Accent softening for Italian speakers: American accent

(rollover images to see page preview) If your native accent is Italian, the high priority pages are the 

 yellow buttons . Once on the pages,  select the audio "General American" 

Step 1 -  (Try Step 1, then return to this syllable page using the page back on the top left) 

Find the placement and rhythm accent  Speak simultaneously with this short clip. Simply put on headphones so you can hear the speakers voice & not your own as you speak with the text. Note the jaw aperture, tension in the tongue and lips and the relative length of the syllables.

Male voice 


Female voice 

Your conclusion? There is a distinctly mid-palatal/nasal placement in the General American accent, with a lot of tension in the mid-tongue and little use of the lips and front facial muscles. You will find that to keep in pace with the native speaker the sounds and speech will feel 'penned in' to a certain area in the mouth. Factors to consider are: degree of nasality, tension in the tongue, as well as lip tension, jaw aperture and mobility as you talk simultaneously with the short speech clip. 

Step 2 -  Ear train with the phonetic sounds of General American. Test and record yourself 





All sounds 

Step 3 - Speech Rhythm, Word Stress, Sentence Stress & Intonation

Message words


The 'schwa' vowel


Word Stress

Word Linking

Sequence Stress


Sentence Stress


Tone Units


Step 4 - Word linking: essential for a Italian speaker as this will stop the accidental insertion of 'h' before vowels

Linking 'r'


Linking consonants


Linking vowels

Step 5 - American English Vowels & Diphthongs - the yellow buttons are the priority for an Italian speaker

Vowels a / ar 


Vowels ee / i


Vowels u / o


Vowels u / oo

Vowels a / u / e 


Vowels o /our


Vowels ai / i


Vowels o /ear

Vowels ei/ e / a 


Vowels eer /are


Vowels our / ore


Vowels o /or

Vowels ow/ aw 


Vowels oy /ore


Vowels ur /or


Vowels es /ers

Step 6 - American English Consonants

Consonant l / l 


Consonant p/b /f/v


Consonant m / n


Consonant h

Consonant th/ t  


Consonant ch / s



Consonant w /v



Consonant y

Consonant r /l / t  


Consonant k /g



Consonant   l / th

Consonant   n / l

Step 7 - Practise with monologues for sound, rhythm and tone.

Monologue 1


Monologue 3


Monologue 5


Monologue 7


Monologue 2


Monologue 4


Monologue 6


Monologue 8

Step 8 -Test again with monologues, and if not satisfied, repeat above steps.

If your native accent is from Italy, the most useful pages are those in the  yellow buttons 

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