2 years + of mewing: my personal experience of working to improve my tongue posture. In this video I talk about the benefits I have received from mewing which are related to my appearance, posture and overall health. I will also show you some before and after pictures so that you can see my personal mewing transformation. In this video I also explain that breathing through your mouth is unhealthy, and that mewing can correct this overtime. Finally, I give you some tips and a demonstration about how you can mew too!
▶︎ Join my email newsletter (get a free lesson and be notified about special offers)
A selection of clips featuring British people with upper-class ‘posh’ accents: Prince Charles, Lord Sumption, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, The Duchess of Cambridge, Tilda Swinton, Emma Watson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge,Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rose Leslie.
In these politically correct times in which we live, the ‘experts’ out there on YouTube say that you should not get rid of your accent. These teachers are the same ones who make their lessons for the mass global audience: it’s all very low level, easy stuff. Moron level. The most you ever get with them is ‘4 Amazing Phrasal Verbs You Need to Know’.
These teachers are being politically correct when they talk about accent. I’m not sure if they actually believe what they say, but that’s what they say because it’s the ‘acceptable’ opinion to have. It’s all very friendly and smiley and appeals to their low level mass audience who only want to feel good about themselves. When their teacher tells them comforting words like this, it gives them an excuse not to bother.
YouTube didn’t work out very well for me. Might be because I’m POLITICALLY INCORRECT. I didn’t have ‘the right’ opinions about things. It caused a lot of backlash.
Here’s what I think about your accent:
When it comes to YOUR accent, it’s necessary to separate yourself from the herd.
Most non-native speakers are never going to get rid of their accent because they are too lazy and have no focus. Even if they wanted to improve their accent, it won’t happen for them.
Most non-native speakers don’t NEED to get rid of their accent. This is because they rarely use English. What’s the point of having a native speaker level accent if you have no contact with native speakers? None, really.
But for those people who live and work in the UK, telling them not to bother about their accent is plain bad advice. Okay, if you pick fruit in a field and only work with other foreigners, you can struggle on without having a decent accent. But that is where you will stay: in minimum wage, temporary work for the rest of your life. With a dodgy accent.
Even professionals with high level skills are not immune to the problems caused by having a dodgy accent. The main one being that it seriously undermines you at work. No matter how great the standard of your work is, you’ll be undermined on a daily basis by the way that you speak. Again, like the fruit pickers, you can probably get by here in the UK; you can struggle on speaking badly. Everyone’s politically correct here, so don’t worry, the weakness of your accent will never be directly pointed out to you by your managers or even brought up at job interviews.
This can allow you to go on living in the illusion that the way you speak isn’t important. It’s a comfortable illusion, but it’s also one that’s hard to maintain. If/when you ever have a problem at work — you will remember once again about the weakness of your accent. That’s because you know, deep down, that the way you speak isn’t yet good enough for the work that you do. It’s only natural to feel vulnerable when you know that you’re the weak link. If you don’t do something about it, this vulnerability will haunt you forever.
I don’t advise the mass global audience to get rid of their accent; like I said it’s impossible and not worth it for them anyhow. But for professionals, another, much higher standard is required of them. This standard is to speak clearly and naturally.
My insider secret to becoming an Accent Expert (I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T TELL YOU THIS!).
Are you working to improve your accent and overall speaking style? In this video I share with you the technique that I have used since I was a child in order to develop my close listening ability. If you want to improve your accent, then it’s essential that you hone your close listening skills, or else you cannot identify nor reproduce small parts of sound. By practising this technique you will build up your practical knowledge of how different sounds are made with the tongue. Do this for many years and you will become an accent and pronunciation expert — like me!
Eduardo from Spain wrote with some feedback about my Clear Accent course:
“Just a few lines to thank you for your advice. I started your course “Clear up your Accent” a couple of weeks ago. I was already familiar with the IPA and so on, but I must say that all the exercises and lectures you provide us with are being really helpful, and reviewing all the sound is making my speech much clearer. I’ve also started modelling Stephen Fry, cutting his speeches up in shorter chunks and recording myself to compare it with the original. It’s hard work, but I’m loving it!! So, thanks again! You’re a great coach!!!”
My biggest speech training secrets revealed: How to improve your accent or speech via self-training. This is the accent and speech training method that is used in my accent training course and is also the method I follow when I want to teach myself a new style of speech. Follow this method and you will achieve results that improve your overall speech clarity and confidence when speaking. The same method applies to native speakers as well as non-native speakers of English.
My thoughts on the speech and accent problems some Chinese people encounter when they learn to speak English. Also, telling you a little about myself as a teacher and why I am motivated to help people who have speech problems.
In summary, as a teacher I serve people who are aware of their speech problems and who need extra support so that they can stop struggling in their daily life due to miscommunication.
I received a review of my accent course from Alex who is learning the Estuary English accent (so that he doesn’t sound like he is from any particular social class but somewhere in-between). Here’s what he had to say…
My name is Alex and I am from the Netherlands.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating your accent training course.
For years I have been trying to get the slightly Dutch sounds out of my English pronunciation, but I could not quite figure out how to do that. By ‘knowing my cave’ I have become more aware of the way I speak and it has helped me to properly use the parts of my throat and mouth that are used in a British English accent.
