Accent Reduction Programs: What does your accent convey?
Each year, thousands of people around the world enroll in accent reduction programs. They wish to learn how to communicate in American English as effectively as possible. During the consultation portion of many accent reduction programs, accent coaches will often ask potential clients to provide them with a recording of their speech. It is then used to provide the potential client with a comprehensive overview of their accent prior to therapy, highlighting any consistently mispronounced words and/or sounds, along with any vowel sounds that aren’t fully articulated. This allows the accent coach to create a customized plan of action by compiling methods and materials from various accent reduction programs, increasing the chances of long term success.
Accent reduction programs focus strictly on helping a client speak English with a clear, American accent and are in no way intended to help the person in question learn how to speak English. If you are a respected business professional who is finding it difficult to communicate with your peers because they are always asking you to repeat information, misunderstand what you are saying, or believe your accent is accent is harming your credibility, the techniques suggested in accent reduction programs can help you speak with conviction.
Accent Reduction Programs: What motivates people to seek out accent reduction programs?
Besides professional business related concerns, foreign-born speakers of English have a number of reasons for wanting to incorporate techniques from accent reduction programs into their speech. These include:
- Admittance to universities – The US has some of the very best universities and colleges in the world. To gain admittance to the top schools, foreign born U.S. college students need great grades and they also need above average English speaking skills so they can reap the full benefits of going to school in the US. Any advantage they can get over their peers, such as having an Americanized accent when they go in for scholarship interviews, can be beneficial.
- Better job offers – In order for professionals and businessmen from other countries to achieve their dream of working in the US, they must exhibit near-native English language fluency and–at minimum–a passing understanding of American business slang terms related to their field . They must also be able to communicate effectively without their accent hindering their intended message. Studies have shown the brains of native English speakers have to work harder to process information told to them by someone with a foreign accent. This process is further slowed if the native English speaker is forced to repeatedly ask for clarification, causing a sharp decline in work efficiency.
- Career advancement – Some foreign born businessmen and professionals currently working for US companies take great pains to reduce their native accents because they find the employees.
Perception also affects how they are viewed by potential clients. A client may associate a particular foreign accent with certain stereotypical beliefs. In other situations foreign born English speakers know and use proper American grammar, but their accent causes some, if not all, of their intended message to be lost on the listener, making it more likely that they will be ignored.
Want to start a personalized Accent Reduction Program?
Get started with Accent Pros free accent reduction screening! The screening will rate your accent severity using a 7 point scale: 1 being the most heavy and 7 being very mild. If you’re inclined to take it a step further, check out our various accent reduction programs we have to offer. Accent Pros has an office starter accent reduction program and an online starter accent reduction program. Both the officer starter accent reduction program and online starter accent reduction program have had all clients get a 50% of more accent reduction after 12 sessions-check it out!