Accent reduction or modification is a growing field as more immigrants seek to fit in with the local culture.
Online PR News – 21-November-2018 – Accent reduction or modification is a growing field as more immigrants seek to fit in with the local culture. While this is still a controversial topic for many, it is a growing trend for those who see the benefits. The Accent Coach, Claudette Roche, discusses the advantages of taking accent reduction classes.
The reasons behind a person choosing to attend accent reduction classes can be many. It is often led by a desire to find more job opportunities and to fit in with the company culture. Critics see it as a negative influence of locals who fail to accept those who are different, but Roche looks at the positive side of accent reduction. One of the biggest benefits for the student is they have more possibilities for their careers if their accent is reduced. "A thick accent can make someone difficult to understand," explains Roche. "The person may get passed over for promotions because of a lack of clarity in their speech."
Roche goes on to explain that people with jobs in customer service or sales must be easy to understand and able to communicate clearly. "Misunderstandings can cost a company money or result in customer dissatisfaction," Roche says. This is one reason many jobs require a person to speak English fluently, which not only means using the right words but being understood.
Another benefit to taking accent reduction classes is to increase the person's confidence. Someone who is able to speak clearly and understands nuances of the English language will feel more confident in speaking up in group settings and one-on-one. Rather than staying silent because it is too difficult to make themselves understood, the person is more likely to speak up when they have an idea or when something is not right. Opportunities for the person increase and they are more inclined to take them because they believe they can be successful. A common misconception for people who are not familiar with accent reduction is the idea that the person is trying to become "Americanized" or to lose all traces of the accent and their individuality. Roche says this is not the case. The focus is on speaking clearly and slowing down the speech to improve the pronunciation of vowels and many of the consonants so the person can be understood. The accent may not be as pronounced, but the goal is not to make them sound American unless that is what the person wants. Reducing the accent will often improve communication, lessen misunderstandings and allow the person to feel more confident in talking to people from all over the world.
Roche recommends that anyone who feels they have a strong accent or difficulty being understood in their work or personal life to consider a speech reduction class. They can learn how to speak clearly without losing their individuality while giving them more confidence to talk to anyone regardless of where they are from or the situation they find themselves in.
“Misunderstandings can cost a company money or result in customer dissatisfaction”