Accent Modification & Accent Reduction

Why is it important to reduce or modify your accent? 

Everyone has an accent. It's something that we notice when we meet other, whether it be within the United States, or another country. You may find yourself asking, "Where are you from?" Speaking with accents are lovely and unique and reflects your history and is not a speech disorder. However, the reality is, when speaking in front of others, there may be discomfort, especially when communication is combined with a deep accent. making it hard for others to understand.

Do you feel people don't understand you?

• Are you avoiding socializing with others because you fear they may not understand you?

• Do you find yourself repeating information too many times?

• Do you feel people are focusing on your accent versus listening to what you have to say?

 

These situations can make individual's feel uncomfortable, thus resulting in a decrease in confidence and an increase of feeling insecure and frustrated. It can result in negative effects on job performance, educational advancement, and everyday life activities, and most important,  self-esteem. 

 

This is when accent reduction or accent modification comes into play. By working with a specialist, you will learn how to create the sounds that are not within your dialect. With the techniques provided by a speech therapist, you will feel more secure and confident in regards to communication. Your accent can be regional, meaning that within the United States. For example, someone from Texas, Virginia, or Boston may sound different than someone from New York. Your accent can be foreign, meaning that someone learning English within the USA, will sound different than someone who was raised in a foreign country such as China, Israel, or Spain, and learned English as an adult. 

What is the difference between Accent Reduction and Accent Modification?

Accent modification and Accent Reduction are quite similar. Either way, my approach is coming from an American English perspective.  

 

With accent modification, you are only modifying your accent and successfully able to transition from your accent to clear American English at specific times that you feel it is important to be understood.  This can be helpful in fields such as: medical, financial, presentations, and acting roles or performances.  Here you are still holding on to your identification.  

With accent reduction, you are specifically focusing on reducing your accent so you are able to speak American English. Whether you are from a foreign country, or within the United States, you feel that it is important to reduce your accent. 

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