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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Is It Possible to Sound Like A Native English Speaker

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Hello again, this is Annie Ruden with pronunciation Pro and I wanted to

take a minute and

Make a quick video and address a question that is commonly asked

By my students and it's this is impossible for a non-native

English speaker to learn to speak English with a

100%

native accent

Okay. I know this is a question that comes up frequently for daug native English speakers. So I want to address that today

So I've been doing accent training for

11

More than 11 years now and

I've gotten this question over the years and I've had different answers depending on kind of the level of experience

that I've had with it and

Now that I have worked for 11 years

working with hundreds of different

Clients, here's the answer that I have for you

The answer is yes. It is possible

But it is not common and here is why

So yes, it is possible because you see examples of this

on TV and movies with musicians

You can hear that people who are not from the United States

Can act and sing and speak with a full

100% native sounding

American accent, okay, so it is possible

However in my experience

here's what's most common and

What's most common is that?

If someone sounds native

Then they most likely grew up around

Native sounding or native English speakers, so they've had that

exposure growing up

So they have access to all of the sounds of American English and they've those connections in their brain

early on in life and they're able to to adapt in and

Make that connection

With the sounds of an rhythm of American English so they are able to sound native

I've also then seen

The other the other type of people are those who are actors or musicians

who have spent a

significant amount of time and effort and money into

Training to help them sound 100% native

So I'm guessing at least four five six, you know ten hours a day

Where that is their profession that is their main focus is to get the American accent

okay, so there's a significant amount of

resources time and resources that go into learning the American accent

Okay, it's their profession

Okay, so why I say it's not common is because most people are not

actors actresses musicians

and are not

Willing to put in that time and money into that specialized training, okay

here's what I do see though and I've worked with hundreds of

if not thousands of

non-native English speakers, who are

doctors and lawyers and

pharmacists and accountants and a number of different

professionals, who are

non-native English speakers, and it's important to them to

Be clear in their pronunciation clear in the way. They speak English and to feel confident in the way

They speak English. This is the focus of my program

with accent training because that's what most people are willing to put the time and effort into

so

and that's about 30 minutes a day and depending on your level and

It depends on how long it will take to kind of get to that level

I feel clear in my pronunciation and I feel confident in the way that I speak English

so if you've ever heard of the

80/20 rule

Which is also called the Pareto principle

you'll

Understand this concept if you're not familiar with the 80/20 rule

I'd say go google it and look that up because you find this 80/20 rule in

Business in all of life economics. I mean that it it comes up very frequently

But the 80/20 rule is basically that

80% of your effort or your results will come from 20% of your efforts

Okay

And I see this 80/20 rule in accent training in that it takes about

20% of your effort to achieve 80%

of

Accuracy as far as sounding 80% native, okay

but as you try as you reach that 80% so that you know

That's very possible. And that's kind of the focus of the training that I do is to get our students to that 80%

level

Now to get from 80 to a hundred

We have that last 20% And so we we see the 80/20 rule kind of flipped where

80% of your effort will go to

achieving that last 20% of

The accent the American accent so that's why I say it's very possible to learn

the American accent because

If you're willing to put 80 percent of your time and effort and resources into that 20% yes

it is possible, but

Most people are not willing to do that and most people it's not important to do that. So like in my program

Our goal is to be clear. So that language is not a barrier and that

Your accent and your pronunciation is not a barrier. You're not being asked to repeat yourself

You are able to speak very clearly and the your listener is able to understand very clearly

And also that you feel confident that your accident your accent even though you have still an accent

it's not making you feel lack of confidence or

Making you feel like you don't belong we address confidence in a very specific in a very unique way

within my program

That helps you kind of address

Kind of where those feelings are coming from that lack of lack of confidence and where that's coming from and we focus it on

more of like a mindset

Then the way that we speak so confidence we talk about confidence in a very different way that helps you shift

Your mindset so though although you still have an accent

You can still feel confident

Okay, so I'm not gonna dive into that too much in this video

But we do address that so that as you develop those those skills of clear communication

You're also developing skills of feeling very confident

even with an accent

Okay, so I also want to point out that for

For those who have achieved

For those who have achieved those that higher level of I sound a hundred percent native

like those actors actresses and musicians you'll also notice that

When they're doing their craft, like seeing or acting they sound native

But then when they go to do an interview their accent comes back and this is called code-switching

Okay, and it it's a skill set that people will develop and and our students develop where we're when they're in certain situations

they can speak more clearly and accurately in the American accent and then when it doesn't matter as much and

They can kind of switch back into more of an accent in English

So that's called code switching and you'll notice that

most

actors and actresses don't stay in their American accent all the time because it takes a

Of energy to be able to stay in that accent

One example that I thought was fascinating is I used to watch the movie the TV show house

With Hugh Laurie and I

Watched the show quite a bit and then I saw him on a late-night show

I'm doing an interview and I could not believe that he was British

I had no idea that he was British because in the TV show he had an amazing American accent and he just nailed it

okay, but in his interview, he was obviously from England and so he had developed that skill set of

code switching and

No doubt that took a significant amount of time and resources to achieve

Okay, so my answer to that question, can I sound a hundred percent native?

Yes, but it depends upon if it's worth it to you

So what I usually tell my students is that once you achieve that 80 percent

Which we really work hard towards you have to decide for yourself

Is that last 20 percent worth it to me or is my time and effort and resources

Better spent on other areas of personal development. Maybe it's public speaking. Maybe it's

more of those interpersonal communication skills

Maybe it's in the specific craft that you do

And some of the the skill sets that you that are required within your your profession

So you have to decide that for yourself

so think about that 8020 rule and how it applies to accent training and

And kind of see like what are my goals and one question that I do?

Tend to ask my students is if they are very set learning making sure they're they're

Sounding 100% native I do ask them. Why is that?

Important to them does it have more to do with how they view themselves and how they think others viewed them or

Is it?

Because that skillset of sounding 100% native is truly

that important to put all that time and energy into

okay, so I want you to ask yourself that and why is it that I want to sound a hundred percent native is it has

it more to do with more of a mindset and how I want to feel about myself or

Is it important in my career?

Okay, so think about that and I hope this helps and I'll see you again in the next video

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