Adult Speech Pathology now offers programs in Accent Modification.
Mastering English as a second language requires competencies in listening, reading, writing and talking. There is vocabulary to learn, rules of grammar to apply and the inevitable challenges of pronouncing the sounds, words and phrases.
Everyone speaks with an accent; it reflects the unique background and features of the individual. No one accent is better than another. Unfortunately however, some accents make it difficult for people to communicate. If your particular accent is poorly understood by others then you may:
- experience frustration from continuously having to repeat yourself
- avoid social interaction with those who have trouble understanding you
- focus on you accent more than the actual content of your message.
Such communication difficulties may negatively impact on job performance, educational advancement and everyday life activities. For these reasons, some people may want to modify or change their accent.
If you feel your accent is interfering with your daily communication, then a Speech Pathologist can assist you. A comprehensive assessment of your current speech patterns can be undertaken, to identify which specific features of your speech need to be addressed. You can then be provided with the education, training and support you need to improve your English pronunciation and make your communication in English more effective.
Changing speech patterns is not easy! It takes time, commitment and practice. Typically an “Accent Reduction” or “Accent Modification” program might involve weekly sessions over a 12-13 week period to enable skill development, practise and consolidation; however other schedules may be negotiated.
Such a program is individualised, depending on each person’s unique speech patterns and presenting issues. Skills to be targeted might include:
- developing auditory discrimination and self-monitoring skills
- modifying oral postures for various vowel sounds
- correcting the production of any incorrectly produced consonants
- modifying the rate of speech
- developing appropriate stress patterns on words
- developing more appropriate intonation patterns across phrases and sentences
- teaching phonological processes that apply in connected speech
- correcting any errors in grammar which impact on pronunciation
The Speech Pathologist can provide you with the necessary tools – information, strategies and feedback – for you to make effective change in your pronunciation of English.