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Accent Modification

The scope of this page is limited to accent modification services provided to adults. The main focus of this content is related to nonnative accents.

Definitions

Accents (regional, foreign, or nonnative) are not a communication disorder. Accents are a natural part of spoken language, and every person has an accent. Accents and dialects are intimately tied to identity and community. Language plays an important role in socialization and sharing cultural information, and different language variations are invaluable in strengthening and communicating different cultural identities. As Lippi-Green states in English with an Accent (2012):

We exploit linguistic variation available to us in order to send a complex series of messages about ourselves and the way we position ourselves in the world. We perceive variation in the speech of others and we use it to structure our knowledge about that person” (pp. 38-39).

The goal of accent modification is not to eliminate the existence of nonmainstream dialects and accents, nor is it to disconnect the individual from their community and identity associated with a particular language variation.

Accent modification is an elective service sought by individuals who want to change or modify their speech. Accents are systematic variations in the execution of speech characterized by differences in phonological and/or prosodic features that are perceived as different from any native, standard, regional, or dialectal form of speech (Valles, 2015). Accents are marked by variations in speech sound production, prosody, rate, and fluency (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996). These linguistic variations may affect intelligibility; however, one can have a noticeable accent and still be clearly intelligible.

Regional accents are common among individuals from different geographic areas; for example, individuals from New York often sound different than individuals from South Carolina. Although this type of accent is not the main focus of this page, some assessment and pronunciation strategies may be applicable to those with regional accents.

Nonnative accents are sometimes heard in nonnative individuals who learn English as a second language (L2). These accents occur because the phonology/sound system and prosody of their first language (L1) influence pronunciation when speaking a new language. Groups of learners from the same L1 background have similar accents because they share L1 phonology. However, in postcolonial countries, the language interaction might operate differently. The origin of nonnative accents could also be a function of diglossia and/or other sociolinguistic phenomena.

Researchers from the English as a Second Language [1] field describe three broad dimensions of an accent that contribute to the effectiveness of communicative exchanges involving English Learners: accentedness, comprehensibility, and intelligibility (Derwing & Munro, 2009). However, communicative exchanges are impacted by the listener as well as the speaker. Thus, these measures are influenced by listener bias (Lindemann, 2002; Rubin, 1992; Rubin & Smith, 1990).

  • Accentedness is the degree of an accent as compared to the speech patterns of a listener’s community.
  • Comprehensibility is a subjective measure of the effort that is used to understand speech (Derwing & Munro, 2015).
  • Intelligibility is “the extent to which a listener actually understands an utterance or message” (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996, p. 32).
  • Nativeness is the degree to which a person sounds like a native speaker (McKinney, 2019).
  • Naturalness is the degree to which listeners are able to focus on what is being said versus how it is said (McKinney, 2019).

[1] The current preferred terminology, according to the U.S. Department of Education, is “English Learner.”

Linguistic Bias and Terminology

Linguistic bias plays a role in one’s motivation to pursue accent modification services. Although no accent is inherently “better” than another, not all accents are treated the same, and this lends power to certain accents over others (Fuertes et al., 2012). Such biases may lead to psychosocial pressure on an individual to modify speech patterns.

Terminology used to describe service provision continues to evolve and remains under debate. The terms “accent reduction” and “accent elimination” are not preferred and are inaccurate, because every speaker has an accent, even if an accent is changed or modified. Those terms have also been criticized for framing an accent as something that should be eliminated and as an impediment to clear communication when, in fact, accentedness does not necessarily determine intelligibility (Derwing & Munro, 1997).

The term accent modification is commonly used in the literature and is the term used in this page. However, terminology is evolving, and other terms have been suggested such as intelligibility enhancement (Blake et al., 2019), accent addition, accent coaching, accent enhancement, and pronunciation training/instruction (McKinney, 2019).

Difference Versus Disorder

Accents are not a communication disorder, and everyone has an accent. Accentedness, as stated above, is the degree of an accent as compared to the speech patterns of a listener’s community. This is based on a listener’s perception and may therefore be subject to bias. Accents are a natural part of spoken languages. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may provide accent modification as an elective service, but they do not approach this service as remediation of a disorder.

