lingo” Brian says.  “Actually before I started SpeechSchool I couldn’t even say the word “pronunciation” correctly.”

He now thinks that despite his excellent qualifications and depth of experience, employers were concerned about his ability to converse with staff and clients and were therefore selecting local candidates over and above him, even if they were less qualified.

Brian says through using the English Accent program at SpeechSchool.TV he has now managed to soften his accent and speak English much more clearly.  “I feel more confident now,” he says, “that I am just as good as the Kiwi candidates and can communicate in spoken English just as clearly.”


Immigrating? Learn English quick and easy!

Learn Englis for Immigration
Migrating to an English speaking country is a goal for many people around the world, especially as those countries are looking for skills in demand. However, being able to learn and speak English well without the obstacle of a difficult accent is an important part of that goal.

These days you can learn English online.  In fact it is one of the most efficient ways to learn the language when combined with real world practice, as some of the best English courses now exist in “the cloud.”

With the growth in internet television, it is also possible to learn to speak English online and achieve a neutral Standard English accent in the process.  SpeechSchool.TV has an acclaimed English Accent course which has taught students from over 60 countries to speak English naturally and well.

SpeechSchool says that the best way to learn English speech is by going back to the 50 individual phonetic sounds in Standard English and learning them one by one and then in context.  In particular, for migrants to English speaking countries, one of the key factors in how well they integrate and work in their new society, is their ability to pick up good spoken English that can be easily understood by others.

Learning good spoken English means that migrants do not feel so isolated and do not need to keep within existing ethnic groups.  Being able to speak to people in the general population has huge benefits, because migrants can join clubs, Churches, societies and other groups along with having a much wider selection of job prospects.

An investment of time now in online English speech learning can make a huge difference to a migrant’s chance of success in their new country.

In addition, even when English is not the main language of a country, it is most often the main second or business language of these countries meaning that good spoken English is the fall back position when people do not speak the same language.

Learn more about our online English courses.

Can I learn English by learning accent?

Learn English Accent
Many students find English a difficult language to learn with all it’s rules and exceptions, however research from the way children learn language shows that mimicking accent along the way can rapidly increase language acquisition and achieve better pronunciation.

The human speech apparatus is one of the marvels of life.  The fact that we can use complex language separates us from almost every other living species.  Yes, there have been studies on dolphins and chimpanzees talking but we’ve yet to see them producing their own Broadway or West End musicals!

As human beings, we are able to speak over 4,000 different languages.  The beauty with each of those languages is that the art of speaking is creative.  Every word or phrase and the manner in which it is used is unique to each person, and this program is about empowering you to use spoken language at its very best.

Because of the way the human speech apparatus is constructed, even small children can learn to produce a couple of hundred different speech sounds clearly.  Of course each language only uses some of the potential sounds and English (Received Pronunciation) uses just 50 of them.

The difficulty in learning a second language, for example ‘English as a second language’ (ESL) is that in coming to that language from your mother tongue, your speech patterns and habits have been entirely shaped by your first language.  In particular the phonetic sounds you have learnt are based on your first language, so many of the 50 phonetic sounds in English will be very different to you, especially when the language you are coming from is very different to English.

Research shows that the critical period for learning spoken language is from birth to about 10 years old.  After that the ability to pick up spoken language declines very rapidly, particularly after the age of 17.  The reason for this seems to be that children and teenagers are not so ‘set’ in their first language.  They are readily able to pick up and adapt to new languages through what is known as phonetic acquisition – a process of picking up new sounds and using them in language.

SpeechSchool.TV is a leading English Accent training institution that offers English learning on the phonetic acquisition model.  The School says that speech and accent is an area of training that is often neglected.  The SpeechSchool.TV English Accent course provides ongoing exercises and training that can retrain student’s speech muscles on the 50 English sounds while learning the rhythm and flow of International Received Pronunciation (a form of spoken English that is neutral and clear).

So when you want to Learn English and pick up the language readily no matter your age, it is as important to learn the accent and phonetic patterns as it is the vocabulary and grammar.  In fact, the research findings from rapid language acquisition with children, show that this is not so much based on their youth or brain function but on their approach.  Children tend to learn English by mimicking their classmates and those around them.  Adults tend to study vocabulary and grammar in books.  SpeechSchool.TV is one language school working to change this by teaching English through sound acquisition and ensuring clear English speech with a neutral accent in the process for its learners.

How to learn online

The difference between English and American Pronunciation

American Accent Training
SpeechSchool.TV previously offered an American Accent course but found that the demand was for pure Standard English, incorporating that into their English Accent course in 2010.

When it comes to teaching English globally, and in particular spoken English, there are two main standards: Received Pronunciation and General American.  Received Pronunciation consists of British English pronunciation as used by James Bond and many BBC newsreaders and documentary narrators.  General American is a fairly neutral form of Mid West American English and is used by many ABC and CNN newsreaders.

However what are the differences and which form is best used for students of spoken English?

