How do you feel when you read phrases like:
- “speak like a native”
- “improve your accent”
- “perfect pronunciation”
Do they inspire you or do they make you feel second best?
If they make you feel like your English isn’t good enough, I completely understand. These phrases can be horribly judgemental and perhaps assume that you should be ashamed of your accent if it isn’t 100% perfect (and who knows what that even means).
They can be rooted in racism and prejudice and come from the point of view someone’s accent being second best. I’m never going to be okay with someone judging someone’s voice in this way.
Our voice is unique to us and it’s something that is, honestly, amazing.
But I’ve been thinking about this whole issue in more detail recently and I’d really love to hear your thoughts.
If a dancer is allowed to practise and practise and practise until a move becomes perfect, it doesn’t mean the dancer isn’t satisfied with the way she moves in everyday life. It doesn’t mean anyone believes she’s second class for not managing the perfect pirouette. It means she’s focused on her body and reaching a high level of control in a specific skill.
If an athlete can…..If a painter can …. You get the picture (no pun actually intended!).
Can’t these high standards also apply to students who want their pronunciation to be the very best it can be?
And yes, I know “best” is subjective and I know there is more than one English accent.
But I see so much judgment online that suggests that wanting your accent to be “perfect” is an inherently bad thing and I’m honestly not sure that it is.
So truly, genuinely I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Do phrases like “native speaker standard” and “improve your accent offend you?
Are you striving to reach “perfect pronunciation”?
Let me know your thoughts