Why Services Are Sought

Accents often serve as a source of pride for individuals and frequently reflect the social, cultural, ethnic, and geographic background of a person. However, in some circumstances, an accent or listener attitudes about an accent may influence the ease of spontaneous communication. Some issues that may arise and that may warrant individuals to seek elective SLP services are

  • difficulty being understood;
  • frequent need to repeat oneself;
  • attention being directed more toward the accent than the message;
  • bias and discrimination against speakers with a particular accent; and/or
  • barriers in social, educational, and/or work environments.

These communication challenges may negatively affect professional and educational advancement, self-esteem, social interactions, and everyday life activities (Brady et al., 2016; Carlson & McHenry, 2006; Fuertes et al., 2012). Therefore, an individual may choose to seek elective accent modification services from an SLP or other service provider. Individuals may seek accent modification services to

  • improve intelligibility,
  • modify a regional or nonnative accent, or
  • learn a new accent (e.g., actors in plays and film productions).

Evaluating Programs and Service Providers

Accent modification services can be provided by several different professions (e.g., an SLP or an English as a Second Language instructor). Services are often provided by SLPs due to their high-level training in articulation, phonology, prosody, voice, and social aspects of communication. SLPs provide accent modification as an elective clinical service. ASHA’s Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology includes such elective services as part of an SLP’s practice domains. SLPs providing elective services are subject to the same ethical standards as other areas of practice and should confirm licensure requirements in their state for both in-person services and telepractice. SLPs working in the area of accent modification typically possess the following knowledge and skills:

  • phonetics, including narrow transcription (Morley, 1996)
  • phonology (Morley, 1996)
  • changes in speech production during connected speech (Morley, 1996)
  • current instructional approaches and appropriate goal setting (Morley, 1996)
  • impact of second language (L2) acquisition as well as linguistic and dialectal variations
  • ability to provide models of target sounds
  • sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural diversity
  • ability to differentially diagnose communication disorders and communication differences (Sikorski, 2005)

Roles and Responsibilities

SLPs often play a central role in the assessment and pronunciation training of individuals seeking accent modification services. The professional roles and activities in speech-language pathology include clinical/educational services (assessment, planning, and pronunciation training); advocacy; and education, administration, and research. See ASHA’s Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2016b).

Appropriate roles for SLPs include, but are not limited to,

  • educating individuals who seek accent modification services;
  • educating other professionals about the needs of persons receiving accent modification services and the role of SLPs in service provision;
  • educating other professionals about effective listening strategies when communicating with individuals who have accents;
  • conducting a comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment of communication skills;
  • determining the functional impact on communication and the need for accent modification services;
  • developing modification plans, providing pronunciation training, documenting progress, and determining appropriate dismissal criteria;
  • counseling persons seeking accent modification services regarding communication-related issues; and
  • remaining informed of research in the area of accent modification and helping advance the knowledge base related to the nature and provision of accent modification services.

As indicated in the ASHA Code of Ethics, SLPs “shall engage in only those aspects of the professions that are within the scope of their professional practice and competence, considering their certification status, education, training, and experience” (ASHA, 2016a, Principle II, Rule A). SLPs who serve this population should be appropriately trained to do so.

Assessment

Assessment for individuals seeking accent modification services is different from an assessment of someone with a communication disorder. The goal is to understand the impact of an individual’s speech pattern on their intelligibility and functionality rather than to diagnose a disorder. SLPs provide accent modification as an elective service and recognize that this service is not remediation of a disorder. SLPs use assessments to evaluate accentedness, comprehensibility, and intelligibility as well as to establish goals and objectives that meet the needs of the individual (Behrman & Akhund, 2013; Celce-Murcia et al., 1996; McKinney, 2019; Schmidt, 1997; Sikorski, 2005). These dimensions of an accent can be assessed in various ways, including

  • subjective rating scales (e.g., individual’s perception of communicative effectiveness in various settings),
  • phonetic transcription tasks,
  • analysis of suprasegmentals (stress, intonation, pitch, rhythm, timing) in words and sentences,
  • phonetic/phonological analysis and error analysis (e.g., sound substitutions, omissions),
  • percent exact word match between the utterance and the listener’s transcription, and
  • acoustic analysis of the speech signal.

