Author: Ursula Kallio
Listen to a variety of sources while paying attention to regional dialects and accents. Try listening to something three times: first, listen quickly; next, listen at a relatively even speed compared to your current listening skills; finally, listen more slowly than you need to.
Repeat questions that people ask you. Provide full-sentence responses. Learn how to ask the question, "What is a synonym for word." Practice differentiating between minimal pairs.
Note: If you are trying to reduce your accent, avoid practicing from speeches that are given to a very large audience such as a presidential speech. In such cases, the speaker changes some of the voicing for the purpose of preserving his or her voice over a long period of time.
Aim to read material that you understand at a 90% rate or higher. This gives you the best chance of guessing meaning from context. Without using a dictionary, read a passage three times at different speeds: first, read as fast as you can for one minute; next, slow down to read the same content for three minutes; finally, slow down again to read the same content for five minutes. Read all sorts of material; read advertisements, graffiti, newspapers, tram tickets, magazines, and novels.