Accent Reduction: 10 Myths and their Freeing Truths (Myths 9-10)
In 10 Myths and Truths about Accent Reduction (Myths 7-8), we covered myths and truths #7 and #8 of Accent Reduction. They were:
Review of Myths #7 & #8
“Accent reduction is only for people who have been speaking English a long time.”
Truth: Accent reduction is for English language learners who know enough English to communicate at an intermediate to advanced level.
“Accent reduction is only for people who are learning English. It’s too late for non-native English speakers who’ve been been speaking English for a long period of time.”
Truth: It is never too late to learn new things.
Myths #9 & #10
Myths #9 and #10 have to do with feeling connected to your native culture and heritage and expectations of what you might think you’re expected to know.
“Accent reduction will cause me to lose connection with my culture and heritage.”
Truth: The goal of accent reduction is to minimize communication barriers. You can still maintain your culture and heritage at the same time you’re connecting with people, memories, and events in your other language(es). You have the choice to take the perspective that you are embarking on new experiences and that you are not abandoning one culture to adopt another.
If you find yourself in life circumstances that prevent you from physically being around people of your native language you have a choice. You can create those connections virtually. On the other hand, you may choose not to. Embrace the fact that you are taking on new challenges and stepping into new chapter in your life.
“I should be able to be understood without an accent if I’ve been speaking English for many years.”
Truth: You’re not expected to know the subtleties of an accent that you weren’t born with. Your ear hasn’t been trained nor have you been given instruction to know the difference between your native language and your other language accents. it would be like someone never having to go to engineering school to be an engineer. Engineer doesn’t gain the skills by working alongside another engineer without discussing, receiving instruction, and studying the skills. You are not expected to know how to modify your accents merely by speaking your other language.
Firstly, accent reduction won’t cause you to lose connection with your culture and heritage. Secondly you are not expected to know the differences between your native language and your second or other language merely from speaking it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and found it valuable for increasing your insight of the truth about accent reduction and how it can help you.
To your communication success,