Lose my accent

Can I lose my accent? Can you lose your accent? You can lose your accent with our program. Really? I can lose my accent?

Well, I wouldn’t say that you can lose your accent. Everyone has different purposes and different goals when it comes to improving English language skills for business and professional purposes. Some people feel that losing their accent will help. It might help, but I would be very wary of advertisements that guarantee that you can “lose your accent”.  The truth is that it’s possible to improve, diminish, or reduce your accent. That’s why it’s called “accent reduction”. It’s not called “accent removal”.  Now, I have worked with at least one client whose goal it is to lose her accent. She wants her accent to be as indistinguishable from a the General American English accent as possible. She really wants to sound American – just like an American. She’s determined, she understands that it’s not going to happen fast, she understands that it takes practice, she understands that it’s a process, and she understands that it means zeroing in on and focusing on specific qualities of her speech and some fine details. Of course, she speaks English very well, and she has no English communication problems to speak of. Her speech is easily comprehensible in the first place, and she’s already  overcome and solved the more important problems and challenges that are related to improving American English accent and pronunciation. Now, can she lose her accent, or can she develop an accent that sounds nearly indistinguishable from an American accent? She doesn’t want people to hear even the slightest hint of a foreign accent when she speaks English. That’s her goal. Can she achieve it. It’s possible, and it takes practice

You can improve your accent, diminish your accent, and modify your accent. You can even neutralize your accent. I can neutralize my accent? What does that mean? It means that just as there is accent reduction, there is, also, accent neutralization. Really? What’s that? If I neutralize my accent, does that mean that my accent is gone? No, it doesn’t mean that. It just means that your accent won’t present a communication problem and that people will understand you when you speak. So do you mean that accent neutralization is the same as accent reduction? Yes, that’s right. They are the same  And accent modification is also the same as accent reduction. But none of that’s really important. Set realistic goals for yourself. That’s what’s important.

This is what’s important when it comes to accent and pronunciation.

1) People understand you.

2) People are able to follow what you say.

3) Your speech is listener friendly.

4) People do not ask you to repeat yourself so often that it’s a problem.

5) You communicate effectively and efficiently.

6) You are a competent communicator.

7) You are a confident communicator.

8) You successfully use English for your specific purposes.

To make numbers one to seven true for you, a communication skills program could be more practical and better than an accent reduction program.

Accent reduction can be the answer, but it maynot be the only answer. Accent reduction could be part of the solution to communication problems and communication challenges, but it could be only part of the solution.