The goal of accent reduction or accent modification training is not to eliminate one’s accent but to improve one’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Nonnative speakers of American English often pronounce English based on their native sound system, stress, and intonation patterns which can vary greatly from those of the English language. This can result in “strongly accented” English which may impede communication, decrease confidence, and pose the danger of the speaker being misunderstood.
Accent reduction training is not a “one-size-fits-all” program. The initial step in accent modification involves an initial speech analysis by a certified speech pathologist, in order to determine an individual’s communication needs. This will include assessment of the speaker’s American English speech sound production, the speaker’s use of appropriate American English stress and intonation patterns and assessment of the communication needs of the speaker’s workplace. Following the analysis, an individualized training program is developed to specifically target those areas that will have the most impact on the speaker’s American English communication. Training occurs via live web-based conferencing, individually or in small groups, generally for one-hour sessions, one to two times weekly. More intensive training options are also available.
Accent Reduction Training May Include:
Standard American English pronunciation.
Stress patterns of American English.
Appropriate pitch and intonation patterns.
Appropriate speech rate.
Core vocabulary needed for effective communication in the workplace.
Carryover of learned techniques and pronunciation to conversational speech.
A practice program for individual practice between sessions.
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