With the United States being such a large melting pot, it is no wonder that the food we eat here is as well. When my husband and I decide to dine out or get take-out, we go through a long list of cuisine options all within a metro’s ride away: Thai? Pizza? Sushi? Mexican? Indian? Peruvian? Vietnamese? Ethiopian? Salvadoran? Korean? And that doesn’t even include the Italian and French cuisine that many people barely recall are not actually American because they have become so engrained in our culinary culture. If you like food as much as I do, the options around Washington are becoming endless.
Speech perception is not only hearing the sounds another person speaks, but also interpreting and understanding those sounds. It’s being able to tell the difference between the words, “pat” and “bat.”
You may be thinking, “I don’t need help understanding people. I need help with my pronunciation.” What you may not realize, though, is that improving your speech perception will help you improve your accent too.
Why is speech perception important to learning how to improve my accent?
The first step in improving your accent is learning to hear the difference between what you’re saying and what you should be saying in order for others to understand you more clearly. You may, for example, be substituting one sound for another or not saying the target sound at all. If you cannot hear the difference between the wrong sound you are pronouncing (error) and the sound you should be saying (target sound), it will be difficult to change your accent.
Last Friday, English Accent Tutor was invited to participate at IGlobal University's summer career fair. IGlobal University (IGU) is a located in Annandale, Virginia and was founded in 2008. It has been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and certified by State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SHEV) to award MBA, MSIT, BBA and BSIT degrees, and ESL certificates. ACICS is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Albert Williams, Director of Career Services, informed me that, because IGU issues I-20's in order for international students to get their F-1 student visas, 98% of IGU's student population is international. Having held several mock interviews with IGU's students, he felt that many of them could benefit from my accent improvement services.
Many of my clients ask, when pronouncing a simple past tense or past participle verb, is there a rule to the pronunciation? I am pleased to tell you that there is, indeed, a general rule. Like all English rules, however, there are always exceptions. What a surprise!