What are accents & Dialects?
We all speak with some form of an accent or dialect. What accent or dialect you use depends on where you learned to speak and who is listening to you speak.
An accent refers to different ways words are pronounced across different languages.
A dialect refers to the ways the same language can be spoken.
Every accent and dialect has historical, social, linguistic, and geographical influences. Accents and dialects are a fascinating part of what makes all of us unique. There are no better or worse accents or dialects and none should be viewed as wrong.
Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to know what is a dialectal difference and what is a disorder when assessing and treating clients. When working with children who speak more than one language the sound influences of their native language are never considered to be errors but part of their dialectal difference.
I love your accent! Where are you from?
The farther you get from where you grew up the more likely your accent or dialect will be noticed. It’s also more likely that you will start to notice different speech patterns as well.
Accent modification is often needed to improve communication skills in professional and personal settings. Often medical professionals, executives, sales and marketing teams, educators, actors, and individuals in the technology sector are working from around the world. With accent modification, individuals are able to clearly communicate with customers and coworkers.
While working on accent modification, it is important to maintain each client’s unique cultural identity. Individualized Accent Modification sessions help clients learn to communicate using American English speech sounds, grammar, vocabulary, intonation, and body language to meet their unique communication needs.
Often actors and performers need to learn an accent or dialect. When doing this, they don’t need to get rid of an accent or dialect they already have. Instead, they are given the training to use a different set of language rules or sound patterns when it is necessary.
Learning an accent or dialect includes more than changing speech sounds. The vocabulary, inflection, resonance, and rhythm of every language and dialect also need to be adapted.