David Recine

How to Speak English Confidently with a Foreign Accent: Middle Eastern Accents

Confidence is one of the most important skills you can have when speaking English—on the TOEFL or in life. Confidence allows you to speak clearly and boldly. It allows you to communicate effectively, even if you have a foreign accent.

While accent reduction is important, don’t wait until you feel your accent is “manageable” before you begin to speak with confidence. Confidence is a skill you can and should start building right now!

On TED.com, English speakers from around the world give powerful talks on a variety of subjects.

Below, I’ve highlighted a number of talks by non-native English speakers from the Middle East. Middle Eastern Magooshers can look to these speeches as examples of English speech that is confident and effective, even with a noticeable accent.


Street Art for Hope and Peace (eL Seed, Tunisian speaker of English)

To see eL Seed’s TED Talk with an interactive transcript, go here.


Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.

For More Tolerance, We Need More… Tourism? (a Palestinian English speaker, Aziz Abu Sarah)

See the talk with transcript on TED.


A Historic Moment in the Arab World (Wadah Khanfar, English speaker originally from Palestine, educated in Jordan and Sudan)

Here is the direct TED link to Khanfar’s speech, with transcript.


Making Peace is Marathon (May El-Kalil, Lebanese English speaker)

See Ms. El Kalil’s fully transcripted speech on TED.


My Language is Your Language Too (Ghalia Al Thani, English speaker from Quatar)

Because this speech comes from an independent TED Talk event, it’s not hosted directly on TED.com. However, I was able to find a downloadable TXT file transcript of the speech here.


Israel and Iran: A Love Story? (Ronny Edry, French Israeli speaker of English)

See a transcripted version of Ronny’s speech here.


  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he’s helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master’s Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he’s presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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