Everyone has an accent, be it native or non-native.
However, is your accent preventing you from being clearly understood despite a high level of language proficiency? Are you tired of having to repeat yourself? Do you feel that your personal or professional opportunities are limited because of your accent?
If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, you may have considered accent modification training, and wondered how the process works.
Accent training is an elective service that helps individuals achieve clarity and effectiveness in their communication skills. The process of accent training can be broken down into three steps.
Step 1 – Assessment
No two accents are completely alike, so the first step to accent training is an in-depth assessment.
Typically, we’d ask you to say various words, formulate sentences, read paragraphs, and converse spontaneously. This allows us to collect a set of data on both segmental (speech-sound production) and suprasegmental (prosodic) aspects of the accent.
The assessment also takes into consideration your specific needs, struggles, and goals, both personal and professional.
Step 2 – Individualization
Next, the results of the assessment are used to develop a personalized set of speech objectives and accent modification goals, as well as a detailed strategy to achieve these goals.
Typically, we will first and foremost target accent elements that would make the most difference in your communication clarity, and in your personal or professional life.
Step 3 – Training
The accent training of the highly individualized program is also specifically tailored to your learning style, objectives, and circumstances.
Many techniques are used to train accent targets, including awareness building, phonetic training, self-feedback skills, carry-over of learned skills to everyday conversations… The techniques used can vary widely from person to person. Every person is unique, and so is your training program.
The accent coaching sessions are usually on a weekly basis. You are given all the materials and instructions you need to practice independently. Consistent home practice (minimum 15 minutes per day) is paramount for success.
Many people believe that accent modification is difficult or even impossible. The truth is, with the right techniques and expert guidance, it is not only possible, but you’d be surprised at how quickly you improve!
Got more questions? Ready to discover the world of new opportunities as a confident speaker? Contact me today for a complimentary consultation.