Of course, it is a very well-known fact that it is much easier for children to learn new things than for adults. Children are like little sponges that soak up information and can learn multiple languages easily before the age of about 12 or 13. We also know that it becomes more difficult for an adult to learn something new or to change an established habit as they become older. This is just a fact of life and applies to everything we do in general.
The important thing to remember is, that as an adult, you CAN make a change in your spoken English. It IS possible, but it takes effort. The more you practice accented sounds (with the correct model, of course), the easier these sounds are to pronounce correctly in everyday speech. Like anything else that you learn, you have to be willing to work at it. Let's take a look at an example. Suppose you have been playing golf for years and are a decent golfer. You want to get better though, so you decide to take lessons. You go to your lesson, and your instructor watches you as you grip your golf club and swing. The first thing he tells you is that you have to change your grip. Oh, no! How could you possibly do that when you've been playing golf the same way for 20 years? The answer is always, practice, practice, practice. You will need your instructor's feedback as you practice to make sure you are making the correct changes and keep you on track.
I have worked with many adults of all ages over the years and have never had ANYONE fail to improve their speech, IF they practiced daily and were dedicated to putting the effort into reducing their accent. If you want to reduce your accent, be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to practice, focus on pronouncing your new sounds when you speak to others and enjoy the success you will start to realize in your professional and personal life!
Cheryl A Posey, MS CCC-SLP
Founder Speaking Your Best Inc http://www.speakingyourbest.comhttp://www.speakingyourbestinc.com