Accent Reduction Modification Speech Therapy

In a nutshell, an accent is simply the way an individual sounds when he or she speaks. It is a manner of pronunciation that is unique to an individual, location, or nation and is a natural part of spoken languages. Different factors make accents identifiable. They can be a reflection of one’s ethnicity and social, cultural, and geographical background. 

 

Communication Difference

One’s geographical location influences the variation in accented speech. When an individual has a “foreign accent,” it is typically due to the influence of their first language. In such a case, a person speaks a particular language using the rules and sounds of another. 

Thus, an accent is considered a communication difference as opposed to a disorder. However, there are instances wherein accented speech can interfere with effective communication. Some issues that may arise involving accented speech are:

  • difficulty being understood;
  • needing to repeat oneself frequently;
  • distraction (when the accent draws attention from the message); and
  • negative attitudes towards a particular accent.

These issues may create a negative impact on a person’s career and academic goals, self-esteem, social interactions, and daily activities (Brady, Duewer, & King, 2016; Carlson & McHenry, 2006). As such, the help of a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or other specialists (such as linguists or ESL instructors) may be sought.

However, since an accent is neither a speech nor a language disorder, the SLP’s goal is not to treat or remediate. Instead, SLPs design a program to facilitate accent modification or reduction.

 

Goals of Accent Modification/Reduction

Improving communication skills is the primary goal of accent modification. In many instances, this involves working on an individual’s intelligibility so that their speech is easier to understand and does not cause distraction. Accented speech can be measured using a scale that rates accentedness, intelligibility, and comprehensibility. 

When setting goals with a client, it is important to set realistic expectations. Instead of trying to completely neutralize an accent or sound like a native speaker, a more achievable goal is improving intelligibility and efficiency of communication. This can be done through a program designed to develop pronunciation, syntactic, and intonation skills.

 

Training and Strategies

A person may choose to do accent modification training on their own with the help of apps, books, or language software. However, instructor-led training provides significant advantages, including a more individualized program and instruction, immediate feedback, and timelier progress. Instructor-led training may either be one-on-one or as part of a small group, seminars, or workshops. The sessions can be done in-person or online.

At the start of accent modification training, the SLP will conduct a comprehensive check on the individual’s language history. This will include:

  • where the individual has lived and how long they have lived in that area;
  • all languages spoken by the individual;
  • the age of acquisition or when target language was first learned;
  • the context in which the target language was learned (whether in school or community);
  • length and age of exposure to each language spoken;
  • the languages used at home, at work, and in social settings.

During accent modification training, the SLP will focus on the following key areas: 

Segmentals – Refers to a language’s individual sounds. Each language contains a unique set of vowels and consonants that are used and combined in distinct ways to form words.

Suprasegmentals – These are the prosodic or rhythmic features of speech, which may significantly impact one’s intelligibility when modified. 

  • Stress or putting emphasis on particular parts of a syllable
  • Intonation or the vocal pitch contour or patterns that affect a word’s meaning
  • Pitch or how high or low someone’s voice is perceived
  • Timing or rhythm, which refers to the duration of sounds and pauses
  • Loudness or the speaker’s vocal intensity

Language – Pertains to an individual’s proficiency in the target language, including syntax, morphology, vocabulary, and social use. 

To achieve the goals set by both the client and the SLP, the following accent modification strategies are recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:

  • Listen and imitate – repeating modeled sounds or speech
  • Phonetic training – teaching phonemes explicitly through descriptions and articulation
  • Minimal pair drill – differentiating similar sounds using listening discrimination and verbal production
  • Contextualized minimal pairs – differentiating similar sounds in a meaningful context
  • Visual aids – using visual cues to assist sound production
  • Tongue twisters – practicing phrases and sentences that use successive consonant sounds
  • Developmental approximation drills – using a developmental sequence in learning sounds of the target language
  • Practice vowel production and altering stress patterns
  • Reading aloud
  • Recording speech for progress monitoring, assessment, and feedback purposes
  • Auditory discrimination training

 

Schedule a free consultation today!

