Some people are afraid to speak a word of English because they are so ashamed of their accent. Other people happily talk away, unaware that no one is really sure what they are saying. If you can speak well enough to communicate, that's enough right? The French accent is considered as quite sexy - why would you want to get rid of it?
Well....I disagree. To a certain extent. Pronunciation is very important. I'm not advocating that people try to make their native accent disappear. Your accent is part of your identity, you are charming when you speak English with an accent, and honestly, very few adult learners of English ever get a perfect accent.
But surely you'd prefer this:
If you are visiting an English-speaking country where people are not used to hearing your accent, it can be difficult to communicate, even about simple things. If you need to speak English over the phone or on conference calls, you really need to work on your accent so that you are speaking clearly.
I still have a terrible English accent in French, but there are certain sounds which I have worked a lot on. The u for example. Being able to identity this sound means I know if my yoga teacher is saying dessous or dessus (under or over) and I don't embarrass myself by saying cul instead of cou (butt and neck.)
In the next few blog posts, I'll give French-speakers some tips on pronunciation and what to practise.
Meanwhile I will leave you with a South-African rugby player who has managed to get an excellent French accent. (Thanks to my student Fred for this video.)
My blog has changed! If you're looking for my English-practice exercises, they're all still here, just look in the archives.
Catherine: blogging about learning, language, culture, France and more...