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Accent reduction tips for Chinese speakers of English

Written by on October 28th, 2010.      0 comments

The Chinese language has its own particular sounds and patterns for pronunciation. When a Chinese speaker learns English, these speech patterns may act as a barrier to the pronunciation of English.  This results in an accented English, such as the “Chinese accent”.

Chinese speakers tend to have some common difficulties when producing spoken English and if you come from an Chinese speaking background, you may find the following tips useful to help you improve your English pronunciation.
1.  The Chinese language has a flat pitch, but English speakers change the pitch of their voice as they speak.  If you listen you will hear that it is sometimes higher and sometimes lower.  As a Chinese speaker you may need to work on the tone of your speech.  To do this, listen to native English speakers and imitate the way the tone of their speech rises and falls.

2.  There are several sounds in English that are different to your native language and can be difficult to pronounce.   For example, many Chinese speakers have difficulty with the “l” and “r” sounds. To make these sounds correctly, the tongue must be in the correct position.   To make the “l” sound the tip of the tongue should touch the top of the mouth behind the teeth.  To make the “r” sound the tip of the tongue is curled upwards and pointed towards the roof of the mouth.

3.  Many Chinese speakers tend to miss the pronunciation of some final sounds of words.  Try to pronounce the sounds at the end of words when you speak.

4.   Grammar in English is quite different to Chinese and therefore creates some problems for Chinese speakers.  Remember to use pronouns, articles, prepositions and tenses when you are speaking.

While these are some of the common difficulties experienced by Chinese speakers, each individual will have unique areas of difficulty depending on their background and experience.  To receive an accent assessment and get an accent reduction training program designed for your individual needs, contact Australia English Institute and start reducing your accent now!
Training is also available in China - please contact the accent reduction for Chinese speakers specialists for more information.