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,