em 21 de Maio de 2020
Although it’s perfectly okay to have a bit of a foreign accent when speaking English, or any foreign language for that matter, a very strong accent can make it difficult for a native speaker to understand you. And you don't want that, you want to be able to communicate clearly when in a conversation, avoiding any "noise" that can lead to misunderstandings.
I know how difficult it is to work on your accent. When I first moved to Canada, even if I had a very good knowledge of the English language, I felt very shy while speaking because I was not comfortable with my accent. So I will give you 3 reasons why you should try to improve your accent and then I will show you how you can do that:
1) To be better understood by native speakers:
Speaking is all about communication! It can be very uncomfortable for both people in a conversation when the message just isn’t getting through. That is even worse when you are in a professional environment because regardless of the kind of job you have, your co-workers expect that you are able to understand and be understood by them. Also, when applying for a job, you don't want to sound like someone who isn't able to communicate during a job interview.
2) To avoid embarrassing mistakes:
Having a slight foreign accent can be exotic, as long as it does not interfere with communication. Bad pronunciation can also lead to some embarrassing mistakes. Common pronunciation mistakes that can be very embarrassing include the words beach, focus, sheet. You can just imagine where a sound spoke in the wrong note can send you.
3) To Make a Positive Impression When You Speak English
When you speak clear and beautiful English (or any other foreign language), you make a positive impression and can even have better chances when competing for a job or a promotion. Also, you will feel more confident when you speak, and that will make your English sound better and your counterparts will respond to that being more prone to talk to you.
If you got here, you are probably asking yourself: How can I improve my accent?
First of all, you need to understand that, unlike Portuguese, English is not a phonetic language, and there are several sounds, like the famous "th" sound, that are not part of the Portuguese language.
Also, there is rhythm and linking, concepts foreign to Portuguese, and several other languages.
There are several methods out there to improve your accent, but I believe that the best way to do that it is to immerse yourself in the English language, watching movies, listening to music, and, of course, talking to an English speaker, or, even better an English teacher, who will help you to correct your mistakes and improve your skills.