British Accent trainingOur expert accent coaches will help you achieve a Modern RP Accent with our British accent training course. Try for free
What is accent training?
Accent training is a process undertaken by actors and other individuals who wish to achieve a certain accent for their acting, professional or personal life. Our accent training course is delivered by our Head Accent Coach, Anna Tyrie who trains students to speak in a perfect Received Pronunciation (Modern RP) accent.
Anna is a professional actress and accent coach who has herself shifted from a regional English accent to a Modern RP accent through years of research and accent training.
In our Pronunciation Course, Anna uses her professional training and expertise not only to train you to speak with a clear British Accent, but also to develop your confidence and clarity of speech through a range of articulation exercises.
What is a British Accent?
Britain is a highly diverse nation full of regional accents and dialects, each with a wide range of characteristics across pronunciation, intonation, vocabulary, and grammar. Today, UK accents are celebrated in pop culture, adding colour and personality to beloved characters in film and media the world over.
There are 48 Counties in the UK and while there isn’t a definitive view on the exact number of accents, there are arguably more than 48. What makes things more interesting is that within each county (and within any given street) you can find more than one accent being spoken. You can hear some examples of regional British accents at the British Library. With all this considered, there is no one, single, definitive British accent.
There is, however, an international cultural observation that a British Accent is the accent spoken, most notably, by news anchors on the BBC. ‘BBC English’ is a hallmark of the news channel and a legacy of their original requirement for all presenters to speak with what is known as a Received Pronunciation accent. Thankfully, nowadays, BBC presenters represent the diverse landscape of Britain’s accents in all but their news channels. Understandably, the BBC continues to use the Modern RP accent on their global news channel as it is part of their brand identity and this decision continues to perpetuate an unfair global view of the British Received Pronunciation accent being the dominant British accent.
What is the Received Pronunciation Accent?
Received Pronunciation is split into two versions.
Modern RP is most closely associated with BBC English and is the version that you will most readily find in academic, professional and social forms of Received Pronunciation. Received Pronunciation is readily found within the general population, mostly in the South East of England.
Heightened RP, also known as the Queen’s English, is a form of Received Pronunciation that is most associated with the upper-class. Typically associated with expensive private education, the aristocracy and royalty, this accent can be stigmatised by the general population as old-fashioned, elitist or disconnected.
Modern RP is generally considered to be a clear and easily understood British accent. Also known as Standard British English, it is viewed as a de-regionalised accent (although it is mostly found in the South East). In most instances where individuals try to ‘professionalise’ their speaking (i.e. use a ‘work’ voice), typically they will move closer to a Modern RP accent.
The Modern RP accent is also a useful accent to acquire if you are learning English as a Second Language. The best dictionaries use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to help you achieve the correct pronunciation of words in a Received Pronunciation accent using spelling alone – something that is not possible using the normal alphabet.
In our British accent training and Pronunciation Course, we only provide training for Modern Received Pronunciation as this is the accent expertise of our Accent Reduction coach.
What is the best accent to learn?
If you are learning English as a second language and do not have a reason to learn any specific regional accent (e.g. you expect to live in Manchester permanently) then we would recommend learning Modern RP for the following reasons. Modern RP is:
- A globally recognised and well understood English accent.
- Associated with accademia, education and professionalism.
- Travels well globally due to representation of BBC news and other cultural associations.
- Has a large amount of resources available online to support your pronunciation accuracy and English language learning.
What is accent reduction?
Accent reduction is the process of identifying elements of your native accent that differ from your target accent (e.g. a Modern RP accent) and reducing or changing them to align to your pronunciation goals.
People may have different reasons for wanting to complete an accent reduction course. Including:
- You are an ESL student wanting to perfect your English speaking and pronunciation
- You LOVE the Modern RP accent and aspire to speak with it
- You believe that your native accent is holding you back personally or professionally
- You are an actor who wants to play a more diverse range of characters
- You want to speak clearly and confidently and choose to do so in a Modern RP accent
- You enjoy working on your English speaking, presenting and/or performance and there are more resources available in a Modern RP accent
What is an Accent Reduction Coach?
