Accent Modification & Speech/Language Online Sessions

Laura Galt, certified Speech and Language Pathologist, Actor, Drama Desk Winning and Tony Nominated Broadway producer, is offering online, individual and group speech-language, accent/dialect modification, and public speaking sessions to improve your communication skills and/or pronunciation of the English language. 

What is an Accent? 

Nonnative English speakers use the melody, stress, and rhythm patterns of their native language. In addition, the movement of the lips, tongue, and jaw are often influenced by the first language and this will affect the ability to pronounce the consonants and vowels of American English. An accent may become an issue when it interferes with communication and affects the individual’s professional success and future opportunities.

Some people seek out accent modification in order to be more easily understood by others.
 
What is a Dialect? 
Speakers of the same language may have variations in pronunciation, word choice, voice quality, and grammar patterns due to where they live. There is nothing wrong with these patterns; they are just different. Many people choose to modify a “dialect” to blend in with others in their locale or for professional purposes.

What is involved in Accent (Dialect) Modification Training?

The goal in accent modification training is to help the individual speak effectively so that speech is “listener friendly.” Accent elimination is not the intention of this training. The individual is actually learning an American accent. After a careful analysis of the individual’s speech patterns, a customized training program is designed.

Why Accent (Dialect) Modification?
You may want to explore Accent Modification if you are a/an:
  • Individual learning English as a second language.
  • Professional wishing to improve their communication at work.
  • Influencer wanting to appeal to an English speaking audience.
  • Individual who wishes to change a regional accent.
  • Actor wanting to reduce or learn a new accent for a role.
Researchers Derwing and Munro (2009) described three ways for a speaker to consider how an accent might be affecting their communicative effectiveness (via https://www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Accent-Modification/):
  • How is your accent/dialect perceived by the listener through the listener’s comparison of the accent to the speech patterns of the listener’s community?
  • Is your message easily comprehended based on the time and effort required for the listener to process it?
  • Are you intelligble?   At what level does your listener actually understand the message?

What is a Speech-Language Disorder?

Speech is how we say sounds and words. People with speech problems may:

  • not say speech sounds/words accurately or clearly

  • have a hoarse or raspy voice

  • repeat sounds, pause, or create tension/blocks when speaking, called stuttering

 

Language is the words we use to share ideas and get what we want. A person with a language disorder may have problems:

  • understanding

  • talking

  • reading

  • writing

  • social skills

Children and adults can have speech and language disorders.  How can Laura, Speech-Language Pathologist help you?