Case History

It is important that the clinician conducts a thorough case history to determine the individual’s language history. A language history includes questions about

  • the languages they speak;
  • the age of acquisition;
  • where they have lived and how long they lived in a particular area;
  • the context in which the target language was learned (i.e., academic or community);
  • the length and age of exposure to each language spoken;
  • which languages are used in the home, at work, and in social settings;
  • why they are seeking services;
  • under what circumstances they feel they are having difficulty communicating; and
  • how their accent influences their participation in past, present, and future activities (e.g., do they avoid speaking in meetings? Do they avoid activities that require them to speak to strangers?).

For further information, please see the International Association for Impact Assessment website.

Learner variables should be considered early on as they may also serve to guide the assessment protocol. Variables include (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996; McKinney, 2019; Moyer, 1999)

  • age,
  • proficiency level,
  • linguistic and cultural background,
  • prior exposure to the target language,
  • amount and type of prior pronunciation instruction,
  • language aptitude,
  • learning style,
  • the individual’s motivation for accent modification services, and
  • attitudes about their current accent and their target accent.

Along with a thorough case history, three main areas need to be considered when evaluating an individual who is seeking accent modification services: segmentals, suprasegmentals, and language (e.g., syntax, morphology, and pragmatics).

Segmentals

Segmentals are the individual sounds of a language, including consonants and vowels. Every language has a unique set of vowels and consonants and unique ways in which these sounds can be combined or used in words. An articulation assessment will survey the production of consonants, vowels, diphthongs, and consonant clusters in single words, in sentences, and in spontaneous speech.

Awareness of a language’s speech sound system—and, in particular, allophonic variations—is important when assessing segmental features of a language. If a sound in the target language is not part of the phonemic inventory of the individual’s first language (L1), then the individual may replace it with an allophone—a variation of a phoneme that does not change the meaning of a word (e.g., the tap in “butter” being replaced with an aspirated /t/; Behrman, 2014). Auditory discrimination tests are often included in an assessment protocol to determine whether the individual is able to perceive the difference among minimal pairs (i.e., “mat” and “map”).

Clinicians should educate themselves on the phonetic inventory and phonological rules of the individual’s native language (see ASHA’s resource on phonemic inventories). Comparing and contrasting the L1 and English sound systems helps the clinician better understand why some consonants, vowels, and syllable shapes may be difficult for the individual to produce.

Suprasegmentals

Suprasegmentals are the prosodic features of speech that include stress, intonation, pitch, timing, and loudness (Behrman, 2014; Celce-Murcia et al., 1996; Sikorski, 2005). Modifications in the suprasegmental features of a language may make a significant impact on speaker intelligibility (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996; Hahn, 2004; Sikorski, 2005; Trofimovich & Baker, 2006). The following list offers a summary of the various suprasegmental features that are assessed and a brief description of each (Bernthal & Bankson, 1993):

  • Stress—the prominence or emphasis on a particular part of an utterance or a syllable. For example:
    • TEL-e-phone
    • com-PU-ter
    • make him STOP!
    • PLEASE come with us
  • Intonation—the vocal pitch contour or pattern that changes within and across words and that impacts meaning. For example:
    • This is my car? (rising, question)
    • This is my car. (falling, statement)
  • Pitch—how high or how low someone’s voice is perceived to be
  • Rate—the duration of sounds and pauses within an utterance
  • Loudness—the vocal intensity used by a speaker
Language

Learning English as an L2 is often focused around syntax, morphology, vocabulary, and pragmatics. These areas may impact the communicative effectiveness and naturalness of speech. While accent modification services may primarily focus on sound system alterations, language interacts with phonology. For example, an individual may present with a lack of bound morphemes, such as a plural marker. This may be perceived as final consonant deletion or difficulty with consonant clusters.

Language proficiency may also impact goal setting and recommendations. Some clinicians feel that clients with lower language proficiency may benefit from focusing on other aspects of language before addressing pronunciation, whereas others may choose to take a broader approach and focus on overall language skills (McKinney, 2019).

