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What is accent modification, and does it work?

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Accent modification (reduction) refers to an elective service sought by individuals who want to change or modify their speech patterns to sound more natural and be better understood. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are experts in communication and are especially equipped to provide accent modification training as an elective service. Though accent modification is not speech therapy, it can be referred to as "training" or "coaching."

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, some reasons that individuals may seek elective SLP services for accent modification are:

- difficulty being understood;

- frequent need to repeat oneself;

- attention being directed more toward the accent than the message; and/or

- listeners' negative attitudes toward speakers with the accent.

There are few controlled studies regarding the efficacy of accent modification, but existing studies demonstrate its effectiveness. For example, Khurana and Huang conducted a study of international medical graduates and researchers. They found that accent modification (reduction) training was highly effective for non-native English speakers. Specifically, participants made significant improvement in their “abilities to pronounce words distinctly, stress words or syllables more accurately and use body language/facial expressions appropriately.”

Online Speech Services provides professional personalized online accent modification training. If you are interested in modifying your accent so you can be better understood the first time, complete a free screening at #accentmodification #accentreduction #onlinespeechtherapy


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