Accent Reduction: 10 Myths and their Freeing Truths-Myths 1-2
There are many myths about accent reduction. Discovering the truths about these myths is essential in creating effective communication with native English speakers if you speak English as a non-native language. These truths will open doors to opportunities for you. They’ll assist you in expressing your unique talents, skills, personality and spirit.
Accent Reduction 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 you are interacting with people who speak English as their native language, their ears are accustomed to hearing the English speech sounds and rhythm. Their ears shout “I’M CONFUSED” when they hear an accent other than what they’re used to hearing. You have options to repair breakdown. You can wait for your listener to ask you to repeat what you’ve said. This is the passive response. Another passive option is to expect him/her to listen more closely to what you’re saying.
The risk for you in passive responses is that you are relying on your communication partner for many things. You’re expecting them to notice the breakdown and do the work necessary to repair it. You have the power to shape your native language into an American accent. That is the assertive response. If you’re having to repeat yourself, or people are frustrated, uncomfortable, or withdrawing from further conversation with you, accent reduction is a necessary component of your growth.
“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.
You will be able to see the changes as you become more proficient with the American English speech skills. To comfort that part of you that feels the need to see immediate results, assure yourself that as you absorb your new speech behaviors and work with your trainer, the only possible result is improvement. You’ll likely see some immediate results. Focus on small improvements. Larger improvements will occur as you progress.
Summary: The Truths Open you to Opportunity
The many myths about accent reduction keep talented skilled spirited individuals who speak English as a non-native language from fully expressing their unique brilliant selves. The truths that replace these myths pave the way for you to connect in a deeper way with those you serve and interact with. This goes for both personal and professional relationships.
To your communication success,