Language sampling can be gathered from a variety of settings, including the workplace, and may include structured sentences, spontaneous conversation (Sikorski, 2005), or role-played scenarios (McKinney, 2019).

Pragmatic differences between languages may include variations in social norms, such as eye contact, proxemics, conversational balance, topic maintenance, and implicature (McKinney, 2019). Some of these differences may inadvertently communicate unintended messages and lead to miscommunications or difficulty conversing. For example, in a language where requests are posed more indirectly (e.g., “It’s cold in here,” as a way to request that someone close a window), the speaker’s request may not be understood by someone whose language typically uses more direct requests, whereas the more direct requests (e.g., “Close the window”) may be interpreted as impolite by someone who uses a language where indirect requests are the norm. Drawing awareness to these differences can help a speaker identify and correct communication breakdowns more effectively.

Cultural Considerations

Individuals seeking accent modification services represent various unique cultural and linguistic backgrounds and experiences. Accent modification services should be provided in a manner that considers each individual’s unique needs and values. It is important to consider the societal context of accent modification services as well as the wide range of internal and external factors that lead individuals to seek these services. It is impossible to separate accent modification services from discrimination and bias that exist even when a client is seeking services of their own volition.

Accent modification services have been criticized for perpetuating the stigma and discrimination against speakers of different language varieties and encouraging assimilation to mainstream cultures rather than embracing diversity of language (Chakraborty et al., 2019; Yu, 2020). Ideally, societal changes would shift the burden from the accented individual by addressing existing biases, racism, and ethnocentrism against nonnative accents. However, there are individuals who view accent modification services as a tool to navigate a world where stigma and discrimination exist. It is ultimately the individual’s decision how they choose to address the unfortunate reality of language stigma and bias. The clinician prioritizes the client’s goals while providing education on realistic expectations for progress. However, client autonomy does not absolve the clinician from considering these issues and seeking out ways to reduce harm. On a broader level, it is important to educate and inform about the value of language diversity and combat myths that nonnative and regional accents negatively reflect on proficiency or competency.

Accent modification providers can focus on effective communication by enhancing intelligibility and naturalness while embracing the client’s accent. Apart from communication training, accent modification providers can

  • counsel clients on the nature of accents and the linguistic discrimination associated with them,
  • foster self-advocacy and encourage clients to counter bias and report discrimination,
  • educate peers and community members about linguistic discrimination and best practices in accent modification, and
  • avoid using deficit-framed language when describing accents and dialects.

For additional information on providing culturally competent services, see ASHA's Practice Portal page on Cultural Competence.

Pronunciation Training/Accent Modification

The goal of any accent modification program is improved communication. Although the field of accent modification is relatively young, evidence exists that supports its efficacy (Gu & Shah, 2019; Khurana & Huang, 2013; Lee et al., 2015; Saito, 2012). Accent modification treatment continues to evolve and explore different methods and approaches. The clinician should consider all of the assessment areas outlined above in order to provide the most comprehensive approach when developing a training program.

In accent modification, clinicians frequently use rating scales to measure accentedness, intelligibility, and comprehensibility, all of which are somewhat independent from one another (Derwing & Munro, 1997; Munro & Derwing, 1995). There is a general correlation between a higher degree of accentedness and lower intelligibility/comprehensibility. However, some speakers with higher ratings of accentedness may be as intelligible and/or comprehensible as someone with a lesser degree of accentedness (Franklin & Stoel-Gammon, 2014; Munro & Derwing, 1995). Other variables that affect intelligibility include characteristics of the speaker, characteristics of the listener, particular language pairings, language familiarity, use of particular phonemes, and the speech task (Bent & Bradlow, 2003; Bradlow & Bent, 2008; Levy & Law, 2010; Mahendra et al., 1999).

