This is another article to help you understand the American accent learning process. If you are currently learning the American Accent, or if you are planning to learn it, then you will probably experience (or have already experienced) this feeling of getting overwhelmed by all the different lessons and information that you need to absorb as well as apply whenever you speak in English. Now I’m not saying that you should skip these lessons, in fact, far from it.
There are 3 particular steps that you need to experience in order to learn the American Accent as a non-native speaker. These are:
Recognition: This is where the saying “before you can speak, you need to listen” comes in. Basically, if you want to learn how to speak English like a native, you first need to make sure that you understand someone when they speak with an American Accent. If you are having trouble understanding native speakers when they speak at their normal rate, then you need to brush up on your listening skills first and the way you do this is by taking oral English apart piece by piece and learning to recognize the different vowel and consonant sounds in English as well as getting constant exposure to actual spoken English in real life or via mixed media such as movies, TV shows, podcasts etc.
Application: Once you have learned the different sounds of English and can readily understand someone who is speaking with an American Accent, the next phase is to learn how to actually make the sounds of American English yourself. At this point, your instructor will teach you how to use your tongue, teeth, mouth and vocal chords in general in order to produce the different vowel and consonant sounds in English. You will also learn the different rules for linking words together as well as when to use the American schwa in order to replace an unvoiced vowel sound in English.
Repetition: At this point, you will already have learned all that you need to know about the English language. All that is left is fine-tuning your skills and constantly practicing and repeating the different sounds of English that you have already learned until you develop the muscle memory for making these sounds instinctively.
The final step is in forgetting all about the different rules of oral English that you have learned and simply trusting in your instinct that you will be able to speak English with a clear, understandable American Accent even when you do not actively think about it. Naturally, this is a gradual process that you will be able to achieve in time as long as you constantly keep practicing. If you are able to think in English whenever you speak in English, this is a clear sign that you have achieved a great degree of fluency in your English speech.