When most people think of speech-language pathologists, they think of working with people who stutter, or have a speech impediment, or some other sort of communication disorder. But did you know speech therapists also work with accent modification and accent reduction?
Accent reduction isn’t for everybody. Many people consider their accent a part of their identity and have no desire to alter it in any way. However, for some people, an especially strong accent (foreign or regional) may interfere with the ability of others to understand what they’re saying. Others may feel it detracts from their message or is distracting for the listener. In these cases, many people seek out accent reduction services.
How does accent reduction work? Speech-language pathologists are trained to identify how different sounds vary between dialects and accents. During an initial assessment, a speech professional will have you read paragraphs and say words that are designed to cover all of the different sounds in Standard American English. They will then identify the sounds within your particular accent or dialect that are interfering most with the intelligibility of your speech. Additionally, the evaluation will assess your volume, rate of speech and overall stress and intonation patterns that may impact the delivery of your spoken message. Over the coming weeks, the speech-language pathologist will help you to shape and modify these features so that your speech is as clear and understandable as possible.
Having an accent in and of itself is certainly not a negative trait, and the goal of speech therapy is not accent elimination. However, clear, dynamic, articulate speech is a key component to strong communication and speech-language therapy can help you to be better understood in any situation.
Want to learn more? Check out our recent podcast on our sister site, corporatespeechsolutions.com!
Are you interested in accent reduction? Call us to schedule an assessment and learn what Speech Associates of NY can do for you. For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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