Changing your accent is also known as “accent modification” or “accent reduction.” ASHA is the American national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Here is an excerpt from their website: www.ASHA.org.
What is an accent?
An accent is the unique way that speech is pronounced by a group of people speaking the same language. A person’s accent depends on many factors; however, accents are usually grouped in the following way:
- Regional Accents – for example, people who are from Texas often sound different than people who are from New York.
- Foreign Accents – for example, someone who was raised speaking English will sound different than someone who was raised speaking Spanish and learned English as an adult. Accents are a natural part of spoken languages. It is important to realize that no accent is better than another. It should also be stressed that accents are NOT a speech or language disorder.
How do accents affect communication?
Accents reflect the unique characteristics and background of a person. Many people take great pride in their accents. However, some people may have difficulty communicating because of their accent. These difficulties include the following:
- People not understanding you
- Avoiding social interaction with those who may not understand you
- Frustration from having to repeat yourself all the time
- People focusing on your accent more than on what you are trying to say
These types of communication problems may have negative effects on job performance, educational advancement, and everyday life activities. It may also negatively affect your self-esteem if you are having trouble communicating because of an accent. For all of these reasons, some people want to modify or change their accent.
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