What Is Accent?
Accent is a combination of three main components: intonation (speech music), liaisons (word
connections), and pronunciation (the spoken sounds of vowels, consonants, and combinations). As
you go along, you'll notice that you're being asked to look at accent in a different way. You'll also
realize that the grammar you studied before and this accent you're studying now are completely
Part of the difference is that grammar and vocabulary are systematic and structured— the letter of
the language. Accent, on the other hand, is free form, intuitive, and creative— more the spirit of the
language. So, thinking of music, feeling, and flow, let your mouth relax into the American accent.
Can I Learn a New Accent?
Can a person actually learn a new accent? Many people feel that after a certain age, it's just not
Стр. 12 из 185
possible. Can classical musicians play jazz? If they practice, of course they can! For your American
accent, it's just a matter of learning and practicing techniques this book and CD set will teach you. It
is up to you to use them or not. How well you do depends mainly on how open and willing you are
to sounding different from the way you have sounded all your life.
A very important thing you need to remember is that you can use your accent to say what you mean
and how you mean it. Word stress conveys meaning through tone or feeling, which can be much
more important than the actual words that you use. We'll cover the expression of these feelings
through intonation in the first lesson.
You may have noticed that I talk fast and often run my words together. You've probably heard
enough "English-teacher English"—where ... everything ... is ... pronounced without having to listen
too carefully. That's why on the CDs we're going to talk just like the native speakers that we are, in a
normal conversational tone.
Native speakers may often tell people who are learning English to "slow down" and to "speak...