David’s foreign-language accent-reduction method does not rely exclusively on imitation or pronunciation drills. This fun and effective approach to learning an American Accent is based on his accent-learning techniques for actors. First, it teaches the voice placement, intonation/inflections of the non-regional American accent. Then, it embeds target pronunciations into those features.
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Accent Reduction as Accent Learning
Accents from your first language are NOT illnesses or diseases that need to be removed or cured. Firstly, the world would be a very boring place if everyone spoke English (or any second language) the same way. In fact, David has spent 40+ years teaching actors to perform accents for stage, screen, and television. He’s also taught non-native and regional speakers to PUT ON the Standard American sound “as a second accent” for performance or other professional reasons.
David’s Approach to Learning General American Accent
With this Accent-Reduction method, you will Americanize two speech traits before working on pronunciation. You first create more American-sounding intonation and rhythm using David’s respected “Jump Up-Step Down” method. You then learn his “Mid-Tongue Muscularity” technique that helps you create the resonance or voice placement of Standard American English. After that, these first two skills will help you create the American pronunciations of vowels and consonants. Finally, you can begin working on the more advanced pronunciation features of American English. These include Final Consonants, Medial T’s, -ED endings, and separating L from R and S from Z.
David Alan Stern published the first edition of The Sound & Style of American English in 1987. Since then, he has taught this effective and enjoyable method to hundreds of ESL teachers, speech pathologists, and voice & speech trainers. First, David offered his own teacher-training workshops for many years. He was also invited to demonstrate his method at national, state, and local conferences of TESOL and ASHA. In addition, his corporate clients have included executives from Bateman-Eichler-Hill-Richards, Beech Aircraft, NCR, TRW, Union Carbide, and Mitsubishi & Wells Fargo Banks.