Accent Elimination vs Speaking English with Clarity
Clients who are speakers of English as a Second Language sometimes tell me they’d like to lose their accents completely. I always reply, “Your accent is a beautiful part of who you are.”
An actor playing a role in a movie needs to convince us they come from another country, but you just have to be “you.” With pride in your roots, you can alter the parts of your accent that get in the way of your being understood and learn effective speaking skills to communicate with confidence and conviction.
In real life, it’s about…
Making adjustments to your accent where it affects intelligibility and adding the elements of English that connect with people in the workplace and the community.
It’s not about accent elimination. It’s all about Speaking English with Clarity.
For clients seeking accent management, we’ll begin by recording a sample paragraph to get a baseline for measuring your progress. We’ll talk about your background, experience, concerns, goals. What feedback have you been getting at work and in the community? I’ll listen carefully to pinpoint the areas in your speaking skills that are holding you back. Then I’ll tailor a program of study to address your needs.
What situations are the biggest problems for you?
- Using specific workplace vocabulary?
- Giving instructions to employees or patients?
- Speaking to customers or clients over the telephone?
- Giving a presentation?
- Talking with colleagues, friends, professionals, your child’s teacher, medical personnel?
One by one, I identify your roadblocks, quiet your inner voice of self-criticism, and help you find the right tools for practice on the go.
I help you work on…
- The mechanics of speech (how to connect physical sensations with the sound of correct English pronunciation)
- The music of English (how to incorporate stress, rhythm, pitch, and linking)
- Listening versus reading (how to escape the traps of English spelling)
- The mindset behind learning a new language and the accent that goes with it
- Finding useful language for the workplace, pronouncing sector-specific vocabulary, preparing work presentations
- Learning how to breathe and finding the power in your voice.
Every client is different. So how much time we spend on each element depends on your level of language and communication proficiency, and your personal goals.
Practising a little between sessions, from 5 to 15 minutes, six days a week, will improve your chances of success. I see far better results when clients make a point of practising daily, however little, than when they practise once or twice a week, however much. How quickly you improve depends on your situation, your perseverance, and your commitment to practice.