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What is “Accent” and What is “Accent Reduction?”

shutterstock_112318643What is “Accent” and What is “Accent Reduction?”

Sylvia posted on Clear Talk Mastery’s timeline:
“Another set of sounds that are difficult for my Hispanic students are in the words shin and chin. That short i is always a problem. But distinguishing between the sh and the ch is hard for them too. They wanted me to write and ask for your help!”

Why do people who have English as a second language (ESL) have difficulties with the pronunciation in English?

Answer: They are using the manner and positioning from their first language.

What comes from the first language? “Accent” – that’s the everyday term.

  • Speed of muscles for sounds
  • Positioning of the tongue, lips, teeth and jaw
  • Muscle strength in different muscles

For example, people with Spanish as a first language pronounce the “ch” in the same manner as the English “sh.” Yes, the “ch” sounds like an “sh.” In English, the “ch” is said with quick muscles that make the tongue go up and down quickly. The “sh” uses slow muscles.

The purpose of accent reduction training is to teach brain and muscles to get the right speed, positioning, and strength in muscles so listeners can accurately understand the words.

Customized accent reduction will determine the specific speech errors of a person through individual assessment.

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