Who should you turn to for your accent reduction training?

 There are many different types of people that choose to become accent coaches. Some of them are English language teachers. Others are speech and language pathologist. Still others may be acting coaches.

All of these backgrounds are great to enter the field of accent reduction training.  However, there are drawbacks to each.

The English language teacher may not always recognize if a person’s difficulty in pronunciation is based on an actual pathology. The speech language pathologist may initially see their accent reduction client as a patient, and it may take time for that perception to change. The acting or dialect coach may not always be trained in teaching English as a foreign language.

An English language teacher has experience in teaching English as a second or other language. They are accustomed to the various accents that English language learners can have. An English language teacher may have taught students from France, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Brazil, or other parts of the world. Therefore, the various accents that their students have may actually be rather familiar to the teacher.

In addition, many English language teachers have had the opportunity to travel to various countries to teach. They can understand the struggle that an English language learner may have when learning a new language.  They themselves may have taken the opportunity to begin learning the language of the country that they are living in teaching in, in order to more easily connect with their students. They have experienced firsthand the complexities of learning a new language, the difficulties in learning the correct pronunciation, and the embarrassment that mispronouncing words can bring. They can approach the accent learning process with much more empathy than people who have not had this first-hand experience.

Thirdly, English language teachers are, of course, teachers! They are intimately familiar with the various techniques that students use to learn a new language. Therefore, they can integrate these techniques into the accent training process. They can show clients more easily how learning pronunciation enhances the process of learning the language, not only in the obvious of being able to speak the language more easily, but also in how it connects to reading and writing and listening to the new language.

You have many choices when it comes to an accent reduction coach. Consider carefully what you are looking, then make your best choice.

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E: Nicole@ParkerAccentuation.com

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