Accent Modification

What is accent modification?

Accent Modification is a personally elected service to receive training in Standard American English (SAE) pronunciation and articulation in the case that a person feels hindered or misunderstood as a result of an accent.

An accent is the result of sounds and patterns of pronunciation from a primary language being transferred to a second language. Although accents are natural and are not seen as a speech or language disorder, many people choose to participate in Accent Modification programs to reduce or alter their accent. This is often the case when accents lead to frequent or disruptive communication breakdowns, reduced intelligibility for the listener, and/or frustration by the speaker. Individuals with strong accents have claimed negative effects on job performance, education, and everyday social activities. With clearer communication in mind, Accent Modification is designed to help people with foreign or domestic accents improve their communication.

Assessment:

Assessment of a person’s accent is conducted by a speech-language pathologist who records speech and language samples of the client’s speech. This sample is then analyzed for the most salient patterns of the accent that impact intelligibility for a native speaker of SAE. Most importantly, the assessment includes a thorough interview with the client to determine their individual goals for modifying their accent.

Program:

A speech-language pathologist works with the client to develop an individualized and highly personalized program.  Training sessions include topics such as auditory discrimination, training articulation of SAE speech sounds, and building a home-practice regimen to promote carryover to everyday conversation or other functional contexts (e.g., presentations at work). Consistent home practice is imperative to maximize results. The typical package includes twelve training sessions and the initial assessment.

Links for more information:

American Speech and Hearing Association: www.asha.org