Accent Modification Therapy

Falls Church Speech TherapistAs a Northern Virginia speech therapist, I am frequently contacted by professionals who are interested in accent modification therapy and would like to improve their production of Standard American English.  The reasons for individuals wanting to minimize their accent are varied, but often relate to the following:

–   Others they communication with (i.e., colleagues, etc.) have difficulty understanding them and they are frequently asked to repeat themselves

–   Individual forsees the importance of improving their English communication skills for a potential job promotion

–   Individual may be transitioning into a new phase of their life (e.g., transitioning from school to workplace)

–  Individual may have been referred by a workplace supervisor

Accent Modification Therapy in Northern Virginia

Often the first question that I am asked is whether I will be able to eliminate an individual’s native accent.  In my opinion, it is not a realistic goal for a person to expect that their accent will be eliminated completely through accent modification therapy.  Instead, I point out that I believe that an individual’s accent plays a large role in their cultural identity and uniqueness and that I view my role as helping clients to improve their overall intelligibility when communicating in English.

Initially, a complete accent modification assessment is conducted in order to assess how the client’s accent differs from Standard American English to identify specific areas of difficulty, and to design an individualized training program.  Based on the results of the assessment, training sessions will focus on specific areas of standard American English, including:

  • Articulation (i.e., production of specific speech sounds)
  • Stress/Intonation (i.e., the rhythm and melody of language)
  • Grammar
  • Rate of Speech
  • Naturalness Factors (e.g., word linking/reduction, thought groups and focus words)

Clients should also expect their individualized training program to target those aspects of English communication that they perceive as most important to their success in the workplace and/or social situations.

Modifying an accent requires hard work and practice.  In addition to weekly accent modification therapy sessions, clients will be provided with homework assignments to reinforce the concepts that have been covered during their sessions.

To learn more about accent modification therapy, please visit the following:

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/accent-modification/

If you are interested in learning more about accent modification services provided by A Step Above Speech Language Pathology, please contact us for more information.  We cater to clients in Northern Virginia, specifically in Herndon, Reston, Arlington, Vienna, Mclean, Annandale, Fairfax, Merrifield, and Washington, D.C.

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Accent Modification TherapyGeoffrey Greenman, M.A., CCC-SLP is a Northern Virginia speech therapist.  He is the owner of “A Step Above Speech-Language Pathology.” We are a McLean speech private practice that provides accent modification therapy.