Whether you want to sound good while you speak on the phone to your friends and family, or you want more confidence during presentation delivery in English, knowing how speech therapy can help with accent modification may make a lot more sense.
While you learn accent modification, you must be clear that accent modification does not mean completely erasing a previous accent.
But, more importantly, accent modification therapy seeks to improve speech, especially in English so that the speaker is better understood. Accent modification is highly advisable in situations where a person has to learn to communicate fluently like native speakers.
It may help a lot to the person who is struggling for career progression because of their speech quality. Hence, accent modification could be useful to learn how to speak like a native, which is often the requirement of jobs in the domain of relationship management.
Why Do You Need Speech Therapy?
Having speech issues because of your unique accent could be seriously problematic for your career progression. Especially when you’re employed in an area where you’ve to communicate with several people daily.
Differences in accents could cause frustration, an embarrassment for you, and confusion for the listener, rendering you ineffective in terms of communication. This could be time-consuming if you’ve to explain it to the person several times to be sure that they are clear with what you intended to communicate.
Besides, seeking help for improving your accent is also common among a variety of groups. First, if you have different consonants and vowels in your mother tongue, then the articulation of speech with correct pronunciation could be extremely difficult for you.
According to Chicago ABA Therapy, “Business professionals and employers approach speech-language pathologists for accent issues of their employees. Poor accent makes it impossible for employers to promote their high-performing candidates. An accent that is alienated among natives also puts you at a disadvantage among other groups.”
On the other hand, students also approach speech therapy services to improve their presentation skills with hours and hours of practice. Hence, it is clearly understood that accent modification may be fruitful for good academic performance and building confidence for learning a versatile communication style.
Your Willingness to Improve is Your First Sign of Success
If you’re willing to improve, then congratulations, you’ve taken the first step towards success. Working with a professional will allow you to identify faulty speech patterns.
You’ll soon realize that a unique accent is not something that can embarrass you forever. But, you can overcome your deficiency by practice. Muscle memory plays an important role in reducing accent issues. You’ll soon find out that all you require to improve your speech is practice.
One-Size-Fits-All Approach Does Not Work
Working with a speech-language pathologist is always recommended. However, you must be aware of the fact that a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply in the science of accent modification. It is due to the reason that each language has a unique form of speech.
Unique patterns of words help to distinguish one mother tongue from another. Your language pathologists will assess your speech by evaluating how you articulate vowels and consonants. Aspects including word emphasis and syllable stress are carefully examined by pathologists.
It may help you a great deal if you’ve someone to work with word emphasis as correct emphasis can help the listener make sense of what is being said more easily. Varying pitch and tone is an art in speech and one can only learn it using careful and regular practice.
The speech pathologist mostly works with the client on their pronunciation of consonants, and vowels. Consonants and vowels may not be present in the mother tongue of the client. That is the reason why you cannot seek to improve with a one-fits-all approach. The approach must be a tailor-made one.
The work emphasis and syllable stress is another key aspect of your speech, which would be evaluated by the pathologist. These together with the rhythm in conversation will allow you to catch the accent of natives. Remember, the more conversations you’ve to involve yourself, the more you’ll improve.
Seek basic assistance for your speech therapy. Working with a certified professional in speech pathology for 6-8 weeks may do wonders for you. You’ll be able to get more comfortable during presentations and conversations with native speakers. The professional will also advise you on your use of language, volume and speech rate, pitch, intonation, and articulation. The professional will collaborate with you and set specific goals.
Customized Therapy Plan
Given the idea that each language is different and a person with a unique mother tongue may have different needs to build muscle memory to speak fluently without any discomfort. This will require working in one-to-one sessions with pathologists, who will guide according to specific needs. A customized therapy plan will be essential to identify unique errors in speech and overcome those errors with practicing conversation.
You’re unlikely to get any better if you are not practicing. More importantly, you must be able to enter an environment where you can converse with native speakers of the language. The more exposure you have to native speakers, it will be easier for you to understand the rhythm of conversation and pronunciation. Finding native speakers is also very much appreciated if your friends circle consists of foreigners who have unique accents. Working with foreign friends could be a problem as none of them would be akin to the native articulation of words and phrases.
Working with a speech-language pathologist will provide you the opportunity to identify errors in your pronunciation and correct these immediately. Through constant practice, you’ll gain command over articulating the pronunciation of words perfectly and build confidence in conversations. Improving at conversations will allow you to modify your accent suiting to the native listeners. However, one must know that accent modification is a long process, which takes time along with diligent and continuous practice.