Although to you Dutch might sound very different from English, there are lots of sounds that partly correspond, which makes it more difficult to copy the British sounds.
If you are interested to learn a clear British accent, check out my accent training course. I teach you standard British pronunciation as well as any changes to make if you want to get a more Estuary ‘in-between social classes’ effect.
Here’s a review by Eleni who joined my accent course a couple of months ago. Eleni didn’t need accent training to get a British accent but she did want to improve the tone and expression of her way of speaking.
I grew up in a Greek-speaking home, in New York City, in Queens. Yes, you can understand that my speaking voice could use some refinement.
In the summer of 2016, I joined the Thomson-Reuters chapter of Toastmasters. The speakers there are dedicated, long-term members, and top-notch. Vocal variety is a critical skill to have and we are scored on it at every session. This brought forward a desire I long had but had dismissed. Voice class. I always wanted to do that. I am not an actor nor a singer and have no plans to be on stage. I thought that voice classes were meant only for those professions. My interest was immediately piqued this past February 2017 when I read in “The Daily Mail” an article featuring a speaking skills expert, Jade Joddle. Everything came together.
I contacted her and we had a one-hour session together. Speaking Greek, I grew up in an environment with a language that has a different music than English. I am not a musical person and do not have a good ear for the spoken word. There are things that I would need pointed out to me. When we spoke, Jade told me that I tend to drop my “k’s” at the end of a word. I turned to my Greek dictionary immediately. Our words do not end with “k” sounds. In Greek, we are only allowed to accent the last three syllables of a word. I sometimes stress an “off-syllable” in English.
I enrolled in her accent training class. I have no intention of taking on a British accent. (It would count against as a New Yorker as people would consider me affected.) What I do gain from the class is practice in expression, tone and flow. The pauses, punctuation, the shape of our lips as we speak – all things I once paid no mind to.
My number one takeaway: The more I do the lessons, the more I notice. I am not done with them all. I would say that I am half-way through but I do plan on doing the entire series over again so that I can act on what I have learned.
I am beginning to like the sound of my own voice more.
When I make videos about the R.P. (Received Pronunciation) accent, people tend to get upset. I think that’s because some people feel like I am being critical of the way they have learnt to speak English – but is that really so? Or am I just observing subtle realities in language and the voice that the great majority of people cannot hear themselves?
In 2013 I made lots of videos about the R.P. accent that argued this accent is rarely spoken, except by native speakers of the older generation. However, I observed the fact that non-native speakers of school age are still learning this accent – perhaps due to having learnt English from an older teacher or due to using old fashioned materials. The point I was trying to make was what kind of English/accent do you want to learn? Do you want to speak in a way that is similar to real life English people you would live and work among, or in a way that sounds 30 years out of date? It also depends on your personal situation: if you are 60 years old, then an R.P. could suit you. Plus, it depends on how ‘posh’ you are: if you are posh then an R.P. accent could suit you too, in theory.
Back when I made videos about the R.P. accent, I admit that I was still insecure about my own accent (but actually my own voice in general). That comes across in those old videos. However, these days, I have changed my views about accent. I say, what ever accent you want to learn, then go ahead and learn it. Speak as you feel happy. If I ever were to observe your accent and way of speaking I would NEVER lie to you. Also, rather than accent, I think voice and clarity of speech are much more important – so in that sense I couldn’t give a flying fig about yours or anyone else’s accent! I say: speak as you feel happy.
Here’s the thing too… I think we can all agree that famous English actors have nice accents. Some people would say they speak with an R.P. accent. Now we’re getting a bit complex, but what I would say is that famous actors have healthy, well-developed VOICES, plus, they speak Stage English. Stage English is not the same as R.P.
Actors learn how to speak Stage English by going to theatre school for many years and then they speak with this accent when acting (not in normal conversation). Two of the most famous places one can learn to speak this way are RADA and Central School of Speech and Drama. These two schools are elite, hard to get into and VERY EXPENSIVE. Learning what you consider to be an R.P. accent will do nothing to transform you to sound like a famous English actor. That’s because to speak in that way has to do with breath, control, poise, range, clarity and YEARS of training the voice – which are things you won’t learn in an ordinary English class.
So, is the R.P. accent still spoken? My answer to that is yes. It is spoken and you will hear it occasionally. Also, if you work in finance, the law or at a top level in your profession, you are likely to hear your older colleagues (60 years and above) speak this way. If you know someone who is younger than that and you think they have an R.P. accent, then it might be what I call Standard Modern English.
Another thing to know is that some of the videos I made about the R.P. accent are trolling videos – it’s a running joke on my channel to trigger people regarding this accent. I make videos like this to get views, and because I know that other English people find trolling videos like this to be funny. Also please note that I have made videos making jokes about the cockney accent and the American accent too.
Regarding accent training with my private clients I am always very honest. If I don’t think I am the right accent trainer for you I would always say so. I prefer clear accents over training you to remove all traces of your native accent. So, if you came to me saying that you wanted to learn R.P. in most cases I would say I’m not the right accent trainer for you. Plus, I am more interested in developing your whole voice and speaking style, so teaching you R.P. would not be fulfilling work for me and therefore I would not be interested to work with you on a one-to-one level. Other accent trainers would suit you better and perhaps give you the results you are looking for.