Accent learning isn’t as hard as some people make it out to be, and I’m a living proof that it is possible to learn to speak with a British accent in less than three months, for example (just watch the video above where I’m speaking with the British or so-called RP pronunciation).
Neither is it easy; if native-like accent acquisition were a walk in a park, all foreigners would be speaking just like Brits, or Americans or Aussies.
The truth is somewhere in between – it’s not mission impossible, but you still have to be prepared to spend long hours speaking, speaking, speaking and speaking some more, all the while trying to mimic native English speakers of your target accent – be it American, British, Australian or Irish.
After a while you will reach a state where you can speak in your target accent fluently and without being too focused on pronunciation of individual words; however, this state will not last forever.
You have to keep practicing quite regularly, and you are almost guaranteed to relapse and not be able to speak fluently with the accent of your choice.
My guess is that way too many people simply abandon their accent learning endeavours at that stage, because it seems to them that it simply won’t happen; accent acquisition is obviously possible only at the very early stages of our lives…
Hold on a second here ❗
If you hit a plateau in the gym, what do you do?
Yes, you keep training. You train harder, you change something in your training routine, but failure is simply not an option if you want to keep improving!
The very same goes with acquiring a native-like English accent – regardless of whether you’re a foreigner or a native English speaker.
The process requires time and effort, and just because you find it harder to get into your target accent on a certain day, doesn’t mean you’re a failure and accent acquisition isn’t for you.
It simply means you have to engage in yet another accent practice session, and most likely THIS ONE is the one which sees you go back into a fluent state of English speech while at the same time maintaining your target pronunciation! 😉