Individuals that have learned English as a second language may recognize the need for assistance pronouncing words in a more understandable manner. This need may occur even if an adult has been an English speaker for many years. The person may recognize the need to improve communication skills to enhance their public speaking or interpersonal communication skills.
A foreign language speaker wanting to improve their pronunciation can enter a classroom setting for ESL (English as a Second Language). This approach generally uses the method of listening to words pronounced correctly and then imitating that sound. Unfortunately, many people are unable to ‘imitate’ sounds, although they think they are saying a word correctly. However, the person can also reach out to a Speech Language Pathologist.
A Speech Pathologist is able to assist a bilingual adult that is seeking improved communication abilities, even though this problem is not considered a speech disorder. The need to improve an accent is considered a speech modification in Speech Language Pathology. A Speech Pathologist teaches the person ‘how’ to produce the sound…where to place the tongue and how to shape the lips so that the word is intelligible. For example, foreigner speakers often pronounce the words ‘cup’, ‘cop,’ and ‘cap’ the same way. There are subtle differences in tongue placement and duration of sound that change the word.
A Speech Pathologist is able to assess the source of the reasons that the bi-lingual speaker is not pronouncing the word correctly. This is in contrast to other methods of pronouncing correction. A Speech Pathologist assessment can address potential impairments, associated activity and participation limitations, and context barriers and facilitators.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the expected outcome of Communication Modification is expected to result in reduced contextual barriers, improved abilities and contextual facilitators, and measurably enhanced functioning and participation.
Beth Fine, of Fine Communication in Manhattan, has helped a wide array of adults, both English and foreign speaking, improve their communication skills. At the first session speech, voice, or language will be evaluated and the results and recommendations will be discussed.
If you have questions about communication modification or a communication disorder, contact Beth Fine at 212-888-3696