Accent reduction can help ensure your communication is clear and understood. People who speak a primary language other than English may experience interference during speech production. Interference occurs as features of the first language spill over onto the second, less dominant language. This may result in certain sounds or grammatical structures being produced incorrectly while speaking English. Speech and language differences may include:
- substitution of sounds in the primary language that are close to the sounds in the second language
- suprasegmental difficulties related to stress and intonation differences for words and phrases
- word order differences in sentence formation
- differences in verb tense markers as well as other grammatical features
- general vocabulary deficits
Accent reduction therapy can help individuals improve speech and language production. It’s never too late to improve the way that you speak!
Our accent reduction and American pronunciation therapy will teach you to create the sounds of Standard American English and give you greater confidence in your communication skills with native speakers of English.
A strong foreign accent can prevent you from achieving your professional or personal goals and reaching your full potential. People shouldn’t have to ask you to repeat what you said. In today’s competitive corporate environment, clear pronunciation and correct grammar are an absolute must.
If you are interested in improving the sound and style of your speech, our foreign accent reduction and American English pronunciation therapy can help you communicate clearly.
In addition, we focus on the elimination of other types of language problems such as grammatical and sentence structure errors which may affect the way you sound.
Goals of Accent Reduction Therapy
First, the main goal of any pronunciation therapy should be to focus on accent reduction, not accent elimination, which is virtually impossible. Rather, students should work on reducing areas of their pronunciation that affect comprehensibility, that is, areas of their accents that make it difficult for native English speakers to understand them.
Second, with this goal in mind, students need to be able to identify which specific areas of pronunciation give them the most trouble. Of course, there are universal areas of pronunciation that affect specific language groups, and reading up on these commonalities will help you. Furthermore, if you take a class on pronunciation, the teacher probably will ask you to record a speech sample which can be analyzed to check which specific areas you need to work on, for example, vowel and consonant sounds, word and sentence stress, and word reductions, and linking, and intonation.
Finally, you need to practice these features in different situations, from very structured exercises to extemporaneous speech. In other words, let’s say you are focusing on past tense, -ed endings (e.g., worked, played, constructed, learned, etc.). The first step would be able to recognize and produce the corrected pronunciation of the endings of each word in isolation by repeating them; however, this does not guarantee that you will be able to use them in natural conversation. So you might want to record yourself talking about the past weekend and what you did—again, using past tenses. Rewind the recording and check to see how well you formed the verbs and if you pronounced them correctly.