We all have accents—they arise from our social, cultural, and linguistic background—and there is certainly no one accent which is objectively better than another. However, research indicates that many employers in the United States continue to display prejudice against certain accents. While it is unlawful (and socially unacceptable) to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender, among other identifying features, personal bias toward a perceived difference in accent is difficult to pinpoint, much less protect against. Recent research indicates that a speaker’s credibility decreases based on how strong their nonnative accent sounds to listeners. Additional research shows that accents can have a distinctly negative effect on the probability of upward job mobility, as well as an individual’s likelihood of getting hired in the first place.
You only get one chance at a first impression, so what’s the best way to get off on the right foot?
Many employers conduct a preliminary phone interview to screen potential employees prior to arranging a more formal in person interview. Recent articles from Forbes and Knowledge@Wharton highlight the challenges faced by people whose accents are markedly different from Standard American English when seeking employment, or financial backing. Despite full qualifications, nonnative English speakers’ competence and capability are often called into question simply for sounding ‘too foreign’. Some proactive professionals are taking this matter into their own hands and participating in accent reduction training. Accent reduction, also known as accent modification, is the process by which a person may alter the way they speak (including intonation, pronunciation, cadence, etc.) in order to more closely approximate Standard American English.
Here at Worldwide Speech, we offer an effective accent reduction training program, which can be tailored according to your specific personal and professional communication needs. As an informed consumer, it is important to know that you will be getting a good return on your investment. At Worldwide Speech, we take your time and commitment very seriously and always seek to maximize the benefits of our program. The staff at Worldwide Speech are all speech-language pathologists, having undergone years of post-graduate study, in addition to specific training in accent reduction.
Sounds good, but with my busy schedule, I don’t have time for another commute!
Worldwide Speech offers accent reduction training services online, so you can choose when and where is most convenient for you. Using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, all you need is a webcam (most devices have these pre-installed) and high-speed internet. Find a quiet place at home, work, or elsewhere, and you are good to go! Additionally, by using our online accent reduction services, you will be able to access supplemental training materials for continued practice.
The time is now!
Open the door to expanded career opportunities through accent reduction training. Simply Click Here to Submit a Speech Sample and Request a Free Consultation. We look forward to working with you!