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Accent ReductionAccent reduction is a very common problem for any people whose mother tongue is not English. Even if your English is fluent and yet sometimes people don’t seem to understand you. People’s difficulty to understand your accent can negatively affect your career, social interaction, as well as your self-esteem. That is why some people want to change or reduce their accent. It should be noted, however, that accents are NOT a speech or language disorder, however, an accent reduction should be highly considered.

Accent Reduction Types

Accent reduction, also known as accent modification, accent neutralization, or accentuation, There is a systematic approach for learning or adopting a new accent. It is the process of learning the sound system, or phonology, of a language or dialect.

The method involves several steps. They include identifying deviations in the person’s current speech from the desired accent,such as pronunciation, speech patterns, and speech habits. The other method is changing the way one uses the mouth, teeth, and tongue to form vowel and consonant sounds. Or modifying one’s intonation and stress patterns, as well as changing one’s rhythm. Using this method individuals, such as those who mastering a second language, may alter their speech to resemble the accent of a certain group of people.  It will enhance the clarity of their communication with those people. 

Accent Reduction Treatment

With lots of practice and help of a qualified speech-language pathologist you can learn how to alter your speech pronunciation.  You  will be able to reduce your accent to more closely resemble the accent of native English speakers and you speech clarity.

Therapy

  • An initial assessment  will evaluate your sound pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm of speech. Personalized goals settings will improve your speech ion the long run.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly training sessions will be necessary to fit your schedule.

Accent reduction or improvement focuses on teaching students how to pronounce difficult sounds such as /?/, /ð/, /?/, /l/, and /w/; intonation, stress, and rhythm. Spanish and Portuguese speakers might add an /h/ before the vowel /?/, as in “his” for “is”. Therefore, accent reduction training will also require producing vowel sounds.  Practicing of the vowel /?/ most commonly spelled “i” is done by reciting a few of the following differences: his versus is, hit versus it, hill versus ill. By not letting the back of their tongue touch the palate, native speakers of Asian languages (Chinese, etc.) can avoid adding a /j/ before the /?/. For example, in speaking “yin” instead of “in”. Speech pathologists also use activities, games, and printable workbooks to help students practice what they learn.