Posts Tagged ‘Accent Modification’

Accent Modification Training: Part Three

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Linguistics Plays a Part

Accent and grammar are usually established by ages six and twelve respectively. In order to help someone change their accent, an instructor needs to be a linguistics specialist and have the knowledge of a speech therapist.

A language school may claim to provide this training, but beware, a language instructor will not have the skills and training of a linguistics professional.

Accents are influenced by the tongue, lip position, vocal cords and air movement through the mouth or nose; instructors must be able to show students how to manipulate these in order to limit mispronunciations as a result of their accent.

Many companies offer language training to international global relocation transferees, though few offer accent modification training which is often required more than traditional language training.

Companies often dismiss accent modification as being too expensive, or because they feel there is little that can be done to correct the problems caused by accents. In fact, there is much that can be done to correct accent-related problems, and as companies research the various options available they will find that it is surprisingly cost effective and beneficial.

Accent-Modification Training: Part Two

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Improving Accent Through Training

A foreign national’s accent may impede their communication ability, even though they are fluent in English. Recent associated research shows that accents are caused mostly through differences in rhythm and stress, as well as difficulty in making certain sounds linguistically. A common example is putting an emphasis on the wrong syllable.

Accent is almost impossible to improve without training. Speakers seldom can hear what they are mispronouncing and even if a listener points it out to them, they are unlikely to know how to correct it. For example, certain regions mix up L and R sounds because they cannot hear the difference, they may not notice a mispronunciation, but others may not be able to understand what they trying to communicate.

Accent-modification training is provided by universities, global relocation companies and private training companies where individuals are trained how to identify incorrect pronunciations and how to exercise their mouth and tongue to correct the problem. Other teaching methods include mimicry, which helps students correct pronunciation, rhythm and stress by watching videos of native language speakers, then mimicking what they hear and see, including body language.

Typically, most training programs incorporate individualized programs developed as a result of a comprehensive speech analysis. These programs usually last between ten and 20 sessions. For some, improvement can be seen immediately, but it can also take between three and six months for others.

Most programs can be provided one-on-one or in a classroom setting. Classroom programs generally take longer and are less expensive than one-on-one tutoring but one-on-one tutoring is more effective and quicker.

Accent-Modification Training: Part One

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

There are several types of training courses available for foreign nationals relocating internationally to the United States. From cultural awareness training to language training, Global relocation companies can employ several tactics to help foreign nationals better acclimate to life and business in a new country.

Language training may be the most obvious form of support for foreign nationals in the United States. This may be the case for those transferees who speak little or no English, but many Global Relocation companies overlook those transferees who relocate from countries where English is a first or second language.

Some companies may assume that when a transferee relocates to the United States from an English speaking country such as India or Singapore, they have a command of the English language and need little assistance, but what many companies are beginning to realize is that a foreign national who is completely fluent in the English language may still be commonly misunderstood because of their accent.

Benefits of Accent-Modification Training

Companies internationally relocate foreign nationals to the United States at great expense. They are often experts in their field and are brought to this country because of their technical expertise, qualifications and experience.

Much of this value can be lost if they are unable to communicate effectively with their office colleagues, teams or clients.
Not only does this impact a transferee’s effectiveness, but it can also lead to frustration and feelings of isolation.

By making accent modifications programs available to foreign nationals, International Relocation organizations can maximize their expertise and knowledge. It can help ensure a positive return on the company’s investment in the transferee and further the individual’s career development during and after the international relocation assignment.