It’s not rocket science, but it’s hard.
The reason I want to write this post is that I often hear American English spoken by English speakers and find it very jarring.
There are so many things that I find wrong with the way it sounds, but I’m not sure where to begin. I’ve been learning American English for years, but I still find it hard to speak without making mistakes.
I’m hoping that by sharing my experience, others will be able to learn from it too.
How to Speak American English
STEP 1: Learn the Basics
First things first. You need to learn the basics of American English.
It’s pretty easy to spot an English speaker who has studied the language, because they’ll generally have a strong command of vocabulary and grammar.
You don’t need to study formal English grammar to speak American English, but you should learn at least the most basic parts of it.
If you can understand basic articles like “the” and “a”, you’ll have a good foundation.
STEP 2: Speak with a Native Speaker
You need to learn the language from the inside out.
This is best done by speaking with a native speaker.
STEP 3: Practice Speaking
Once you know the basics, the next step is practice.
As a general rule, the harder something is, the better you’ll get at doing it. So, the best way to improve is to speak it regularly.
The only problem with this approach is that you’ll have to practice speaking every day.
It might be possible to do this with friends, but that’s not ideal. A better solution is to use a voice recording software to practice your pronunciation.
STEP 4: Listen to Other People
This is probably the hardest part.
The only way to truly understand American English is to listen to native speakers.
If you want to improve your ability to speak, you need to watch native speakers and copy their pronunciation.
But here’s the thing.
When you’re listening to someone speaking, you don’t just hear the words. You also hear tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions.
You can’t copy all of this, but you can learn to recognize the key elements.
By paying close attention to them, you can start to build a picture in your head of how someone will speak.
STEP 5: Be Honest
One final tip.
You need to be honest with yourself about your progress.
If you’re making progress, then you need to be happy with yourself.
If you’re not, you need to figure out why and fix it.
Thanks for reading!