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News — #speechrecognition

Foreign Accents, Bias and Jobs

#accent #accentreduction #diversity #esl #inclusion #speechrecognition

Once again, foreign accents in the workplace was in the news. In a recent radio interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Andrew Timming, an experimental psychologist at the University of Western Australia, laid out how the image one projects impacts employability — and a large part of his discussion centred on accents. His recent research indicates that an ethnic or foreign accent might work against people, and that an unconscious bias against accents may exist when companies hire.  In his study, Dr. Timming had people with different accents apply for a job using the exact same script. He found...

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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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