Is Your Accent Harming Your Career?
Individuals interested in learning Business English may find that their accent impedes their success in the workplace. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve your American English Accent.
Learning a language is not easy. You have to memorize vocabulary, understand a new grammar structure, and identify and use proper verb tenses. And this is just for writing. If you want to truly perfect your spoken abilities, you must also add perfecting your accent to that list.
You may speak fluent English, but if you are coming across as unclear due to your pronunciation of certain words, it can have an impact on your career performance.
Due to this, many individuals do seek to perfect their use of the American English accent.
How Does An Accent Affect Workplace Performance?
The role of accents in the workplace really depends on the type of work you’re doing, and your specific accent. In business situations especially, accent reduction can benefit individuals whose particular accent is difficult for others to understand.
The need for accent reduction can be felt by many English speakers – foreign and even native. The United States is known for its many English variations, from the Boston accent to the Southern Drawl, people across the states all pronounce words slightly differently.
When individuals are learning to speak English as a second language, some words can be difficult to pronounce due to different vowel and consonant combinations, as well as sounds existing in the English language that simply do not exist in one’s native language (or vice versa).
The problem occurs when your accent impedes on coworkers’ or clients’ understanding of you, as well as their perception of your experience based on your accent. Although often incorrect, native English speakers will sometimes view individuals with heavy accents as being less educated than their peers.
This perception is worsened when ESL speakers have difficulty pronouncing words, or simply pronounce words incorrectly due to the difference in the American English accent and their Native accents.
In the United States, the saying “time is money” governs many business practices. Therefore, bosses, coworkers, and clients who must ask you to repeat yourself often may regard you as a less efficient worker.
Is it Accent Reduction or Simply Learning a New Accent?
The term accent reduction can be misleading. When learning to speak a new language fluently you should not look to rid yourself of the accent you use when speaking your native language. You should simply look to learn an accent that is appropriate for the new language.
Professional interpreters who are multilingual have the ability to speak numerous languages with the proper accent. To do this, they don’t get rid of other accents; they simply learn new accents and use them when appropriate. The same can be said for actors who play roles that require they speak different languages, or even different variations of the same language.
How Can You Work On Improving Your American English Accent?
There are many different ways one can work to improve English accent abilities. One practice that you can do daily is to actively listen to native speakers on television shows, and watch the way they shape their mouths when pronouncing certain words.
You can then practice forming these same positions while speaking until you are satisfied with your pronunciation.
Another common method is to take accent reduction lessons, or English lessons that combine English language learning with accent reduction.
Language Connections offers an 8 week Business English course that focuses on teaching ESL speakers the necessary vocabulary, writing, and speaking techniques needed to succeed in the U.S. business environment. This includes perfecting students’ pronunciation of common business English terminology.
Class sizes are small and taught by native English speakers, benefiting students by providing more one on one practice with instructors.
If you feel that your career is being impacted by your pronunciation, look into a Business English program today and be on your way to perfecting your American English accent!
Register for the next Business Engish Course on our website now:http://languageforprofessionals.com/business-english-program/program-overview/
For more information contact our Language Training Department:
Phone: (617) 277-1990