Accent Modification Goals

Goal setting is a collaborative process between the clinician and the individual. It is not realistic to expect that individuals will modify their accent to the extent that they sound like a native English speaker (Celce-Murcia et al., 1996; Granena & Long, 2013), nor is this necessary for effective communication. This expectation from the clinician may be potentially harmful. As McKinney (2019) summarized:

Some feel that a bias (often implicit) toward nativeness as the ultimate level of attainment is a form of linguistic imperialism. Nonnative speakers often face a great deal of bias and prejudice based on the way they speak, and by subtly implying that their accents in and of themselves are inferior, we become, at best, bystanders to this discrimination and, at worst, promoters of it. (p. 11)

Goals are typically centered around improving communication between the speaker and the listener and focus on targets that have the greatest impact on intelligibility and naturalness. Because services are elective, goals may be less formal than those written by SLPs treating disorders in health care and educational settings.

The focus of accent modification goals is often to improve intelligibility and communicative effectiveness by teaching the individual a combination of pronunciation, syntactic, and intonation skills. Other specific goals may be written that relate to confidence, ease, and spontaneity in communication.

Accent Modification Training or Strategies

A number of different accent modification training approaches or strategies are used in the field (see Bradlow et al., 1999; Celce-Muria et al., 1996; McKinney, 2019). In the studies mentioned, the following strategies were proposed:

  • Listen and imitate—The individual repeats a clinician-provided model.
  • Phonetic training—explicit teaching of phonemes via descriptions and articulatory position diagrams of the phonetic alphabet.
  • Auditory discrimination training.
  • Minimal pair drills—contrasting between similar sounds via listening discrimination and verbal production.
  • Contextualized minimal pairs—contrasting between similar sounds in a meaningful context.
  • Visual aids—cues to assist in the production of sound (i.e., pictures, mirrors, the vowel quadrilateral, and sound–color charts).
  • Tongue twisters—phrases or sentences that are difficult to produce because of the use of successive consonantal sounds (e.g., “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”).
  • Developmental approximation drills—following a developmental sequence in learning sounds of the L2.
  • Practice of vowel production and altering stress patterns.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Recording of the individual’s production for auditory feedback and review.
  • Visual feedback—The individual receives a visual presentation that gives feedback on accuracy of production (e.g., software reacts to a produced vowel and places it in an International Phonetic Alphabet chart).
  • Linking consonants—building awareness around the way phonemes tend to become linked when words are joined in connected speech (e.g., in connected speech, “what did he want” may be pronounced /wəɾɪɾiwɑnt˺/ or “what did e want”).

Client Counseling and Instruction

In an ideal world, clients would not have to make modifications to educate and accommodate conversation partners. Practically speaking, however, clients may find it necessary to take specific approaches to educate others and to prepare themselves for potentially uncomfortable conversations. Approaches for counseling regarding the impact of speaking with an accent include the following:

  • Dealing with challenging conversational partners—role-playing potential responses or brainstorming possible solutions
  • Setting up self and listeners for success with
    • confirming listener understanding, and
    • breakdown and repair strategies (e.g., turn-taking, clarifying, circumlocution).
  • Replacing maladaptive behaviors (e.g., speaking fast to disguise pronunciation difficulties) with more productive ones
  • Handling communication apprehension or communication-related anxiety in specific settings by
    • disclosing areas of difficulty and establishing clear expectations if the speaker is comfortable doing so (e.g., “If you’re having difficulty understanding me, I’m happy to repeat it or say it another way”);
    • approaching more speaking situations to build their confidence communicating; and
    • practicing strategies related to effective public speaking (e.g., pausing and phrasing to reduce pace, use of body language) to improve communication.

Listener Training

While accent modification services have traditionally focused on speaker behaviors, listeners also impact the success of a communicative exchange. SLPs advocate for equitable treatment of accented speech in the community and educate conversational partners regarding strategies for communicating with nonnative speakers when appropriate. Listener training may be provided at the corporate level; for instance, if accent modification services are requested by a company for certain individuals, the SLP may also offer to provide listener training to the facility. Listener bias and beliefs about speaker characteristics impact their judgment of intelligibility and how successfully they feel the speaker is communicating (Kang & Rubin, 2009; Lindemann, 2002; Rubin, 1992; Rubin & Smith, 1990). Listeners may engage in behaviors that impede successful communication (Lindemann, 2002). Such listener behaviors might include

  • ignoring the content of a speaker’s speech due to difficulty understanding accented speech,
  • avoiding asking for clarification when not understanding a speaker due to accented speech,
  • delaying acknowledgment when not understanding a nonnative speaker’s statement,
  • assuming incompetence, and/or
  • reacting with frustration to a communication breakdown.

