Are you currently racking your brains trying to figure out how you can learn the American Accent? If English isn’t your first language and you would like to know how you can improve your speech in English, then you have probably tried quite a number of different ways to acquire the American Accent. Chances are that you might have even enrolled in some American Accent or Accent Reduction programs already. If this is the case, then you might be familiar with quite a few different American Accent drills. Of course, the problem with these drills is that they do get old and tiresome over time which could lessen their overall effectiveness in helping you to improve your accent. For this reason, you might be interested in learning a few new tricks and fun activities that you can try out on your own or with some friends in order to speed up the process of learning the American Accent for you.
Pretend Talk Show
This is a fun activity that allows for a large number of participants. The only real setback is that you need a group of at least six people in order to engage in this fun accent learning activity. Everyone should play a role in this activity. First, someone needs to act as the host of the talk show. Next, you need at least two people who will be act as the guests to be interviewed. Finally, you should have a panel of 2-3 judges. It’s best if there is also an impartial moderator who isn’t an English language learner who can oversee the activity. The talk show itself can last for as long as the host desires. The person acting as the host may also prepare a set of 2-3 questions for each guest on a topic of general interest. It’s a good idea to have a theme for the talk show that everyone will be able to easily talk about in order to make sure that the activity flows smoothly. The host should ask questions to each guest in turn which is intended to spark a conversation that everyone participating in the activity except for the judges can engage in. The topics could range from anything from current events to favorite foods and or even spectator sports. After the show is done, it will be the role of the judges to speak in turns. Each judge should offer some constructive critique for each guest in the talk show and point out at least 1 positive point and 1 negative point for every guest as far as their manner of speaking is concerned. To make it more competitive, the judges may also award a title such as “best speaker” for the guest who impressed them the most. If you plan to do it this way, it is a good idea to base the decision on a pre-set criteria for judging such as:
Clarity of speech: 30%
Ability to connect with the audience: 20%
Fluency in English: 20%
Take note that this is just an example and you are really free to use any criteria which may suit your group.
You might have had some fun with this activity as a kid, so there’s no really no reason why it would be any less entertaining and educational as an adult trying to acquire the accent of a new or otherwise unfamiliar language. For this activity, at least two people are required to run the puppet show and a fairly large group who can act as an audience. If you are currently enrolled in an accent learning course, you might ask some of your classmates to participate in this activity. If your instructor allows it, you can even make it a class activity and do the puppet show in groups. For the materials for this particular activity, all you really need are some puppets and perhaps a table that you can use as a stage to host your show. The puppets can be anything from paper bags to old socks. You can make your puppet as elaborate or as plain as you wish – after all, the real purpose of the activity is to get you to practice speaking in English and not to show off your puppets. Regarding the script for the puppet show, you should try to have an open-ended script that allows for a lot of impromptu speaking. If you’re having trouble thinking of what you could have a puppet show about, try having one puppet tell a story for at least 1 minute after which, the person holding the other puppet has to continue the story from where the first one left off. You could also use a prepared script, but it’s much better practice if you get to actually think about what you are going to say on the spot. Making it a puppet show also helps you to lose your inhibitions since it’s only your puppet and not you who is actually taking the spotlight.
Of course, these activities alone won’t really make you proficient in the American Accent overnight, but they can be an immense help if you are already engaged in an Accent Reduction course.