Sylvia Whiteside is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who has been working exclusively in the area of Accent Management for the past 10 years. Accent Management Training involves adding the features of spoken English that are important to clear speech. These can include sounds as well as stress and intonation. While frequently referred to as Accent Modification or Accent Reduction, Sylvia prefers the term Accent Management for those clients who would benefit from changing a small group of features in order to speak clearly. Reducing or modifying an accent implies that something needs to be removed when treatment generally adds (or changes) sounds or features, such as stress that are not part of a client’s first language.
Some features of an accent cause more communication breakdowns than others. Accent Management Training focuses on changing those features that impact speech clarity the most for each individual client. Accents are a part of a person’s history and personality and do not need to be eliminated for a person to effectively communicate in English. Since Accent Management Training focuses on a smaller group of goals, it is more cost-effective and time-efficient.
Accent Management Training can be of benefit to:
- Foreign-born Professionals needing to improve their pronunciation so they can work successfully in Canada or advance in their careers.
- Competent English speakers who have difficulty communicating their ideas on the phone or out in the community due to accent.
- ESL speakers who lack the confidence to speak socially or at work because they fear being misunderstood.
- Employers looking to improve the efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness of their ESL employees’ communication with co-workers and clients.
- Anyone who frustrated is by communication breakdowns that occur as a result of accented speech.
- ESL speakers who have a personal goal of improving their spoken English even if they speak clearly. In this case, more goals would be added with an end point to training dependent on the client’s personal goals.