Accent Modification – Clear Speech for better communication
Internal communications can be strained when accents are difficult to understand. And it is likely that the strain does not just come from non-native speakers being understood, but also from them understanding the accent of the majority. Accent modification training (also called accent reduction, pronunciation and elocution) is an important step for improving communications. Accent modification is about training people to speak clearly so that others understand, not only their words, but also their meaning. Learning the correct way to say vowels and consonants is only the beginning of learning to speak clearly. Understanding how Canadians run their words together, use stress and intonation, reduce or drop vowels and parts of words are all necessary to take pronunciation improvement to the next level. Voice to Word Consulting focuses on the specifics of pronunciation improvement while expanding vocabulary and cultural awareness through discussion and text. Drawing on cultural associations, personal values and past experience, we explore the unique nature of North American business and social settings.
How long does it take?
Changing an accent is not an easy task. At Voice to Word Consulting, we approach accent modification with proven strategies, valuable exercises and compassion. We identify and first help you to correct your most serious pronunciation errors, moving on to refine other details of elocution as desired by the client. The time that pronunciation training takes depends upon a variety of factors – the original degree of pronunciation difficulty, student motivation, innate ability with language, ability to focus and the degree of interaction within English-speaking environments. Remember that many internationally educated professionals have been speaking English for much of their lives. Similar to learning an instrument, it takes time to learn, use and establish new patterns. What are some of the areas we might focus on?
- Individual vowels, consonants & consonant clusters
- Syllable & sentence stress
- Intonation – the melody of the language
- Rhythm – the combination of stress, phrasing & intonation
- Connected speech – blending, joining and dropping of sounds
- Tone & volume