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Become understandable: work on your intonation, not your accent

6 years ago
Most English language students feel self-conscious about their accent, and many worry so much about their pronunciation that it hinders their fluency. Learning to discriminate new sounds that are not relevant in their own mother language - so their ear does not "hear" those sounds - is hard enough.
However, the good news is that it is OK to have an accent – even a heavy foreign accent – as long as you are understandable. And, what will make you understandable, then? Intonation! Your grammar doesn't need to be perfect (even native speakers have poor grammar). But, with a decent amount of vocabulary and a basic grasp on grammar, your English will experience a huge boost when you work on your intonation.
So, you need to learn to discriminate and produce more vowel sounds than those you are equipped with, and different consonants as well. You need to learn new ways of using your voice-box in order to produce those different sounds - your soft palate, tongue, lips, and the way you expel air to pronounce "p", "b", are good examples. And then, try and mimic intonation - if you manage to do this you will overcome your self-consciousness, you won't be so shy about speaking. And you will find yourself speaking!
Try it! Start singing the music of the English language. Contact me here if you need help with accent reduction :)