I don’t have an accent. Do you?

Do you have an accent?

Growing up in California, I didn’t give much thought to the way that I spoke. I sounded the same as everyone else. I sounded just like my parents, teachers and friends. Sure, I’d sometimes hear accents on TV, but I didn’t have a lot of contact with people who sounded much different than me. It wasn’t until I became a teenager that I began to really notice differences in how people speak. I went to the national speech & debate tournament in Minnesota, and it was quite a wake-up call. I couldn’t believe how many kids from other parts of the United States had accents! There were our hosts the Minnesotans, the Texans, the New Yorkers, and my very favorite, that kid from Boston who   Read More


Share this on del.icio.us Digg this! Email this Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Send this page to Print Friendly Share this on Reddit Share it on StumbleUpon Tweet This!

938LIVE’s A Slice of Life Interview

Heather & Eugene 938LIVE

Today I had the great pleasure of speaking with Eugene Loh on his radio program, A Slice of Life, on Singapore’s talk radio station, 938LIVE. We had a wonderful discussion about a lot of pronunciation issues, including the difference between accent and clarity, why modelling a native accent is illogical, if not impossible, what we should focus on when it comes to speaking English clearly, why your pronunciation matters, plus some real examples of pronunciation gone wrong. It seems like common sense that International English would be used and accepted in international circles, yet still, we strive to achieve a native-English norm. Why is this happening? Click on the link below to hear my thoughts (approx. 23 min). Slice of Life Interview What do you   Read More


Share this on del.icio.us Digg this! Email this Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Send this page to Print Friendly Share this on Reddit Share it on StumbleUpon Tweet This!

Accent versus Clarity – What’s Important?

accent or clarity?

Clients who come to me for speech and pronunciation training usually have two goals: get rid of their accents and speak clearly. There seems to be an underlying assumption that accent and clarity are always linked. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of native-English speakers that are hard to understand in international settings, and there are just as many, if not more, non-native speakers who speak clearly and are easy to understand regardless of their accents. Can you ever ‘get rid of’ an accent? There are a few problems with the goal of getting rid of an accent. First of all, if we get rid of your accent, which accent are we putting in its place? There is no ‘neutral’ accent.   Read More


Share this on del.icio.us Digg this! Email this Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Send this page to Print Friendly Share this on Reddit Share it on StumbleUpon Tweet This!

American Accent – What Does the Future Hold?

american accent - what's the future?

Yes, I speak with an American accent. Is that the ‘best’ accent or the most common accent? Not necessarily. But I would argue that the American accent is making gains internationally and could be set to overtake British English when it comes to ’proper English pronunciation’. Many ESL teachers are now teaching the American accent in their classes, whether they personally are American or not. The general consensus in the English language learning and teaching communities is that American English (or at least the American accent) is the future norm. There are several signs pointing in this direction already. It’s important to note that I’m based in Singapore, and I normally work with adults. I took on my very first high school program just a few weeks ago. When   Read More


Share this on del.icio.us Digg this! Email this Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Send this page to Print Friendly Share this on Reddit Share it on StumbleUpon Tweet This!
We appreciate your feedback
Heather on TwitterHeather on FacebookEnglish Pronunciation Course RSS FeedHeather Hansen on LinkedIn