I am a non-native English speaker. I've started learning the language roughly ten years ago, and have been practicing it ever since, be it through exposure to English-spoken content (movies, music, games, etc.), chatting with native speakers, enrolling in an English course, or just speaking to myself in English. In all of these scenarios, I've come to notice that my accent is particularly noticeable, and my pronunciation of certain words is difficult to parse or outright incorrect. Despite all this time engaging actively with the language quite literally every single day for the past several years, I still feel like I'm failing some basic aspects of spoken language. Meanwhile, my written English has never been an issue, as I've achieved a state of satisfactory mastery long ago.
The problem, for me, is that I plan on eventually emigrating to a country in which English is the main official language. As such, the task of mastering (or, at the very least, significantly improving upon) my pronunciation and general spoken fluidity has become very important to me.
Some of what I've done/been doing to help improve my pronunciation:
- Chatting with native speakers through voice chat:
Though it has been helpful, most of the feedback I get when I prompt my friends about my English essentially boils down to "we had no issues understanding you". I believe that they're honest, but this feedback tells me that they either overlook the small mistakes/slip-ups I make, or just don't consider it enough of an issue. That's further complicated by the fact that I notice (and often correct on the spot) all these little mistakes I make.
- Enrolling in an English conversation class:
This has mostly helped in the sense of getting more room for practice, but ultimately I am practicing with other non-natives, which means they all have an accent. It's been helpful when it comes to fluidity and ease of talking, but on the pronunciation department, it's still not quite there.
- Looking for similar questions:
I went through a few questions online, such this one, this one, and this one. A lot of them essentially boil down to just accepting that accents will exist, or to get more practice in the ways I've already been practicing, or immersing myself in the environment related to the language.
I believe the ultimate, most effective way of improving on my pronunciation/accent would be a more intensive exposure to the language, i.e. moving into a place where English is the main official language. But since that's still not an option, the question then becomes...
What are some effective methods for improving one's accent and general pronunciation/language fluidity?
This question focuses on English, but any method that might apply to any learned language is welcome.
Reasons for the desire to lose the accent:
- Easier and more effective communication, with no misinterpretation, mishearing or other barriers in understanding;
- Seamlessly engaging in conversations, without my ancestry, place of origin or English learning process being brought up in the discussion;
- Seamlessly blending in with the social and cultural aspects of the country, be it in a professional environment or a casual one.