Phone: (347) -394-3485

Text: (201) 899-4399

Email: info@brooklynletters.com

Our speech-language pathologists are ready to help you!

BRITTNEY W

M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD, BILINGUAL SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (SPANISH)
Accent Reduction Modification Speech Therapy, Brooklyn Letters

Brittney is a speech-language pathologist with a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received specialized training in the areas of language-based learning disabilities, bilingual language development (Spanish-English), and fluency (stuttering).Following graduation, Brittney moved back to New York and has been working for the New York City Department of Education with students from pre-K to high school.

Brittney specializes in working with school-aged students with speech and language and executive functioning disorders and differences. She is passionate about designing and implementing research-based lessons that help students build the underlying organizational and language skills necessary to become proficient readers and writers. Brittney targets skills at any and all levels of language in which students need support, whether it’s learning the academic vocabulary associated with a specific form of writing, or learning how to comprehend complex sentences in a novel.  Brittney works with students to help them identify their unique writing behaviors and adjust their process to include the tools and technology that will make writing a fun and engaging learning activity. For example, many students with SLD and ADD benefit from orally rehearsing their sentences prior to writing them down, and learning new spelling patterns within the context of their reading and writing classwork.

Brittney partnered with a SLP researcher to demonstrate the effectiveness of written language intervention she designed and implemented at her school. Results revealed that the writing intervention helped students with SLD and ADD improve their writing productivity and spelling accuracy. Brittney regularly provides workshops for administrators, supervisors, parents, teachers and speech therapists regarding speech and language disorders, written language intervention, and creating an inclusive environment for students with communication disorders and differences.  She also has experience treating adults with Accent Modification.

LOCATION: Brooklyn: Park Slope, South Slope, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, Cobble Hill, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill.
Manhattan: Chelsea, TriBeCa, Soho, West Village, East Village, Lower East Side
Other Brooklyn and Manhattan locations on a case-by-case basis.
TYPES OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, speech-language evaluations, parent consultations/trainings
EXPERTISE: Accent Modification, Stuttering, language and literacy (language processing, word recognition and comprehension, writing), bilingual services (Spanish-English), early language development, autism spectrum disorders, transition planning
AGES: Birth-Adults

CASSIE W. (Manhattan Letters)

M.S. CCC-SLP, SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
Accent Reduction Modification Speech Therapy, Brooklyn Letters

Cassie is a New York State licensed Speech and Language Pathologist and a certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) who has been practicing speech-language pathology for over five years. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Cassie completed her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds an additional Masters of Science in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) Education from Lehman College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cassie taught English as a second language (ESL) for six years prior to becoming a speech-language pathologist and utilizes this background to better service children with language backgrounds other than English. She also has experience treating adults with Accent Modification. As a SLP, Cassie has extensive experience providing home and school-based therapy to children with a diverse and multiple range of speech and language needs. She utilizes her training in Orton-Gillingham reading intervention to treat a range of reading-based disabilities, and is practiced in utilizing various multi-sensory approaches to building reading proficiency. Cassie s areas of expertise include treating articulation/phonological disorders, language delay, reading disorders, Autism/PDD, expressive and receptive language delays, hearing loss, fluency disorders, and selective mutism. Cassie is skilled in developing child-centered treatment plans and goals, believes in holistic intervention that upholds strong collaborative efforts among parents and other related service providers, and prides herself in providing quality and effective services.

LOCATIONS: Manhattan: Tribeca
TYPE OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, dyad/group (2-3 children), speech-language evaluations, parent consultation
EXPERTISE: Speech-language delays, autism spectrum disorders, feeding and swallowing    disorders, apraxia, dysarthria, accent modification
AGES: birth through elementary school

KATIE S.

M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD
, Brooklyn Letters

Katie is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist who is licensed in New York, Washington D.C. and Maryland. Katie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences and Psychology from The University of Maryland, College Park and her Master s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at The City University of New York, Hunter College. Katie is also certified as a Teacher of Children with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD).

