Accent Reduction: 10 Myths and their Freeing Truths-Myths 3-4

In 10 Myths and Truths about Accent Reduction: Part 1 (Myths 1-2), we covered myths and truths #1 and #2 of Accent Reduction.  They were:

Review of Myths #1 & #2


“I don’t need to modify my accent for people to understand me better.”

Truth: By you speaking with more of the English sounds patterns and rhythm, your listeners’ ears and brains will have to do much less work to understand you.


“If I don’t get immediate results (am not able to use my new speech behaviors in conversational speech), it doesn’t work.”

Truth: You have been speaking with your native language speech behaviors for many years.  It will take focus, practice, awareness during your sessions with your trainer, and awareness and practice outside of sessions with your trainer.

Myths #3 and #4 have to do with expectations and time.

Myths #3 & #4


“The American accent is too complex to learn. I’ll never be able to change my native language habits.”

Truth: Diligently working with your trainer, completing homework between sessions, and using your new behaviors in your regular day to day speech, you’ll definitely see progress.

Speech-language pathologists are specially trained in the English phonemes.  Phonemes are the smallest meaningful units of speech.  Speech-language pathologists who are trained in accent reduction have training in the intonation patterns of the English accent as well.  Comfort yourself in knowing you are taking the necessary steps to systematically reduce your accent. The American accent is complex.  However, it is not too complex to learn.


“I don’t have time for changing my accent.”

Truth #1: The pay-off of  self-improvement and greater confidence in your accent can prioritize time into your schedule.  Often times “I don’t have  time”  is code for “I’m not sure the payoff will be worth it.”  When you know you want to change something in yourself or your daily life for the better, you are motivated.  When the same topic resurfaces for you to change, it is a signal that the benefits of acting on it will be well worth your time and effort.  You are inspired to take the time in your schedule to make it happen

Truth #2: Busy people have actually been given a gift in time constraints.  Sometimes “I don’t have  time” is code for “I’m procrastinating.”  Another way of saying this is “I’m distracting myself with non-priority tasks to create time management obstacles so I don’t have to commit to this goal.”  Prioritizing your schedule to fit in the time necessary to meet your goals is easier when you have other obligations.  The bigger obligations force you to avoid procrastinating and get done what’s needs to be done.  It gives you no other choice.


Although changing your accent takes effort, time, and focus, with an accent trainer, an inner drive for self-improvement, and a regular schedule, you’ll be best able to change your accent habits.  Your schedule accent trainer will provide the structure and support you need.

To your communication success,



Bonnie NussbaumSeptember 24th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I love your statement about busy people being given a gift in their time constraints! I’m going to use that reframe for myself!!

Kailean WelshSeptember 24th, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I think the English language is very difficult, and yet know the importance of clear communication. It might appear overwhelming to many to reduce their accent, but it’s clear to me that you have the knowledge and the skills to get people where they want to be.

MatejaSeptember 24th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Always great posts Cher I have learned a lot from you. In my personal opinion, I don’t think that everyone needs to change their accent unless they are working in a profession that this can be disruptive. If I use myself as an example again, Slovenian language is much more complex than English and speaking with an accent actually makes me more interesting. Many of my clients here in So Fl feel more comfortable with me because I am an immigrant myself and on occasions got mistreated because of my accent by people who are ignorant and think that if you have an accent, that you are not educated. I am highly educated to this bothered me in the past but now I just let it go.

ChristineSeptember 24th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Knowing we want to change something truly does make it a priority. This wisdom extends to all areas of life. Thanks so much for sharing such helpful tips.

VeronicaSeptember 24th, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I resonate with number 4 Char! I believe this is true in many areas of self-improvement. The fear of change is powerful and can take on many guises. Our parent’s voice, a cruel teacher, childhood perceptions – they all come into play. I appreciate how deeply you work with breaking the resistance to help clients move forward to success! I know you are amazing at what you do!

Tina GamesSeptember 24th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

As someone who studied speech pathology in college, I’m finding all of your blog posts fascinating! ~ I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. There are many regional dialects here in the United States – and some are harder to understand than others. What you teach/coach is helpful to everyone, including native American English speakers. 🙂

Marit GrendstadSeptember 25th, 2014 at 2:59 am

Reading Tina´s post last, what do I do – my accent has been classified as Mid-Atlantic – hmm 🙂

TeenaSeptember 25th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Love it Cher – you are gifted at motivating people towards self improvement so they can best communicate their gifts to the world! This is priceless and precious 🙂 Thank you!


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