Accent Modification

Accent Modification

In today’s competitive marketplace, effective communication is essential.  An accent is natural for second language speakers of English. However, a heavy accent can interfere with communication.  It can create a situation where people are asked to repeat themselves on a regular basis. This can create stressful professional and personal situations and can impact career growth.

Accents often serve as a source of pride for individuals and frequently reflect the social, cultural, ethnic, and geographic backgrouns. At times, an accent may impede effective and efficient communication – especially within professional contexts. Modification of an individual’s accent by a speech-language pathologist can optimize communication exchanges and reduce the stress of communicating.

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Why modify my accent?

What is accent modification and why do people seek this service?

It is important to seek help from a speech-language pathologist if your accent leads to difficulty being understood; frequent need to repeat oneself; attention being directed more toward the accent than the message; and/or listeners’ negative attitudes toward speakers with the accent. Your professional and educational advancement may be negatively affected by these communication obstacles.

This in part can also affect your social interactions, your day-to-day activities and your self-esteem. It is essential to remember that accents are a natural part of spoken language. No one individual is without an accent. It is also important to recognize that no accent is “better” than
another.

What does an intervention for accent
modification look like?

In most cases, the goal of accent modification services is to improve an individual’s intelligibility so that others are able to comprehend their speech and/or communicate without their accent being a distraction. This means focussing on several aspects of speech such as Accentedness (the perceived differences in comparison to the speech patterns of the listener’s community),  comprehensibility ( the ease with which a listener understands the message), and intelligibility ( the extent to which a listener actually understands a message ).

A full evaluation of an individual’s speech patterns, the context in which they want to improve communication, and their ability to learn is completed by a speech-language pathologist. The information gathered from the evaluation will help guide the learning objectives presented to the individual. As with most interventions with adults, motivation and a willingness to work affect greatly the outcomes.

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Conclusion

Accents are a natural part of speech and often go hand in hand with an individual’s identity. However, if in your second language you feel that your accent is holding you back from academic, social or professional success, the speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque are here to help.

Make an appointment

The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.