Accents can be something to take pride in, a symbol of where you’re from and your unique self.
However, you may have found that you’re encountering some barriers when it comes to your accent.
If you’re finding you have to repeat yourself a lot in conversations, or feel like your accent isn’t taken as seriously as you’d like in professional settings, you may want to consider accent modification.
Or, maybe you’re interested in acting and want to explore your skill set by being able to shift to multiple different accents.
Accent modification is about adding skills to your toolbox, not erasing who you are or where you’re from.
With accent modification you can shift within contexts to be more easily understood, which can increase your confidence.
If accent modification sounds like something you’d be interested in, we can help.
Let’s take a closer look at how accent modification speech therapy works.
What Is Accent Modification Therapy?
Once upon a time, accent modification was called “accent reduction”.
The idea was that one would “reduce” their accent, and therefore make you better understood by the locals in the place where you now live.
We don’t look at it that way anymore.
Your accent is a sort of imprint of the geographic location of where you live, or once lived.
Everybody who speaks has an accent, no matter where they’re from.
Here in Austin, the local accent tends to differ from people in Houston, Dallas, or Lubbock.
Head over to Wisconsin or New York, and you’ll find two different local accents, even though they’re in the same country.
And of course, head over to Ireland or Australia, and they’ll be different still.
Which one is an English accent? The truth is, they all are.
You can’t “reduce” your accent, because it’s not a thing some people have more or less of.
However, you can modify it to make yourself more easily understood by Austin locals.
Some people want to modify their accents for certain contexts – for example, you may want to change your accent while at work, but keep your usual accent for when you’re with friends and family.
Do Kids Need Accent Modification Speech Therapy?
In some cases, speech therapy for kids can include accent modification.
If you and your family moved to the Austin area while your kids are in their teens, for example, it may be more difficult for them to adapt to the local accent.
However, if your kids are fairly young, they should have less difficulty speaking like a local.
The reason for this is the same as the reason why early intervention speech therapy tends to be more effective – kids can more easily learn new speech and language techniques at a younger age.
As a result, it’s more common for accent modification to be a part of adult speech therapy.
Why Get Accent Modification Speech Therapy?
Having an accent is not a negative thing, and there is nothing wrong with having a specific accent.
You should never feel like you must change your accent.
That said, there are many reasons you might want to modify your accent.
From feeling more easily understood to being more confident, let’s talk about the reasons you might want to explore accent modification therapy.
1. Help Others Understand You Better
The most common reason to want to modify your accent is to be more easily understood.
Sometimes, accents may be challenging for other people to decipher.
Especially in professional settings, it can be valuable to be able to modify your accent so you can more easily communicate with those around you.
2. Feel More Like A Local
If you’ve moved recently, you may want to modify your accent so you sound more like one of the locals.
While some people like feeling unique, others want to blend in more with those around them.
If you’re tired of standing out and want to feel more at home in your community, then accent modification may be for you.
3. Improve Self Confidence
If your accent affects the way you’re understood by those around you, that can really make a mark on your self confidence.
If people are having trouble with the way you communicate that doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re talking about, but it may start to feel that way.
Once you’re more easily understood, your confidence can build back up again.
People often seek out speech therapy for stuttering for the same reason.
4. Improve Your Pronunciation
You may just want to make sure you’re pronouncing words in English correctly.
English can be complicated, so you may want to make sure you have a well rounded understanding of how certain words are expected to be said.
This will lend to your confidence as well, as you won’t be worried about making a blunder or saying something in an unexpected way.
5. To Prepare For A Role As An Actor
You may want to be able to modify your accent to prepare for acting roles.
To authentically settle into roles of different backgrounds, you’ll want to be able to adapt to many varied ways of speaking.
Because accent modification is about adding skills, not taking anything away, you can keep learning modification techniques for many different accents.
What To Expect From Accent Modification Speech Therapy
Seeing a speech language pathologist for accent modification is a great way to explore your accent.
Your speech therapist will first listen to your goals and pay attention to how your native accent plays a role in your pronunciation.
They may have you read some passages out loud, as well as paying close attention to how you speak when in dialogue.
Your Austin speech therapist will get to the root of what makes your accent unique, and then talk to you about the differences between it and the accent you’d like to adapt to.
Once this has been established, it’s about making sure you have the muscle memory to recall that accent naturally as you speak.
Remember that you’re in charge of your goals when it comes to accent modification.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy
If accent modification sounds like it might benefit you, don’t wait.
Here at Sol Speech and Language therapy, we’re here to help you reach your goals so you can feel like your most confident and authentic self.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy today to get started.
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.