Thus, some clinicians have been focusing services on providing listener training in addition to speaker training. Such approaches as role-playing, longitudinal service learning (e.g., having high school students provide service in emergency homeless shelters for immigrants/asylum seekers), and shared verbal problem-solving tasks with nonnative speakers may be helpful approaches to reduce listener bias (Chakraborty et al., 2017; Kang et al., 2015).

Billing

Accent modification is an elective service. Because an accent is not a communication disorder, these services cannot be billed to insurance.

There are instances when an individual who seeks accent modification services also has a speech or language disorder. If an SLP is providing services, they must be certain to note the distinction and separate what types of services are being provided (i.e., elective services for accent modification vs. treatment for a communication disorder). The only services that can be billed to insurance are those provided to evaluate or treat a communication disorder and not those provided to treat a communication difference, such as a nonnative accent.

Ethical Considerations

Principle I, Rule J of ASHA’s Code of Ethics states: “Individuals shall accurately represent the intended purpose of a service, product, or research endeavor and shall abide by established guidelines for clinical practice and the responsible conduct of research” (ASHA, 2016a). Principle I, Rule K states: “Individuals who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence shall evaluate the effectiveness of services provided, technology employed, and products dispensed, and they shall provide services or dispense products only when benefit can reasonably be expected” (ASHA, 2016a). SLPs delivering accent modification services will want to carefully evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of services and accurately represent the goals and expectations of services.

Principle III, Rule B of ASHA’s Code of Ethics states: “Individuals shall avoid engaging in conflicts of interest whereby personal, financial, or other considerations have the potential to influence or compromise professional judgment and objectivity” (ASHA, 2016a). SLPs will want to appropriately represent their skills and services when advertising and will want to provide services to only those individuals who may benefit from accent modification services. For more information on appropriate representation when marketing services to the public, see Issues in Ethics: Public Announcements and Public Statements (ASHA, 2015).

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from employment discrimination on the basis of sex, color, national origin, and religion. Accent discrimination falls under the purview of discrimination based on national origin. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Section 6), “An employer may not base a decision on an employee’s foreign accent unless the accent materially interferes with job performance” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2008, p. 1). Employers are not required to hire individuals whose communication materially interferes with satisfactory job performance. However, employers must show impartiality concerning different types of accents. For example, employers are not permitted to show a preference for French or German accents over Japanese or Spanish accents (Franklin, 2012).

It is not within the scope of the SLP to identify cases of accent discrimination. However, providers of accent modification services should be aware of this aspect of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and be willing to inform individuals of this provision, when appropriate.

Service Delivery

Provider

Provider refers to the person offering the treatment. Accent modification services can be provided by SLPs, English as a Second Language instructors, voice and speech coaches, and other professionals.

Format

Format refers to the structure of the training (e.g., group and/or individual). Accent modification can be delivered individually or in a small group.

Setting

Setting refers to the location of services (e.g., home, community-based, work). Services can be provided in an SLP’s office, in the individual’s home, or within the community to promote generalization.

Dosage

Dosage refers to the frequency, intensity, and duration of service. Many accent modification programs may be intensive in nature. Dosage is determined on the basis of each individual’s specific needs.

ASHA Resources

Other Resources

This list of resources is not exhaustive, and the inclusion of any specific resource does not imply endorsement from ASHA.

Pronunciation Training Articles

The following articles offer a focus on various pronunciation training models:

Behrman, A. (2014). Segmental and prosodic approaches to accent management. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23(4), 546–561. https://doi.org/10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0074

Blake, H., McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2019, November). Intelligibility enhancement assessment and intervention for multilingual university students [Conference session]. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Orlando, FL, United States.

Bradlow, A. R. (2008). Training non-native language sound patterns: Lessons from training Japanese adults on the English /ɹ/–/l/ contrast. In J. G. Hansen Edwards & M. L. Zampini (Eds.), Phonology and second language acquisition (pp. 287–308). John Benjamins.