Katie s professional and clinical experiences have been in a variety of settings including private practice, public school (pre-k through high school), and private school. Katie has experience assessing and treating children and adults in the areas of articulation/phonology, expressive & receptive language, fluency, pragmatic language, literacy, and executive functioning. Katie is PROMPT trained and has extensive experience treating social communication disorders using the Social Thinking methodology. Katie is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach to teach reading and is passionate about helping students improve their literacy skills.  She also has experience treating adults with Accent Modification.  She also has experience treating adults with Accent Modification.

Katie greatly enjoys building a strong therapeutic relationship with clients and incorporating client interests and strengths into therapy sessions. She also believes that collaborating with other professionals, parents, and teachers is imperative to reinforce the skills learned in the therapeutic setting.

LOCATION: Manhattan, Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn)
TYPE OF SERVICES: Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Consultations and Evaluations
EXPERTISE: Expressive/Receptive Language, Articulation and Phonology, Literacy (Reading and Written Language), Accent Modification, Vocabulary Development, Social Pragmatics, Fluency, Executive Functioning
AGES: Preschool through Adulthood

PANAGIOTA

M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD, Speech Language Pathologist
, Brooklyn Letters

Panagiota is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Panagiota received her Master s of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from SUNY New Paltz. She currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department at New York University. Panagiota provides therapy in private, home based settings with a diverse population of elementary and school age-students as well as adults.

Previously, Panagiota worked at a Manhattan high school providing therapy to adolescents with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Auditory Processing Disorder as well as various speech-language delays and disorders, including expressive and receptive language, executive functioning difficulties, reading comprehension, social skills and phonology and articulation. Panagiota also has experience treating adults with aphasia, accent modification and ataxia.

Panagiota works hard to incorporate her students interests in therapy to keep them engaged and motivated. She strongly believes in a collaborative approach that encompasses communication with the family, teachers and other service providers. She hopes to give her students the strategies and confidence to generalize the skills they re working on in therapy to the student’s natural environment. Panagiota is bilingual and treats in English and Greek.

LOCATION: Brooklyn (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Downtown Brooklyn).
Manhattan (Tribeca, Battery Park, West Village, Soho, Noho, Union Square, Chelsea)
TYPE OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, small group, speech-language evaluations, parent consultation
EXPERTISE: Autism Spectrum Disorders, receptive and expressive language, articulation and phonology, Apraxia of Speech, social-pragmatic skills, executive functioning skills and accent reduction.
AGES: pre-school, school age, high school, adult

THEO

M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
Accent Reduction Modification Speech Therapy, Brooklyn Letters

Theo is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). He received his Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Theo started his career working in the NYC Early Intervention program. Since moving on from Early Intervention, he has worked with pre-school and school-aged children. He specializes in expressive/receptive language development, pre-language skill, as well as articulation and phonological disorders. Theo currently works part-time at EPIC Academy, a progressively oriented K-3 school for children with special needs. He has also worked with stroke victims (aphasia) and provides American accent training. He started playing music when he was five years old, and has played electric guitar in a rock band, sang in a University choir and has extensively studied jazz history and performance. He has taught guitar and piano lessons to adolescents and adults. Theo has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, expressive and receptive language disorders, CHARGE Syndrome, and Down s syndrome. He speaks Japanese fluently and has treated children in both English and Japanese. He has studied Spanish as an adult and speaks it at an intermediate level.  He also has experience treating adults with Accent Modification.

Theo takes advantage of the child’s interests to tailor a unique approach for each child he works with. He believes in a collaborative approach, and works closely with families to maximize carryover opportunities during daily routines and interactions; learning does not stop when the session ends. Theo uses a play-based therapy approach and when appropriate, incorporates his decades of musical training to create a fun and positive atmosphere for the client to learn and grow.

LOCATION: Brooklyn: Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Brooklyn Heights and other locations on a case-by-case basis.
TYPES OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, Japanese/English evaluations
EXPERTISE: Early Speech and Language Development, Pre-language skills, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Communication (Pragmatic Language), Accent Modification, Expressive/Receptive Language Delays, Articulation, Apraxia of Speech, & Pragmatic/Social Skills
AGE: All ages

PAULA H.

