Why is the British accent important?

Sometimes, it can feel like people are listening more to your accent than the words you speak. It can feel very strange to be judged before you’ve even made your point. Your accent is presented front and centre. And people feel that they can talk about it freely: ‘Where are you from?’.

There are few more frustrating questions, especially when you’re asked it again and again. Many of our students have lived in the UK for a long time. One woman, May, had lived in the UK for 21 years. But her accent, picked up from a childhood in Indonesia, made her feel uncomfortable in her surroundings. So we started working with her.

Why don’t people understand what I say?

Sometimes, it’s not so much the question ‘where are you from?’ that is so annoying. It’s a simpler one: ‘what did you say?’. That’s a question that a lot of our students face, especially in a professional context. Being misunderstood can be the difference between securing and losing a sale, or passing or failing an interview.

The reason why is simple. Each language is composed of different sounds, and many of these sounds are unique to the language. For example, the ‘TH’ sound only occurs in two languages – Greek and English. That means that someone from any other nationality – be it French, Chinese, or Russian etc. – must learn this sound to speak clearly. Mispronouncing the ‘TH’ sound can lead to words not being said correctly. The word ‘death’ can become ‘debt’ or ‘deaf’. The word ‘teeth’ can become ‘teat’. And this can be very confusing for a speaker to listen to.

How can Skype lessons help?

Learning accents on your own can be tough. You can dig up resources, practice different words – but you may never get close enough to the accent without the help of a teacher. The big difference of learning solo and learning with a teacher is feedback – the ability to know instantly what’s right and what’s wrong.

With Skype, you’ll be able to get them from the comfort of your own home. The lessons are one hour each, and we recommend you take them once a week. At the start of your first lesson, you’ll be given a practice paragraph to try out the accent and to see which sounds need work. And from there, the teacher will devise a plan for you that will take you from where you are now to a perfect British accent.

The amount of lessons you’ll need can vary widely from person to person. Some people need lots of lessons – heading up to 10 or 20. That depends on one thing most of all – the amount you practice. If you practice daily, for short periods, you’ll be able to progress very fast. We’ve had students go from strong foreign accents to perfect British in 5 lessons.

What are the next steps?

Our teachers teach from 10AM-7PM every weekday, so you’ll be able to find yourself a slot whenever works for you. You can contact us using our contact form, or pop us an email at matt@voicehacker.co.uk.

After you’ve emailed us, you’ll be able to arrange payment online. The lessons are £40/hour, and there’s a discount of £15 available if you book 5. We look forward to hearing from you!