Speech language pathologists (SLPs) are communication specialists who are uniquely qualified to provide accent modification training. SLPs take undergraduate and graduate courses in language development, articulation, phonetics, phonology, and the anatomy and physiology of the speech & hearing mechanism.

Difference vs Disorder:

Accent modification or accent training is not considered treatment because clients who wish to modify their accent for personal or professional reasons, do not have a disorder, they only have a difference. The components of their first language have an influence on English communication. Participating in accent modification services means making a choice to modify a difference, not a disorder.

What are the two kinds of accents?

Regional accents encompass how an individual’s speech patterns sound in various places across the country. For example, a person from Honolulu, Hawai’i will probably have a different regional accent than a person from Nashville, Tennessee.

A national origin accent tends to come up when an individual learns English later on in life, such as when they reach adulthood. A person whose first and primary language is English may sound different from a native Spanish-speaking person who learned English later on in life.

What is an SLPs approach to accent modification?

SLPs are experts trained in modifying, remediating and habilitating speech sound production. SLPs have received training in voice and resonance. Additionally, SLPs have training in the suprasegmental aspects of speech, language and communication, which include word & sentence stress, rhythm, intonation, word linking & word reductions. SLPs have foundational knowledge in nonverbal communication skills, such as volume, tone of voice, facial expression, and body language.

SLPs take a comprehensive approach to refine and train English pronunciation and communication skills (verbal, non-verbal, and cultural communication skills). Their education includes years of training and clinical fellowship work (being mentored by a certified SLP), and yearly continuing education hours. SLPs hold certification authorized by their state, and by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association. When looking for a professional to provide accent training and accent modification, contact an SLP first.

When do I contact an SLP for accent modification training?

  1. When your first language isn’t English and you would like to modify your accent in English.
  2. When you would like to modify your regional accent.
  3. When you want to communicate better professionally.
  4. When you want to learn a new accent for a role.

What does accent training with an SLP look like?

Our Speech-language pathologist at Speech Language Planner uses a multimodal approach to accent modification training. This means that many strategies are offered and implemented such as the following:

  • Personalized, direct, specific, 1:1 instruction
  • Audio and video recording with feedback
  • Transfer of improved skills to reading out loud and conversation
  • Practice materials
  • Personalized homework assignments
  • Accountability to meet practice goals

What are some of the strategies an SLP will coach me through?

  • Modifying your accent to produce American English sounds
  • Understanding letter-sound association
  • Effectively communicate the melody for making statements and asking questions
  • Speaking slower and putting pauses in
  • Speaking at an appropriate volume
  • Identifying different sounds in words
  • Improve presentation delivery, interview skills, conference calls and conversation effectiveness

Are you ready to modify your accent for personal or professional reasons? Speech Language Planner currently serves individuals in New Mexico, Arizona, and Florida. Schedule a free phone consultation with Speech Language Planner today so our speech-language pathologist will help you achieve your accent modification goals!

 

References:

Packard, D. (2019). Speech-Language Pathologists & Their Role in Accent Modification. Retrieved from: https://packardcommunications.com/2019/02/11/slp-accent-modification/

Roseberry-McKibbin, C., Giri, & Tellis, G. M. (2016). An advanced review of speech-language pathology: Preparation for the Praxis SLP and comprehensive examination. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.