Accent softening for speakers of African languages: British accent

(rollover images to see page preview) If you are a speaker of an African language, the high priority pages are the  yellow buttons . Once on the pages,  select the audio "Received Pronunciation 1" 

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 frontal placement in the British accent, with a lot of tension and 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 and that you need to "stretch" some syllables and reduce others. English is actually a native language in many African countries, but the rhythm and some of the sounds are very different due to the influences from the African languages spoken in those countries.

Step 2 -  Ear train with the phonetic sounds of the British Accent. 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 helps facilitate the processes of connected speech

Linking 'r'


Linking consonants


Linking vowels

Step 5 - British English Vowels & Diphthongs - common problems encountered by speakers of African languages (yellow buttons)

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 - British English Consonants - common problems encountered by speakers of African languages.

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 you are a native speaker of an African language, the most useful pages are those in the  yellow buttons 

Bookmark this page, then if you want,  »set other learning goals