Accent Reduction Challenges and Opportunities
Living in a foreign country can offer a wide variety of experiences in anyone’s life, from gastronomic novelties to the use of a new alphabet. At first, most people might feel lost with so many new social and cultural differences, especially when the countries are separated by oceans and thousands of kilometres. Australia is used to embrace new cultures and that’s easy to confirm by simply observing people at an urban centre in Australia for five minutes to see such culturally diverse individuals. However, language barriers impact relationships on a daily basis.
There are some very important challenges that might arise simply because a person speaks English with a different accent:
- Stereotypes: If your accent can be easily identified, then your nationality will draw many stereotypes, mostly the negative ones. People will expect bad habits, political views and other annoying characteristics, even when you don’t have any of them.
- Social avoidance: Some people can be more demanding than the average and might react in very negative ways when not being immediately understood or when not immediately understanding you. If that happens, sometimes they simply prefer to not interact with you in order to avoid frustration from their parts.
- Employability: A simple interview where your high skills and talents could be easily demonstrated might become a nightmare for you if you cannot express yourself in a way that is expected from the interviewer. According to a recent article which you can read by clicking here, a strong accent might even affect an employee’s wages, reducing it to 20% lower than an ‘averagely-accented employee’.
Things can be very challenging for immigrants with strong accents due to the reasons above, that’s the reason for accent reduction sessions to be more and more popular nowadays. Speakable has a developed accent reduction program for any interested person, with a special approach for Vietnamese Accent Reduction. Just click here for more information about our accent reduction program.
Even with some challenges, having a different accent in another country might represent some positive opportunities if you know how to use it in your favour:
- Icebreaker: There will be occasions when a simple ‘Hi, how are you?’ spoken by you will draw attention and make people curious of where you are from. It is a great moment to introduce yourself to people you haven’t met yet and even say interesting things about your country and culture.
- Cultural allowances: When people notice you are from a different country and culture, they will probably consider as ‘normal’ any different habit from yours. So, if you use cutlery in a different way, mix foods for apparently strange tastes, or even use different clothing and accessories, people will understand such things as cultural traits to be respected.
- Group support: You will hear people speaking with other accents, passing through the same difficulties and challenges, then all of you will understand you’re not alone, because you understand one another and can become friends who support and motivate one another.
- Relationships: Why not explore the romantic side of accents? Some people simply get fascinated when listening to a specific accent. It can be an accent from any part of the world, popular or exotic. Maybe love at first hearing is as strong as love at first sight, so just allow yourself to use your accent in an understandable English and explore it!
If you have any question or interest in accent reduction programs, feel free to contact Speakable and learn more of our approach and team of professionals.