How to create a fluent accent

You’ve no doubt discovered that simply learning to say individual sounds in exercise words and phrases is not enough to make you sound ‘English’. It’s also not possible to apply these ‘new’ sounds consistently when you speak spontaneously. The reason is you have to change the overall way you hold your lips and tongue when you change to a different accent.

The ClearSpeak Method calls this the overall holding posture. In a sense, this ‘holding posture’ creates the right-shaped ‘cave’ in your mouth for an authentic accent to occur. It allows you to speak fluently and consistently with that accent, without having to give conscious attention to each individual sound or word. The Method emphasises this essential holding posture while most pronunciation courses make no mention of it.

Consonants can be placed on any holding posture but vowels must be placed in a very specific posture to produce the exact accent required. In Time-Online, you will learn how to use the neutral English holding posture as soon as you study your first vowel.

Here’s another way of explaining the process

Imagine you were to build a house. You wouldn’t make a few doors, a kitchen bench and a roof, stack these in a heap and expect to see a house. You begin with a plan and lay a foundation. Next come the framework, the bricks and finally the roof that covers everything.

The ClearSpeak Method follows the same systematic process. You start with a plan that lists your ‘error’ sounds relative to Standard Neutral English. The foundation for clear English is created by the Stop consonants /p-b/, /t-d/,
/k-g/. Your study begins with these and, like adding bricks to a wall, you go on to learn every other error sound one at a time. The problem is that this learning on its own would simply result in a heap of sounds, like a heap of house parts. It would not create a useable accent.

A ‘roof’ is needed to bring all sounds together as a harmonious whole. This is achieved using the correct holding posture and correct overall speech melody for the target accent.

And there you have it! A fluent, consistent and harmonious accent you can use automatically during conversation. Once you know what to do, your study practice will lead you in the right direction.

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