Speakers of English as a Second Language (ESL) may demonstrate an accent that varies from Standard American English (SAE) accent. The sound system of a speaker’s native language may influence pronunciation of English in at least three ways:
- Sounds in English may not be a part of a speaker’s native language.
- The rules for combining sounds into words are different in a learner’s native language.
- The patterns of stress and intonation in a native language may be transferred into English.
Given the biological, socio-cultural, personality, and linguistic factors which affect acquisition of a second language, eradication of a foreign accent may be an unrealistic goal. However, training in pronunciation may enhance a speaker’s ability to be understood, and may be a personal goal of the client. It is possible for adult ESL learners to improve their pronunciation of English.
Who can this affect?
People for whom English is a second or foreign language.
- oral-motor mechanism and function
- production and discrimination of English vowels and consonants
- training in discrimination (hearing differences) of sounds
- production of sounds in isolation
- production of sounds at the word, sentence, and conversational level
- intonation training