'How do I integrate these new habits into live, everyday conversation?', is a question and challenge I hear a lot from people who want to change their accent and pronunciation. It would be great to be able to offer a quick-fix solution (and I'm working on it) but like any learning, especially when it comes to changing habits, it can take time, a lot will power and practice.
However, having established how useful 'word banks' can be (see another blog post 5 British Pronunciation Hacks: How To Bridge The Gap Between Spellings And Speech) I spent some time reflecting on my own experience of changing my regional English accent towards a standard British English accent and I remember that feeling of only noticing my old pronunciation AFTER I spoke - which of course is too late to do anything about. I used to think, 'when are things going to change? Am I always going to be like this? I should just give up and accept it?', which of course didn't help at all. And then one day, I found myself repeating the phrases that I wasn't happy with just after I had spoken them. Obviously I didn't do this in front of the person I was speaking to, but when I was next on my own, almost unconsciously, I found my self repeat what I had just said.
And this was a really significant turning point for me, and a real game changer because of course, in most conversations we only tend to us a finite number of words and variations of those words in specific phrases and sentences, and so by repeating, those phrases or having a 'second-take' as it were, I was building in a new neurophysiological habit. So the next time I used that phrase or variation of that phrase, I had a bank of 'rehearsed phrases' from which I spoke and of course every time I spoke those phrases, the clearer, more accurate and more confident I became.
So I wonder if it's possible for you to replace the frustration and fleeting hopelessness with having a 'second-take' and start building your own bank of rehearsed phrases.
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