Accent Reduction for Chinese Speakers

One accent reduction technique that Chinese speakers can use to improve their American English pronunciation is to use linking.

American English speakers link or join words toegether so that they are easy to say and flow together smoothly. It often sounds like people are saying one long word since they don’t leave spaces between words.

Chinese speakers don’t usually use linking when they speak English. This makes their speech sound choppy and difficult to understand.

Here are 2 common types of linking that we use in spoken American English.

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Sentence Stress & Focus Words in American English

When Americans talk they stress the CONTENT and FOCUS words in a sentence or phrase because these words are integral to the meaning of the sentence. Americans reduce the function words in a sentence because these words are not key to meaning.
In spoken American English each sentence or phrase contains:
A Focus word-the most important word
Content words-very important for meaning
Function words-not important for meaning

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