Bradlow, A. R., Akahane-Yamada, R., Pisoni, D. B., & Tohkura, Y. (1999). Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: Long-term retention of learning in perception and production. Perception & Psychophysics, 61, 977–985. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03206911

Brady, K. W., Duewer, N., & King, A. M. (2016). The effectiveness of a multimodal vowel-targeted intervention in accent modification. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 43, 23–34. [PDF]

Carlson, H. K., & McHenry, M. A. (2006). Effect of accent and dialect on employability. Journal of Employment Counseling, 43(2), 70–83. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1920.2006.tb00008.x

Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2009). Second language accent and pronunciation teaching: A research-based approach. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 379–397. https://doi.org/10.2307/3588486

Hahn, L. (2004). Primary stress and intelligibility: Research to motivate the teaching of suprasegmentals. TESOL Quarterly, 38(2), 201–223. https://doi.org/10.2307/3588378

Hashemian, M., & Fadaei, B. (2011). A comparative study of intuitive-imitative and analytic-linguistic approaches towards teaching English vowels to L2 learners. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(5), 969–976. https://doi.org/10.4304/jltr.2.5.969-976

McLeod, S. (Ed.). (2007). The international guide to speech acquisition. Thomson Delmar Learning.

Morley, J. (1996). Second language speech/pronunciation: Acquisition, instructions, standards, variation, and accent. In J. E. Alatis, C. A. Straelhle, M. Ronkin, & B. Gallenberger (Eds.), Current trends and future prospects (pp. 140–160). Georgetown University Press.

Schmidt, A. M. (1997). Working with adult foreign accent: Strategies for intervention. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 24(Spring), 47–56. https://doi.org/10.1044/cicsd_24_S_47 [PDF]

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2015). Issues in ethics: Public announcements and public statements. www.asha.org/Practice/ethics/Public-Announcements-and-Public-Statements/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2016a). Code of ethics [Ethics]. www.asha.org/policy/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2016b). Scope of practice in speech-language pathology [Scope of practice]. www.asha.org/policy/

Behrman, A. (2014). Segmental and prosodic approaches to accent management. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23(4), 546–561. https://doi.org/10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0074

Behrman, A., & Akhund, A. (2013). The influence of semantic context on the perception of Spanish-accented American English. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56(5), 1567–1578. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0192)

Bent, T., & Bradlow, A. R. (2003). The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114(3), 1600–1610. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1603234

Bernthal, J. E., & Bankson, N. W. (1993). Articulation and phonological disorders (3rd ed.). Prentice Hall.

Blake, H. L., Verdon, S., & McLeod, S. (2019). Exploring multilingual speakers’ perspectives on their intelligibility in English. Speech, Language and Hearing, 24(3), 133–144. https://doi.org/10.1080/2050571X.2019.1585681

Bradlow, A. R., Akahane-Yamada, R., Pisoni, D. B., & Tohkura, Y. (1999). Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: Long-term retention of learning in perception and production. Perception & Psychophysics, 61(5), 977–985. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03206911

Bradlow, A. R., & Bent, T. (2008). Perceptual adaptation to non-native speech. Cognition, 106(2), 707–729. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.04.005

Brady, K. W., Duewer, N., & King, A. M. (2016). The effectiveness of a multimodal vowel-targeted intervention in accent modification. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 43, 23–34.

Carlson, H. K., & McHenry, M. A. (2006). Effect of accent and dialect on employability. Journal of Employment Counseling, 43(2), 70–83. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1920.2006.tb00008.x

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Acknowledgments

Content for ASHA’s Practice Portal is developed through a comprehensive process that includes multiple rounds of subject matter expert input and review. ASHA extends its gratitude to the following subject matter experts who were involved in the development of the page:

  • Alison Behrman, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Kathryn Brady, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Rahul Chakraborty, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Barb Cicholski, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Kate DeVore, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Amber Franklin, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Jenna Luque, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Erika Levy, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Robert McKinney, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Ana Paula G. Mumy, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Anna Schmidt, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Benigno Valles, PhD, CCC-SLP

Citing Practice Portal Pages

The recommended citation for this Practice Portal page is:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Accent modification [Practice portal]. Retrieved month day, year, from www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Accent-Modification/

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.

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