Posted: January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Lingua franca: a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.

English has been the lingua franca of international commerce since the 16th century. The form of English used most today is Standard North American English (SNAE). SNAE pronunciation and accent patterns are akin to the sound patterns of American jazz. Believe it or not, hearing, learning and using the jazzy stress, rhythm and intonation patterns of SNAE are not difficult skills to learn and use.

Here’s how to do it:

-Develop a great ear. Listen to how things are said.
-Imitate what you hear. Record English-speaking podcasts and radio and TV programs as often as you can. Play them back, while repeatedly stopping them to give yourself time to imitate exactly what you have just heard in exactly the same way it was said.
-Exaggerate to start. Make your sounds big. Make your North American accent sound “over the top.” Then, after a few practices, use a normal voice to say the sounds. You’ll be shocked at how much you’ve improved.
-Don’t be shy. Allow yourself the freedom to play with the sounds. Experiment. Have fun. Try to sound just like the native speakers you hear around you. Remember: Practice makes perfect!


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