How Speech Therapy Can Help You with Accent Modification
Having a strong accent can hurt job prospects, opportunities for promotions, and even prevent you from fully using your training and credentials. Some people even feel that they have been turned down for jobs or discriminated against at work because of their accents. Even if you haven’t faced negative consequences because of a strong accent, you might still feel embarrassed about being asked to repeat yourself so often or asked to send an email, rather than talk on the phone. No matter how long you’ve known English, getting rid of a strong accent takes both time and expertise.
“How do I get an American accent?” you might ask. If you ask an ethical speech-language pathologist (SLP), he or she will tell you that getting an American accent or “American Accent Training” is an unrealistic and unnecessary goal. SLPs don’t want to take away what makes you – You. An ethical SLP wants to increase your ability to be understood and increase your self-confidence about your speech.
If you’re thinking about working with a speech therapist / SLP for accent modification or accent management coaching, you’ve probably already tried to watch YouTube videos or tried practicing with books on your own. While these methods are the most cost effective, they can’t pinpoint exactly what you as an individual need to do to improve your communication skills at work. Unless you have had a speech-language evaluation that focuses on your communication, you can’t really know what to do that will improve your communication skills, and, therefore, help make you more confident in meetings and speaking with colleagues.
Certified and Licensed Speech-Language Pathologists Coaching You
Unfortunately, there are ESL programs on the internet that advertise that “you can get rid of your foreign accent.” For $24.95 or some undisclosed amount, you can watch videos, use software, or participate in self-study to “learn how to lose your accent” and use a “standard American Accent.” The websites are quite convincing with their testimonials and client logos or lists of companies with which they work. The bad news is that most “accent reduction” companies are out there to make a quick buck and take advantage of your vulnerability. Almost all of these companies are exploiting the market and need for help with being understood at work and in social situations. However, almost all of them have one standard course with non-certified, unlicensed coaches following a manual that is not individualized and leaves clients confused at best and broken at worst. Don’t fall for claims of “how to lose your accent,” “how to get an American accent,” or “American accent training.”
At SpeechMod, we believe that clear communication enriches lives. Clear communication is vital to participating fully in life, feeling valued and meeting your personal and professional goals. With SpeechMod, you can improve your ability to communicate with others and put those goals within reach. Varieties of speech patterns and a range of regional accent variations are part of what defines a rich, varied culture. At SpeechMod, we don’t work to change these things – we wouldn’t want to.
How do I reduce my foreign accent?
For people who have decided they really need to change their accent, numerous accent modification classes are available. These classes help people pronounce sounds correctly, while also modifying syllable stress, speaking rate, and intonation of speech. To help you with your accent, a speech-language pathologist (SLP), will learn about the way you speak in words, sentences, and conversation. The SLP will also ask you about problems you have with communication and what your goals are. She will use all of this information to set goals based on what is most useful to you.
The SpeechMod Program Targets:
- Accented sounds
- Syllable stress
- Speaking rate
- Conversational speech
- Voice projection
- Public speaking
Research-Based Assessment and Coaching
Objective, Evidence-Based, Structured – every step of the way! ASHA’s Evidence-Based pyramid illustration is a quick way to understand that Evidence-Based Practice involves the intersection of the current, best research or evidence, the SLP’s clinical expertise, and the client’s or patient’s values. All three must be considered when making decisions. Our coaching sessions start with your individual scores from our research-based assessment. We share scores and results with you to customize goals and priorities. You get results based on metrics for your industry, not just testimonials put there for marketing.
Being score-based and evidence-based allows us to be:
“What’s in it for me?” you might ask. The answer is easy. SpeechMod’s accent training approach provides:
- Better outcomes for you
- Prevention of bias and discrimination at work
- Fair evaluations of communication skills for employers