Everybody who speaks has an accent.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from.

The only way to avoid an accent, in fact, is to not speak at all.

However, if you’ve recently moved to the Austin area from somewhere else, you might struggle with adopting the way we speak English here.

For the most part, though, native English speakers can understand each other, even if you might get a bit of a chuckle based on the vocabulary you use.

But English as a second language is a different story.

For some folks, their accent can get in the way of their ability to be understood.

This can be frustrating, but there’s more to it than that.

However, there is help.

Read on to find out more how accent modification & reduction speech therapy services can help you to communicate more clearly within your local community.

Is An Accent A Bad Thing?

Absolutely not!

As we mentioned above, everybody who speaks has an accent. In fact, even people who communicate using sign language have the same sorts of regional differences you might think of as accents.

If having an accent is wrong, that means that language itself is wrong – and that’s just silly.

Many people are quite proud of their accent, in fact. It’s a symbol of where they came from, the home they left behind to build a new life in a new home. It’s a conversation starter, a way to stand out from the pack, a way to connect with other folks who come from your homeland.

If that’s you, great. Here at Sol Speech & Language, the last thing we want to do is make anybody feel negatively about who they are.

However, having an accent can sometimes cause issues in day to day life. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to seek speech therapy for accent modification.

To Be Better Understood

Most people don’t have a lot of difficulty understanding somebody with an accent. This is especially true with a city like Austin that has such a significant Spanish speaking population. People here are used to hearing English spoken with an accent. However, if you have a particularly thick accent, it might make it more difficult for people to understand what you’re saying.

This can be incredibly frustrating. It can cost you opportunities in your personal and professional life. In all interpersonal areas, a particularly thick accent can hold you back.

Accent modification and reduction speech therapy can help you manage that.

To Increase Your Confidence

Having trouble being understood can cause more than just frustration. If your speech isn’t well understood by the people around you, it can seriously impact your self confidence. This can be a tough pill to swallow, especially for people who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their individual craft. It’s not that you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s that the people around you are having trouble understanding how you’re communicating it.

So you just decide to not speak up. Why bother with all the frustration of expressing your ideas when the people around you won’t understand you anyway? This can cause issues like social anxiety and isolation, in the same way that a stuttering disorder can.

Accent modification and reduction speech therapy can help. By training you to speak in a way that locals can better understand, it can dramatically increase your confidence.

To Feel More Like A Local

An accent can make you stand out from the pack. Some people like it that way, but others don’t.

If your accent makes you feel like an outsider, accent modification speech therapy can help.

Clear, confident communication is possible. Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help. 

Book a consultation today to find out how.

Accent Modification Vs. Accent Reduction

You may find some places refer to this process as accent reduction instead of accent modification. What’s the difference?

Functionally, it’s the same thing. However, since everybody has an accent, calling it “accent reduction” doesn’t really make much sense. There’s no reduction happening.

As a result, speech therapists have switched to calling the process “accent modification”.

How Does Accent Modification Work?  

During your first session, your speech therapist will discuss your language goals with you. From there, they’ll listen to the way you speak, paying special attention to the ways your speech sounds are influenced by your native tongue.

From there, your speech therapist will put together a plan to help you address these elements, helping you speak more like a native English speaker.

This might include things like:

  • Conversation
  • Reading aloud
  • Individual letters
  • Syllables
  • Full words and sentences

As for the individual elements, there are a wide variety of different parts of speech that can affect you, depending on what your native language is. For example, if German is your first language, you might pronounce “the” like “fhe”. And if Russian is your first language, you might have trouble with W, pronouncing it like a V instead.

This sort of thing happens when native English speakers learn other languages as well. For example, we often have difficulty with rolling r’s when we learn Spanish or Italian.

Whatever it is that’s setting your accent apart from others, an accent modification speech therapist will work to understand what it is, and provide you with a treatment plan.

Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech & Language Therapy Today

Are you struggling to be understood?

Do the people around you tend to pass up your ideas? Do they assume they’re not worth listening to because they can’t be bothered to understand you?

If so, Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help.

Book your appointment with us today, and take your first step toward clearer communication.

Clear, confident communication is possible. Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help. 

Book a consultation today to find out how.