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Semin Speech Lang. 2005 May;26(2):126-30.

Foreign accents: suggested competencies for improving communicative pronunciation.

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LDS & Associates, LCC, Tustin, California 92780, USA.


In the past 20 years, many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have joined their English as a Second Language (ESL) colleagues to address the pronunciation skills of second language speakers of English. This paper introduces SLPs to the ESL term "communicative pronunciation" as the underpinning for the commonly accepted terms "accent modification" or "accent reduction." Initially, professionals in both speech pathology and ESL felt that accent intervention was outside the scope of speech pathology practice, though that stance is softening. If an essential part of our mission as speech pathologists is to improve communicative competence for all persons, then making pronunciation more intelligible falls under that heading. This article on foreign accents limits discussion to: (1) the rationale for intervening with foreign accented adults; (2) an outline of a broader scope and definition of effective instruction for this population; (3) suggestions for trainer preparation; (4) recommendations for productive literature searches; and (5) a brief discussion of principles guiding assessment and instruction planning. The article includes relevant research and references outside the field of speech pathology that should stimulate future productive research efforts as well as more in-depth papers on specific instruction and assessment issues. While this article is intended to stand alone, readers may benefit from the content and references in another article in this issue by the same author.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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