Is it possible to learn the American Accent through self-study? This is a question that perpetually plagues the minds of many English language learners all over the world. Of course, the actual answer to this question is probably quite urgent for people who actually feel the need to learn the American Accent as soon as possible because their situation requires it. Foreigners who travel to the United States, Canada or other English-speaking countries to find work for example, might feel the urgent need to learn the American Accent as quickly as possible because they need good communication skills in order to give them a competitive edge or at least an even playing field in the job market alongside native speakers. While it is true that racial discrimination is not really much of an issue in modern times since people are often careful not to discriminate against other individuals based on ethnicity, it is a different issue altogether when it comes to accent. The fact of the matter is that people who are in charge of the selection and hiring of employees for a company will often think twice before hiring someone who speaks with a foreign accent – especially if the applicant’s foreign accent is so heavy that it gets in the way of effective communication. The keyword when it comes to acing a job interview is “effective communication” – and this is when accent can get in the way of a foreign individual as far as getting hired for a particular job is concerned. The reason for this is because businesses exist to make a profit and time is money in the business world. Frequent communication errors could result into a lot of lost time that could eventually result in big-time losses for the company. The fear of communication errors due to a heavy foreign accent is the real reason why companies are often reluctant to hire someone with a foreign accent regardless of his/her actual skills and/or competence for the job.
Of course, the obvious solution to all your foreign accent problems is to learn the American Accent. As far as acquiring it is concerned, there are several methods of acquisition although some of them are more effective than others. If you have the time and money to spare, the most effective way to realistically acquire it is to enroll in an American Accent Training or Accent Reduction Course. There are several of these courses scattered all over the U.S. and in other English-speaking territories. If you came to the U.S. to find work however, then you most likely do not have the time to enroll in a full-time course while you are still seeking employment. The same is true if you do find work and you are fully-employed. It is in these situations wherein you might find yourself asking, “is it possible to learn the American Accent through self-study?”
Fortunately, the answer is “yes.” Speaking with an American Accent is a skill and just like any other skill, it may be acquired in a formal learning environment, or through self-study. Of course, if you plan to self-study, you should make sure that you have the proper materials in order to ensure that you are learning the right things. Furthermore, as you may already be well-aware of, while it is possible to learn the American Accent through self-study, you will definitely be putting yourself at a disadvantage when compared to English language learners who choose to enroll in a formal American Accent Training Program. If you choose to self-study, your main disadvantage will be the lack of personalized attention and critique as far as your technique is concerned. Having an instructor to point out what you are doing wrong and what you can do to improve your speech can go a long way into helping you learn the American Accent.
Still, if you are person who likes to learn at your own pace and you want to self-study, you can certainly do so and get good results. Your first step would be to gather the materials that you will need for your studies. While your local bookstore will probably have plenty of written materials on learning the American Accent, you should try to look for learning CDs, audio books or similar products which actually allow you to hear it in action as it is spoken by native speakers. One good online resource is the American Accent Audio Course by Sheri Summers. The course consists of 24 downloadable audio lessons that you can take with you anywhere such as on your mp3 player, smartphone or other portable media player.
Furthermore, if you would like a more complete online-based course, you can enroll in the American Accent Course over at http://www.AmericanAccentCourse.com which not only includes downloadable audios and videos, but also live online classes as well as optional 1 on 1 coaching sessions.