What is accent modification? Some may immediately recall the “I’d like to buy a ham-BUR-ger” scene from the 2006 Steve Martin Pink Panther remake. A quick YouTube search yields endless—admittedly, entertaining—results. However, intrigue and stigma around accented speech hold real-life implications for many individuals worldwide. Here’s where speech-language pathologists (SLPs) come in:
Historically called “accent reduction,” accent modification hinges on 3 main goals:
Seeking accent modification services is a personal choice, and different folks have different reasons for wanting to do so:
The term “accent modification” is preferred over “accent reduction.” Accent reduction suggests that one’s native accent is something to be suppressed (or reduced) to an expectation of how we "should" sound. "Reduction" implies there’s one right way to speak and an infinite number of wrong ways.
Of course, this is not true. From the way our bodies shape sound into voice to the words our brains conjure to describe the world around us, we are all different. And different is good.
What accent modification IS NOT:
What accent modification IS:
Is accent modification right for you? Contact Haley for a free consultation to discuss your accent-related communication goals.