Last week we discussed some aspects of the infamous “New Yawk” accent. Although some consider this regional accent an integral part of their identity, others would love nothing more than to tone down the regional distinction. When this is the case, the goal is usually Standard American English (SAE), the American “accentless accent”.
Standard American English is a type of English speech that sounds identifiably American, but has no particular regional accent. This is the type of speech you might hear when listening to your average American newscaster or journalist. Typically, when someone wants to reduce their accent in American English, the goal is SAE.
Accent reduction isn’t for everybody; many people have strong, identifiable accents and consider them a positive aspect of their communication style. However, for many people, an accent can negatively impact communication. In some cases, the accent is so heavy, that others, particularly those who are non-native speakers of the language, have trouble understanding. In other cases, people may feel that the accent projects a certain stereotype or image. If the accent is particularly distinct, people may be distracted and focus more on the person’s speech than their message.
If you feel your accent is interfering with your professional or personal goals in any way, a speech-language pathologist can help. The speech-therapist will perform an initial evaluation and determine which sounds are impacting his or her speech the most. Then, the client and speech-pathologist will work together on an individualized program, gradually replacing the accented sounds with the targets. With time and professional advisement, many people can nearly eliminate their accent altogether.
Do you want to improve your communication skills and learn how to make the most of your professional interactions? Give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and let our team of corporate speech-language pathologists help you turn your speech into your most powerful professional tool. Don’t live in NYC? No problem! Our services are Skype ready, so CSS can help you improve your communication from anywhere in there world.