Our accents can play a major role in our personal identity and how others perceive us. Every single person in the world has an accent, and within the English language, there is a wide variety of accents. Many people who have a regional accent or whose first language isn’t English wonder about how to modify their accent, lose their accent altogether, or in some cases, maintain their accent.
Each unique accent is one thing that we take with us everywhere, no matter where we might be travelling or relocating to. It is common for people, for a variety of reasons, to want to alter the way they speak, improve the clarity of their speech or reduce their accent. In these cases, speech therapy is a highly valuable resource to help individuals reach their speech and communication goals. In this day and age, moving from place to place is increasingly common as is the ability to work remotely from another country. With remote work, comes the use of computer microphones & headsets, making communication spotty at times, and even more difficult with some accents. If you want to learn about virtual speech therapy and accent modification, connect with us by scheduling your free introductory call today!
Should I Try to Lose my Accent?
It is common for people to wonder: “Do I need to reduce my accent? Should I try to lose my accent?” The answers to these questions aren’t always straightforward and can depend on many factors. If you are struggling to be understood by others or your pronunciation isn’t clear, then you may benefit from working to improve the clarity of your speech and your pronunciation abilities.
In some cases, a strong accent can affect your ability to succeed in social, professional, and academic scenarios. In this situation, working on accent modification with a speech therapist is certainly worth exploring.
If, however, your pronunciation is clear and you are easily understood by others, you may not need to change your accent or alter your speaking voice in any way. However, some individuals want their speaking voice to more closely match that of a native speaker, and that is their personal preference.
Is it Possible to Lose Your Accent Completely?
Because accents are completely unique to each person, how strong an accent is or how difficult it is to reduce or eliminate an accent varies widely between individuals. While it isn’t impossible to eliminate an accent completely, it does take a significant amount of time, strategy, and dedication. It is also important to note that eliminating an accent completely is never guaranteed. Speech therapy is the best resource for anyone who wants to work towards accent reduction.
How Do I Maintain My Accent?
While it is common for individuals to want to reduce or eliminate their accents, other people actually want to maintain their accents. In the case of wanting to keep an accent, some of the following exercises can help:
- Keeping in touch with people from home. Having regular phone calls, video chats, visits, etc. can go a long way towards maintaining an accent.
- Find your community. If you are living in a place that isn’t your hometown, try and find others or connect with a community of people who are also from your place of origin.
- Continuing to use slang, turns of phrases, and other familiar regional elements of speech can help you to keep feeling connected.
- Practice speaking in your first language often. This will help you to maintain your language skills, as well as reinforce your accent.
Can you Get your Accent Back?
Another question that is commonly asked about accents is whether it is possible to get an accent back after eliminating it. In most cases, accents come and go, and with a bit of practice and determination, an accent can be regained. Working with a speech and language pathologist, whatever your goals for your accent might be, is the best option when it comes to accent modification. Get started with Great Speech by scheduling your free introductory call today!
How Does an Accent Affect Speech?
While an accent is often a source of great pride and a reflection of an individual’s culture or identity, accents can also sometimes make it challenging to converse with, as well as be understood, by others.
In some cases, others may focus more on your accent than on what is being communicated and they may also ask you to repeat yourself frequently. This can make navigating professional, academic, and social situations more challenging. It is common for people with accents to feel like they may navigate these situations more easily if their accents were different or reduced. In these cases, people may decide that they want to modify or attempt to eliminate their accent.
How Can Speech Therapy Help with an Accent?
The most effective way to reduce or eliminate an accent is through working with a speech and language pathologist to learn the proper ways to produce certain speech sounds and execute new positions of the mouth and muscles. A speech therapist will also help you to learn and master these new sounds and speech patterns.
Altering, reducing, or eliminating an accent requires determination, consistency, and skill. At Great Speech, we have a large network of speech and language pathologists who are specially trained and qualified to work with individuals on a wide variety of speech and language skills. When it comes to accent modification, you and your speech therapist will work closely together to establish your goals, identify the areas that are most challenging and design a custom treatment plan. In most cases, sessions with your speech therapist will occur once or twice weekly, for half an hour at a time. Ideally, you will also commit to 15-20 minutes every day to practice your pronunciation and work on achieving your goals. If you want to learn more about how accent modification works or how speech therapy can help you improve your communication skills, get started by scheduling your free introductory call today!