Are you racking your brain trying to figure out how you can learn the American accent? If English is not your first language and you would like to know how you can improve your English speaking, then you have probably tried several different ways to acquire an American accent. Most likely, you have already enrolled in some American Accent or Accent Reduction programs. If this is the case, you may be familiar with a few different American Accent exercises. Of course, the problem with these exercises is that they get old and boring over time, which could decrease their overall effectiveness in helping you improve your accent. For this reason, you may be interested in learning some new tricks and fun activities that you can try alone or with some friends to speed up the process of learning the American accent.
pretend talk show
This is a fun activity that allows for a large number of participants. The only real hiccup is that you need a group of at least six people to participate in this fun accent-learning activity. Everyone should play a role in this activity. First, someone must act as the host of the talk show. Next, you need at least two people who will act as guests to be interviewed. Finally, you must have a panel of 2-3 judges. It is best if there is also an impartial moderator who is not an English learner who can monitor the activity. The talk show itself can last as long as the host wants. The host can also prepare a set of 2-3 questions for each guest on a topic of general interest. It’s a good idea to have a talk show topic that everyone can easily talk about to make sure the activity runs smoothly. The host should ask questions of each guest in turn, with the intention of starting a conversation in which all participants in the activity, except the judges, can participate. Topics can range from current events to favorite foods and even spectator sports. After the show is over, it will be the role of the judges to speak in turn. Each judge must offer constructive criticism for each guest on the talk show and note at least 1 positive point and 1 negative point for each guest in regards to speaking about her. To make it more competitive, the judges can also award a title such as “best speaker” to the guest who impressed them the most. If you plan to do it this way, it’s a good idea to base your decision on pre-set criteria for judging, such as:
Speech Clarity: 30%
Ability to connect with the audience: 20%
Fluency in English: 20%
Please note that this is just an example and you are really free to use whatever criteria suits your group.
You may have had fun with this activity as a child, so there is no reason why it should be any less entertaining and educational as an adult trying to acquire the accent of a new or unfamiliar language. For this activity, at least two people are required to direct the puppet show and a large enough group that can act as an audience. If you are currently enrolled in an accent learning course, you can ask some of your classmates to participate in this activity. If your instructor allows it, you can even make it a class activity and do the puppet show in groups. For the materials for this particular activity, all you really need are some puppets and maybe a table that you can use as a stage to put on your show. Puppets can be anything from paper bags to old socks. You can make your puppet as elaborate or as simple as you like; after all, the real purpose of the activity is for you to practice speaking English and not to show off your puppets. Regarding the puppet show script, you should try to have an open script that allows for a lot of impromptu talking. If you’re having trouble thinking of what a puppet show could have, try having one puppet tell a story for at least 1 minute, after which the person holding the other puppet has to pick up the story from where the first one left off. . . You could also use a prepared script, but it’s much better practice if you really think about what you’re going to say on the spot. Turning it into a puppet show also helps you lose your inhibitions as it is only your puppet and not you who is in the spotlight.
Of course, these activities alone won’t make you master the American accent overnight, but they can be of great help if you’re already participating in an accent reduction course.