An Accent Reduction Coach (or Accent Coach) is an elocution professional who will help you to achieve your pronunciation goals. Accent Reduction Coaches can be very expensive and require a large number of sessions to help you to achieve your target accent. While 1-2-1 coaching is an excellent way to learn it has two major drawbacks. Firstly, it is not always affordable or accessible to everyone and, secondly, the emphasis is on training rather than learning focusing on a specific goal rather than teaching you how to train yourself.
Do you need an Accent Reduction Coach?
At English Like A Native we have taken a different approach which is much more accessible, just as effective and will help you to learn much more about the process and fundamentals of British accent training to support your ongoing development.
Using our Accent Assessment, we will provide you with a personalised review of your accent and give you the exact steps needed to achieve a Modern RP accent. Together with our pronunciation course, you can then complete the training yourself, while learning the details of the Modern RP accent and improving your speaking clarity and articulation at the same time.
Additionally, if you join one of our courses, you will become a member of the ELAN Community which offers regular pronunciation live lessons, drop-in sessions and the Conversation Club where you can practice your accent without judgement.
Accent lessons for actors and speakers
If you are an actor who is looking for an Accent Coach to help you to perfect your British Accent for the stage, then you’re in the right place.
Our Head Accent Coach, Anna Tyrie has 15 years of professional performance experience and degrees from the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Anna’s Pronunciation Course is built on her experience in professional voice production.
Additionally, Anna is very familiar with the general struggles of life as a performer and has built the Pronunciation Course with you in mind. It is her outright belief that the course will provide you with the backbone of your needs without the expense of face-to-face training. Furthermore, the Accent Assessment will give you the extra support you need to identify how to change and refine your Modern RP accent.
How to achieve the correct pronunciation of a British accent
English, unlike many more sensible languages, is not spelt phonetically. That means, that when you read languages like Spanish or Thai you should be able to understand the accurate pronunciation from the spelling alone. However, when you read a word in English, the spelling will not define the correct pronunciation. For example, words like record can be pronounced in two different ways. Whereas would or wood, are pronounced the same.
So how do you know the correct pronunciation of a word? Well, most major dictionaries will provide additional spelling using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The IPA provides a clear and definitively accurate pronunciation of a word, usually in both the General American and British Received Pronunciation accents.
The IPA alphabet is extremely useful in understanding how to achieve correct pronunciation of any word, first time, without having to hear the word at all. However, there is a drawback… the IPA does require effort to understand and use effectively.
You can get an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet on this video. We use the IPA throughout the pronunciation course. So if you start British accent training with us, you’ll get familiar with it fairly quickly.
How to perfect your British English speaking voice
There is a lot more to a perfect British accent than just the pronunciation. There is also intonation, flow and articulation, amongst other things. In short, it’s more than just the 44 phonemes.
We believe our Pronunciation course is different. We don’t just focus on the 44 phonemes of a modern RP accent, although we cover them in depth. We don’t require you to sign up to an expensive programme of face to face sessions, although, we do give you the opportunity to speak with an expert in the ELAN Community.
We’ve designed the course to give you the right balance of tools to achieve your pronunciation goals at an affordable price. Our course includes:
> 189 accent lessons including over 8 hours of video tuition
> An introduction to your voice and pronunciation training
> The 44 phonemes (sounds) of the Modern RP Accent
> Articulation exercises and tongue twisters
> A focus on clear, confident speaking
> Interactive exercises and self-recording tools
> Over 5000 audio files for British Accent Training
> Exclusive pronunciation live lessons and drop-in sessions
> Access to the Conversation Club to practice your English accent
You can find out more about our Pronunciation Course here or watch the video below to find out why you should learn British English.
Get started by joining the Mini Pronunciation Course for Free!
Free Mini Pronunciation Course
Learn British Received Pronunciation
Learn 5 hard sounds
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