Firstly, Received Pronunciation (RP) does have more sounds with some 50 identified phonemes.  Correspondingly, General American pronunciation has less with 44 to 48 (depending on the analysis done).  Secondly, different vowel phonemes are used in different words – for example in the word chance (or dance) – a long vowel is used in RP whereas a short one is used in American.

SpeechSchool.TV, a leader in online speech training initially offered both English pronunciation courses, the American Accent (based on General American) and the English Accent (based on Received Pronunciation).

According to the School, the majority of students signing up worldwide – even in some of their most popular markets like the USA and Canada, preferred to subscribe to the English Accent course in order to gain what they perceived as the most pure basis possible for their spoken English.

Moreover, practice demonstrated that when learning the principles of Standard English pronunciation it is relatively easy to adapt that to any English speaking environment, whereas the American accent tends to be more regionally based.

In 2010 the School made the decision to close the American Accent course in order to concentrate on a sole Master Speaker Standard English program for all learners wanting clear speech and a neutral accent regardless of their language background.

“The result of this learning process from offering both English and American courses,” reports the Course Director, “is that we now have a Standard English Accent course based on International Received Pronunciation.  This teaches the 50 phonemes along the lines of Received Pronunciation but shows students how they can adapt their sound to maintain their cultural identity whilst speaking the clearest form of English possible.  In our view this also represents the best possible process for those seeking accent softening and accent reduction when English is not their first language.”

Research has also suggested that a more pure English accent is preferred in the United States and Canada than any of the home grown American accents as it is perceived to be more sophisticated.  According to SpeechSchool, international students are best to learn Standard English pronunciation and adapt it accordingly in the US.

Further research in the call center industry shows that Standard English has the lowest rate of errors and highest level of customer preference worldwide.  This would further cement the view that the best option for English pronunciation training is to begin with the pure Standard English accent.

Trial our FREE English Pronunciation program and convert your English

Online speech training software course

Online speech training software course
Successful academic study is not only about mastery of the subject for the student’s degree program, it is also about learning skills that will help the student succeed in the competitive workplace, such as speech and communication skills. Courses that support this can now be done online such as the online speech training software course provided by SpeechSchool.TV

Becoming a superior education provider requires finding ways to improve learning outcomes and add value to student learning.

While course and curriculum directives are important, it is the ability to round education with other skills that can really make a difference in the learning environment and provide students with more to offer when they graduate.

For around the cost of a couple of text books, students can be offered a choice of programs that will transform their speech and enable them to work better with staff and other students.

● International Students:

When coming from a different language background, overseas students experience difficulty in effectively communicating with tutors, teachers and fellow students. This is most evident in situations where they have to speak in groups or present to classes or tutorials.

An online SpeechSchool.TV accent course will achieve two things: First it will work to neutralise the student’s foreign accent, helping them to feel more accepted.  Second it will improve spoken English and impart clear speech, which will improve learning.

The recommended program for second language speakers of English and those wishing to gain a clear and neutral accent is the Master Speaker Program.

● Native Speaker Students:

First language speakers of English, their parents and future employers are looking for well rounded education from schools and universities.  The ability to speak and present is an extremely important area in subsequent personal or professional life.

The SpeechSchool.TV Master Speaker Program can help to achieve clearer pronunciation and speech for native speakers, while the Master Communicator Program covers advanced areas such as making the most of your voice and public speaking.

Where does the “slang” come from in the English language?

British Slang
Spoken English language is influenced by many factors such as fast changing technology and ‘identity’ language used by younger people. These influences help create colloquial and slang language. While this can be challenging for new speakers of English, an understanding of slang helps to localise their speech.

Students from all around the world are currently using SpeechSchool.TV’s online English Accent learning program that employs video training to neutralise accents in spoken English.  Many of these students have come to English as a second language.  In order to reach their goal of gaining a neutral and natural form of English, understanding slang and where it comes from can really help.

Languages of course are not static, they are forever changing with use.  English is one of the fastest changing languages due to it being the world’s global language and the basis for a large proportion of modern science and technology.

So where does slang come from?  As a language is used in different communities and is influenced by changing technology, new words start to enter the lexicon.  Younger people and technology are among the most powerful influencers.  Teenagers and young adults seek to create their own identity and in Western cultures play the most significant influence on fashions.

In the 1960s, the sexual revolution in Britain led to many slang words entering normal usage which would have previously been considered obscene.  For example ‘tosser’ and ‘wanker’ are now common slang simply used to denote an idiot.  These words entered the language as slang when first used by younger people pushing linguistic and social boundaries.

In the same way, technology is influencing the English language.  For example words like ‘spam’ and ‘bandwidth’ were originally tech terms but have now become common slang.  Bandwidth for instance was originally a technical term from internet hosting but is now used to describe a number of situations where something is limited by space or capacity.  When a person says “I don’t have the bandwidth for this right now” that means they don’t have the room in their mind to consider it.

English is a global and dynamic language, introducing new slang words from the sub cultures of youth and high-tech.  Understanding slang and where it comes from can help speakers use and avoid it appropriately as different situations require.