I found a nice article about accent reduction therapy in the York Regional Municipality, in Ontario Canada.
For York Region’s growing and diverse newcomer community, the accent is on quality of life and business success. Literally. With dozens of cultures represented in our communities, English is rarely an immigrant’s first language. Fundamental English fluency is often present, but the distinctive pronunciations of the mother tongue can create a contrasting and problematic accent.
“Although I had a professional background, I often experienced prejudice because my accent made me sound unsophisticated and not too intelligent,” said Thornhill’s Elvan Girgin, who arrived from her native Turkey in 2000. [full article here]
Some key points:
- Accent reduction therapy takes time, and requires a lot of effort from both the client and speech therapist to be successful.
- People make judgments based on a person’s accent – and these judgments can hold you back professionally.
- Accent therapy can help people increase their confidence in their communication skills.
- Your accent is part of who you are. You don’t lose your accent; you improve it!
Overall I liked the article, although I prefer to use the term “accent modification” rather than “accent reduction.” Everyone has an accent, and in accent modification therapy we help you to match the accent of the people around you. That way you can communicate more clearly, while staying true to yourself.