Why improving your child's English accent is essential
In the majority of cases, this sentence is found in the mouths of parents with a child who is new to English.
Sure, you have to start somewhere, but if your child isn't making an effort to improve their pronunciation with English language tools, how do you expect them to be understood? Each language has its own sounds that make communication possible. And it is even more true in English. In particular “because” of the tonic accent.
You must therefore work on your child's English accent from the very beginning of his learning, to be as understandable as possible in order to master this English linguistic tool.
Children who put off this work are afraid of getting into it, afraid of not succeeding, of being teased about their accent or simply of looking ridiculous in front of their English-speaking friends. Which is completely understandable.
The pronunciation of a language is undoubtedly its most abstract component. Seen from the outside, one might be tempted to think that there is something magical here: either you have a good accent or you don't. The truth is that pronunciation is an English linguistic tool that needs to be worked on, like vocabulary and grammar.
Here are three techniques to improve your child's English accent for sure
1) Use the power of phonetics
Phonics is an essential English language tool, which allows your child to know exactly how to pronounce a word. It is in a way the justice of the peace. Unfortunately, this English linguistic tool remains little used. Because we owe it to linguists, who have not taken the trouble to make it accessible to as many people as possible. With its cabalistic symbols and its impenetrable jargon, phonetics really does not make you want to be interested in it.
English has more than ten sounds that do not exist in French. Learning these sounds therefore represents substantial work, considerably facilitated by phonetics. The principle ? In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), each sound corresponds to a specific symbol.
The International Phonetic Alphabet will help your child pronounce English with sniper precision and it is among the best English language tools.
The other advantage of the International Phonetic Alphabet is that it is used everywhere, whether on the Internet or in our good old paper dictionaries. It is therefore the reference system for the pronunciation of all languages, including English.
Even a basic command of phonetics is a great way to improve your child's English accent. Find our guide to English phonetics to know this English linguistic tool at your fingertips.
2) Do a lot of listening and rehearsing
To know how to pronounce a language, you have to hear it often, right? Know that there are a bewildering number of resources to improve your child's English listening, whether it's podcasts, movies and series, songs, radio shows, audio books... In addition to his listening comprehension, you can use these aids to polish your child's pronunciation, all of which are very good English language tools.
Listen to your child as much as possible to get them used to pronouncing words in English. By dint of hearing them, he will be more likely to pronounce them correctly.
By making listening a daily habit, your child will already have a great foundation to polish their English accent, as it is a very solid English language tool. But that is not enough. Indeed, if you let your child just listen without opening his mouth, the oral will completely fall by the wayside. To gain fluency in speaking, your child will have to move on to an active phase consisting of repeating what he hears.
3) Control your pronunciation and practice conversation
This last English linguistic tool, often forgotten, is nevertheless indispensable. Our ears are not used to hearing the sounds of English, so it is easy to misunderstand them and therefore mispronounce them.
To avoid this pitfall, record your child when he speaks English, for example with the microphone of your telephone or your laptop. You can then compare your child's recording with the reference audio file.
Another, even more effective method is to have your child's pronunciation checked by a native speaker. This may be a teacher you have hired to correct your child's accent, or simply an English-speaking friend.
Once your child has met an English speaker to chat with, all you have to do is let them practice as often as possible! During his conversations, a teacher or a native Englishman will create a climate of trust for him, by correcting him mutually without it becoming embarrassing.
Language stays in Ireland are the best solution for your child to discover the country's culture while speaking English on a daily basis. He will then be directly in contact with a way of life that he did not know or knew very little about before. Orally, significant progress can then be noted from the second week of the stay in general. A very enriching experience from all points of view that your child will remember forever!
The selection we make to choose language stays in Ireland is based above all on the network we have in the country that makes up our range of stays. Our local correspondents, present all year round on site, work intensively to select the families where your child will certainly feel comfortable during his language stay in Ireland. Our requirements and our seriousness allow us to offer you very high quality family language stays where your child will enjoy while learning a new language.
At Hebe, our very complete range of language stays for children and teenagers allows you to make your choice throughout the year. You can be sure that your child will benefit from a program perfectly adapted to his requirements as well as to yours. You can go directly to our HEBE Adventures website to compare our language courses in Ireland.
Hebe's objective is to optimize the conditions for learning English through complete linguistic immersion in host families. Most of our English-speaking families are willing to help you arrange an English lesson or find an English teacher, saving you the high cost of a residential course.
So what are you waiting for to find the ideal language stay for your son or daughter? Join us now.