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News — #english pronunciation

English is the International Language of Business, but what about Accents?

# accent reduction #accent #accent coach #accentmodification #accentreduction #english pronunciation #esl #speaking proper English #speechrecognition

  I was fascinated by a BBC Capital article I read recently about how English now dominates as the global language of business because of an increasingly multinational workplace (http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170317-the-international-companies-using-only-english). I was particularly struck by a quote from Kim Bedard-Fontaine, VP of Employee and Change Communication at Sodexo. She said that “Businesses are organised globally these days and that they must become more efficient by collaborating across geographies. English is an enabler of that and by speaking exclusively in a single language, leaders can communicate with each other around the world.” My husband experienced this first hand working in a...

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Are Accents Embarrassing?

# English speaking strategies #accent #accent coach #accent modification #accent reduction #accentmodification #accentreduction #english #english pronunciation #esl #pronunciation #speaking proper English #speechrecognition

  I read an article this week about a university student in England who published an online letter to her mum called “Dear Mum: I’m sorry I used to be embarrassed about your accent”. The letter was written by Shynee Hewavidana, a University of Cambridge student who has since been asked to speak on BBC Radio’s Asian Network after receiving a lot of attention from people who related to how she felt. The title immediately caught my attention from both a Speech Therapy viewpoint and on a personal level, as my mother also has a very noticeable accent. Truthfully, I’ve...

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Do our Brains Respond Differently to Accents?

# English speaking strategies #accent #accent coach #accent modification #accent reduction #english pronunciation #esl #improve English pronunciation #speechrecognition

  I was reading about an article in the Journal of Neurolinguistics this week which reported that our brains ability to process accented speech improves when we can correctly identify the accent we are listening to. What exactly does this mean? Study researcher, Janet Van Hell, a professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Penn State University, noticed that people seemed to be hearing her differently because of her Dutch accent and she wanted to understand the science behind what was happening. She and her co-researcher, Sarah Grey, constructed a study to determine what happens in the brains of monolingual native English...

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David Attenborough, the Lyre Bird and How to Change Your Accent

# English speaking strategies #accent imitation #accent modification #accent reduction #english pronunciation #improve English pronunciation #speaking proper English

 Speaking of Accents.... I was recently watching a British quiz show that featured a bird imitating car alarms, camera shutters and chain saws with uncanny accuracy. I decided to do some research on this bird thinking that it must certainly be a hoax. What I discovered was a fascinating and extreme example of the ability to listen to and imitate sounds that immediately appealed to my curiosity as a Speech Pathologist and as a specialist in the field of accent reduction and English pronunciation.The Lyre Bird is an Australian ground dwelling bird that is famous for its extraordinary ability to...

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Do Accents Determine How We See People?

#accent imitation #accent modification #accent reduction #benedict cumberbatch accent #British accent #english pronunciation #french accent #italian accent #speaking proper English

 What do accents say about us? Italian-sexy, French-romantic, Spanish-passionate-are these just stereotypes or do accents really imbue people with certain attributes? I was reading an article recently entitled “Very British Villains”. The author, Chi Luu, suggested that speakers of the Queens English (Received English Pronunciation) are rated to be better educated, intelligent and of a higher socioeconomic class by people who don’t speak the “Queens English”. Conversely, they are also rated to be less trustworthy, less sincere and less kind. Hollywood often casts “posh” English speaking villains such as Alan Rickman in Die Hard and Peter Cushing in Star Wars...

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