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What is an accent?

An accent is not a speech or language disorder, but rather a speech difference typically due to speaking English as a second language or speaking a dialectical variation of English. Accents are a unique reflection of a person’s culture, origin, and way of life. It’s important to know that there are many different factors that contribute to one’s accent. A regional accent is specific to people who are from different parts of the country, while a national origin accent pertains to someone who has learned another language as an adult. While both of these accent groupings are different, they each contribute to a unique communication style.

What is accent modification?

Accent modification is training to help individuals focus on differences in how they produce the sounds of the English language. It also includes training for variations in rhythm and stress of speech when speaking English, which contributes to overall meaning.

Why accent modification?

While accents are not considered a disorder, they may make it more difficult for a person to communicate with others in various aspects of daily living. Individuals may feel that their accent creates a communication barrier and is negatively affecting their ability to reach their personal and professional goals. If someone feels as though his or her accent is interfering with the ability to communicate effectively at work, school, or other activities, a speech-language pathologist can serve as a valuable resource to more effective communication.

What are the next steps?

Accent modification is an elective service that people may choose to participate in for a variety of reasons. The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing clinic is qualified to provide unique and individualized care to adults who may benefit from accent modification services. At our speech and hearing clinic, elective services provided by a speech-language pathologist to modify or reduce a person’s accent typically include evaluation of one’s pronunciation of sounds, rhythm and stress of speech. After collecting this information, a speech-language pathologist and graduate clinician develop a unique plan focused on your communication objectives to help you achieve your personal or professional goals.

Do you want feedback about your English Pronunciation?

If you are interested in getting feedback about your English pronunciation from a certified, license speech-language pathologist from our Speech and Hearing Clinic, you can access a free screening here.

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