You might be surprised to learn that all people speak with an accent and there is no accent that is better than another. The focus of accent reduction otherwise known as accent modification or accent neutralization is to teach people how to pronounce the sounds and intonation patterns (rhythm, stress, pitch) of English to reduce communication breakdowns and limitations to the careers of overseas born professionals. The end goal is that the individual can ‘code switch’ between the several languages effortlessly, correctly applying their sound systems and intonation patterns.
How does accent reduction work?
The first step we take to provide successful accent reduction is to have a thorough video analysis of your use of intonation patterns and sounds in single words, sentences and conversation. This step is important because even individuals with the same language background will have differences in their speech patterns, clarity and communication style that all effect comprehensibility.
Once the evaluation is complete, a plan is developed to prioritise which targets to work on first based on their impact on the person’s ability to be understood. Click here to see an example of a report and plan.
Following this a series of sessions, usually a minimum of 10 (depending on the individual) are booked to work through the targets.
During accent reduction classes you will be given demonstrations, exercises and worksheets as well as video lessons to watch at home to assist you to develop the target skills for example vowel sounds and word stress. I often ask clients to bring in specific vocabularly from work to practise during sessions. I enjoy using popular books such Dr Suess and games like taboo to make accent reduction training fun for you!
How much does accent reduction cost?
Accent reduction is delivered by a range of professionals for a wide range of costs. Speech Pathologist are uniquely qualified to provide this service due to their extensive training in the treatment of speech sound disorders.
If you would like a copy of our client services charter to check out our prices and options for online versus group versus in person classes click here.
Alternatively check out our free online accent reduction classes or free English pronunciation course.
Does accent reduction work?
Research has shown Accent reduction can be very effective in helping motivated professionals to improve the clarity of their speech. You will likely always have a noticeable accent consistent with your first language(s) however we all have an accent and no accent is better than another. Our focus is to make sure your accent is not getting in the way of people understanding you.
There are several factors that can influence how effective accent reduction is for you, for more information about this and the research into accent reduction click here to see our article ‘how effective is accent reduction – a review of the evidence’.