We all speak with an accent. Accents are a natural part of any spoken language and are not a speech or language disorder. Many people like their accents and feel it is an important part of who they are. Unfortunately, some people who speak English as a second language find their accent can sometimes be a barrier to communication. This can affect a person's personal and professional life in many ways. In the workforce having a strong accent can contribute to ongoing frustrations and the embarrassment of not being understood and then having to repeat yourself. Many people report a lack of employment opportunities or promotion due to this communication difficulty. Accent modification/reduction is achievable with hard work, practice and the assistance of a professional speech pathologist.
At Adelaide Speech Pathology Services, we provide an individual assessment process to identify the individual characteristics of a person’s accent. This process includes evaluation of sound pronunciations (consonants & vowels) as well as rate, rhythm, stress and intonation of the client’s speech. Depending on need, further assessment of spoken and written word understanding and use of the English language may also be performed to assist with understanding the way Australians use English. The individual’s goals and reasons for seeking assistance will also be identified in the assessment process.
The nature of the intervention, training and time commitment required will depend on:
• a person’s age
• the prominence of their accent
• their native language
• their communication goals
• the person’s commitment to practice outside of sessions