Communication has never been so important to accomplish either personal or professional goals as now-a-days. The ability to read and write is no longer sufficient, but speaking (verbal communication) has become crucial in order for you to succeed in your career, especially when it involves a language other than your mother tongue.
The problem appears when your accent is so strong that impair others to understand what you are saying. People that are listening to you just stares you blank and say … “What did you say?!!”. That’s when approaches to accent reduction comes into play.
What if you cannot speak (and make yourself understandable) the language used to achieve your purpose? What if your accent becomes a communication barrier, drastically reducing your ability to exchange information in the streets, in a classroom, in a business meeting, or during in a scientific or marketing presentation?
If you fulfill any of the following conditions, this course will definitely help you overcome them:
- You feel very anxious when you have to speak out loud the foreign language you need to communicate in;
- Even though you can understand most of what is being said, you feel embarrassed to speak, afraid that people won’t understand you because of your strong accent;
- You wouldn’t dare to make a public presentation in that foreign language;
- When the telephone rings, and you know you would have to speak in that specific language, you panic and ask someone else to pickup the phone;
- When you are visiting a foreign country that speaks that language, you feel uncomfortable to ask for directions, to mingle with the people from the surroundings, or do other mundane daily activities;
- When you go to a restaurant in which the service is held in a language different than you own, you ask for whatever you are going to have by pointing to the menu without a clue of what you are going to eat;
- You can’t understand what people are saying on TV even when the volume is loud. Or you are not able to clearly hear the questions during an English listening test.
I could go on-and-on forever, but you get the point here. If any of these situations seems familiar, you are at the right place because here you will be presented with the letures that will help you develop the language skills to overcome these present communication barriers.
Limiting lies … be careful not to believe in them
There are several myths related to learning a new foreign language that are so widely spread that we don’t even question them anymore: When this happens, we just accept these statements as an absolute truth, we establish our mindset with these paradigms, and we are done.
Here are some of these “truths” you might have heard:
- “You can only learn a new language while you are young; once you become an adult, you’re done with this ability and won’t be able to learn any new foreign language at all”;
- “You have a bad memory so you are not wired to learn a new language”;
- “Since you find it difficult to learn a new language, it is probably because you can’t learn it, so you might just let it go because you lack the ability to learn it anyway”;
Have you ever heard any of these statements? I would say so.
If you learn a new language while your brain is developing, it might be easier to get rid your mother’s language accent (or reduce it significantly), since this is a biological developmental process that happens while the brain of an infant and a teenager are developing, but this is as far as the “truth” goes. The rest are pure myths!!! Here is the real deal: Anyone can learn a new foreign language at any time they please to do so, regardless of their age or memory abilities! Marx began to learn Russian in his fifties!
Can I change my accent?
The answer is yes, you can improve your accent in any language you want, but keep in mind that it requires hard work, and practice. The more you practice, the better (and faster) you can reduce your unwanted accent, and speak more naturally the language you are willing to do so.
So keep in mind that unless you were exposed when you were at early ages to the language you would like to speak, living in an environment where that language was mostly spoken (immersion) abroad or you studied in a bilingual school, it is very difficult to completely eliminate the influence of your mother’s language accent in the new language you are trying to learn or improve. If you can find and afford the help of a qualified native speech-language pathologist, you can learn how to change your speech pronunciation.
Fortunately, there are efficient and affordable options that can help you with your accent reduction at our OHC Language Center. Your private teacher is a native Canadian, and has been trained in the Canadian Language Benchmarks® (CLB) teaching system, so you will be speaking English faster.
There are many people who are interested in the accent reduction programs and these include some of the following examples:
- Non-native English speakers willing to speak a better English
- Foreign academic, engineering, business and study abroad -related professionals who want to improve their communication skills due to their foreign accent
- People with very strong regional accent who want to reduce it
- People who like to travel to experience different cultures, and want to be able to feel more comfortable with the language
- More, much more …
How can you reduce your accent?
Our purpose here is not to eliminate your mother’s language accent , but to reduce your accent which might be causing communication difficulties, decreasing your communication effectiveness and increasing your anxiety, which only goes against you.
If limited foreign language skills has become a communication obstacule in any aspects of your life, we might be able to help you out here with our three core purposes, which are:
- If the foreign language knowledge is not where you would like it to be or if you know absolutely nothing about it, we will help you get started and improve your language skills by increasing your abilities to write, read, listen (an understand) and speak correctly in the language you are interested in;
- If you have a good grasp of the specific foreign language grammar (writing and reading are not the main obstacles for you), but you have serious problems when comes the moment to verbally communicate within that new language. You don’t know how to pronounce the words properly, which limits your confidence and your abilities to get your message through. Don’t worry, we will present you some of the best approaches to overcome these obstacules;
- If you already can write, read, and speak that language, but you want to improve your verbal communication skills by reducing your native accent while improving you foreign language accent as well. In this case, keep in mind that our purpose is not to eliminate your mother’s language accent, but to reduce your native accent that might be causing communication barriers, decreasing your communication effectiveness and increasing your anxiety, which only goes against you.
Here we will present you with the model of language ability used in the CLB (The Canadian Language Benchmarks framework to help you reduce your native accent and improve your accent in the language you want to communicate within.
Benefits of accent improvement
There are several benefits of not only learning a new language, but even more advantages when speaking it with the correct accent so you can communicate more efficiently your message.
Among a few of these aspect, here are some that might relate to you:
- Increase your confidence when speaking that specific foreign language, which will reduce your anxiety when having to do so;
- Increase your foreign language communication effectiveness;
- Boost your carrier by outstanding you from your peers, even with a positive impact on your salary;
- Bring new job opportunities due to your communication skills;
- Increase your personal and professional network;
- You will have a fantastic sense of proud by being able to improve yourself and enjoy a new world that is still unavailable to those lacking your foreign language skills.
- More … much more!