We live in a society with people from all over the world, so we have all been exposed to different accents one way or another.
However, in some cases an accent can cause difficulty with being understood, causing frustration.
This is one of the reasons why some people make the decision to modify their pronunciation with accent modification speech therapy.
If you feel like your accent is causing you frustration, you might benefit from accent modification speech therapy.
There are also many misconceptions about accent modification speech therapy.
The goal of this article is to address them, so please keep reading, we might have the answers you’re looking for.
MYTH: The Goal Of Accent Modification Is To Sound Like A Native Speaker
Some will enter into accent modification speech therapy with the idea of sounding exactly like a native English speaker.
This, however, is a common misconception that just isn’t true.
Why it’s False
The true goal of accent modification speech therapy is to improve your ability to communication with other people.
This can be particularly useful if you have a career that involves a lot of talking, like sales or public speaking, for example.
Many actors have also benefited from accent modification training, so they can play foreign characters.
Accent modification speech therapy is not meant to “erase” your accent, but to provide you with the skills to convey ideas to other people in a manner that’s easy for locals to understand.
Related: What To Expect From Accent Modification Treatment.
MYTH: Not Everybody Has An Accent
There are people living in every corner of the world, in places with different languages and cultures, so it’s impossible for everyone to have the same accent.
However, some people think their native accent is “normal”, and everybody else has an accent.
This is false.
Why it’s False
An accent is simply the way you pronounce words, and this depends on the region you come from, so basically everyone who speaks a language has an accent.
In fact, even sign language has what some consider to be an equivalent to different accents.
There are many misconceptions about accents, so a quick way to gain perspective on the matter is realizing that even people born in the same country have different accents.
Related: What Makes Your Speech Sound The Way It Does?
MYTH: Accent Modification Is Cultural Assimilation
Accents are normal and they are part of a person’s speech, so it’s understandable that they are also connected to a person’s identity and culture.
However, this myth can only really come from the idea that accent modification is the same as erasing your accent, which is just not true.
Why it’s False
Accent modification is not used to force anyone to fit into a society.
In fact accents can change naturally when you don’t speak in your native language for a long period of time.
However, they never truly disappear.
As previously mentioned, accent modification exists to train your pronunciation in order to make it easier for others to understand you, without losing your culture and heritage.
MYTH: If You Have An Accent, It’s Your Fault
You will most likely encounter many people who believe you can change your accent easily or that you’re not putting enough effort to change it.
However, accents are not a problem that needs to be fixed.
Why it’s False
Accents happen naturally and you can only get the accent of a native speaker if you started getting immersed in their language before you were 6 years old, so it’s not one’s fault.
As well, it’s important to note that accents only become a problem when they cause issues with communicating.
If the people around you can understand you, you don’t need accent modification.
Essentially, your accent is not a problem until it is a problem.
So How Does Accent Modification Speech Therapy Work?
If you have now decided to modify your accent, you are probably wondering how it all works.
First, make sure you have the right reasons for it and remember that people decide to improve their accents for a variety of reasons.
Some of the most common reasons to get accent modification speech therapy include:
- To be able to communicate with DC natives more clearly
- To make it easier to get used to your surroundings if you’re new to the DC area
- To improve your self confidence
- To get an advantage in the workplace, especially if you work in a speech heavy field
The next step is to call a Washington DC speech therapy clinic near you to book an appointment.
During your first appointment, you can expect your speech therapist to:
- Ask you about your goals in regards to accent modification treatment
- Ask about your speech history, including any other speech disorders you may have, like cleft lip or palate or an orofacial myofunctional disorder
- Review your speech patterns to locate areas for improvement
From there, your speech therapist will put together a personalized treatment plan designed to meet your goals and your needs.
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
Did you find your question answered here?
Are you curious about accent modification speech therapy?
Either way, we can help.
Book your appointment with District Speech today.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.