M.S. TSSLD, SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
, Brooklyn Letters

Paula has worked as a speech-language pathologist for 13 years. She holds a New York State Speech-Language Pathology license and holds her TSSLD certification, providing services in English and Spanish.

Paula received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY College at Fredonia. She completed the Bilingual Extension at Columbia University Teachers College, Bilingual Extension.

Much of Paula s professional experience has involved providing therapy to toddlers as well as preschool and school-aged children with delays or disorders in the areas of articulation, motor speech including Apraxia, receptive and expressive language, social skills, as well as treating developmental delay, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to working as a speech-language pathologist, Paula worked for seven years as a behavior therapist, providing ABA therapy in the private and public sectors. Paula is a level one PROMPT trained therapist, and has received Hanen certification for Early Intervention and parent training.

Paula has experience providing services in a wide range of settings, including preschools, elementary and middle schools, home-based and center-based early intervention settings, child care centers, private clinics, and adult in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation centers. In addition to treatment of speech and language delays and disorders, Paula provides accent modification services to adults for professional and personal purposes.

Paula s experience working in diverse areas has allowed her to be able to identify and address difficulties in fundamental skills such as establishing and maintaining attention, developing executive functioning skills, as well as learning within and generalizing skills to the natural environment, which are the basis for successful learning in individuals of all ages and areas of difficulty. Paula takes great pleasure in successes small and large, knowing that each one is a step in the direction of fulfilling a client’s potential.

LOCATION: Manhattan (Tribeca, Battery Park, West Village, Upper West Side)
TYPE OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, speech-language evaluations, parent consultation and training, accent modification
EXPERTISE: Accent Modification, receptive and expressive language, articulation and motor speech, Apraxia, autism spectrum disorder
AGES: Birth through adult

ALINA G.

M.S. CCC-SLP/TSSLD, SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
, Brooklyn Letters

Alina is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Alina completed her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Brooklyn College. She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Brooklyn College. Alina is fluent in Russian and conversational in Spanish.

Since 2012, Alina has worked in private, public, & charter schools as well as in private practice. While in private practice, Alina provided evaluations and treatment for pediatrics with speech delays and adults with post-stroke, aphasia, Parkinsons Disease, and dementia. Alina is currently a full-time Speech and Language Pathologist in a middle school within the NYC Department of Education. Here, she works with middle school students Grades 6-8 who demonstrate difficulties with receptive and expressive language skills, pragmatic social skills, executive functioning, organization and time management, reading comprehension, oral and written verbal expression. Alina’s therapy focuses on language-based learning difficulties including listening/reading comprehension, inferential/critical thinking, receptive/expressive vocabulary development, narrative development, phonological awareness, word recognition skills, decoding, grammar, oral and written sentence structure (syntax), and organizing the students ideas/thoughts to target coherent oral and written expression. A large part of Alina’s sessions also focuses on articulation, where she frequently targets remediation of K, G, L, R, and S phonemes as they tend to be difficult for youngsters aged 4-7. Alina believes in helping students maximize their academic success by working through their strengths to remediate their weaknesses.

Alina prides herself on providing unique and specialized services tailored to fit the needs of each client and family. She believes that by providing a stimulating environment that is mindful of each client’s specific interests, she can maximize learning potential and communicative success.

In addition, Alina is certified by the Institute of Language & Phonology in the COMPTON P-ESL Program, which is a research-based and result-driven approach to accent modification training. Alina has worked with a number of adults who are looking to improve their English pronunciation, public speaking, and overall vocal clarity and confidence in professional communication settings.

Teletherapy/Remote Sessions are offered during this time.

LOCATION: Brooklyn Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Midwood, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach
EXPERTISE: Receptive and Expressive Language Delays/Disorders, Language to Literacy Connection (phonological awareness, reading comprehension, word recognition, decoding), Higher-Level Thinking, Articulation/Intelligibility, Fluency, Executive Function Deficits (organization, reasoning, poor decision making, problem-solving, time management, impulsivity), Narrative/Expository Discourse, Cognition (memory, attention, reasoning) Pragmatics/Social Skills, Accent Modification
AGES: Preschool, Kindergarten, School Age, Middle School, High School, Adults