An accent is a perceived difference in the way someone speaks compared to a native, standard, or regional form of speech. Accents can differ in the pronunciation of speech sounds (both consonants and vowels), as well as the prosody of speech (i.e., rhythm, rate, stress, intonation). National origin accents are often heard in individuals who learn English as a second language as adults. These variations can affect intelligibility (how easily someone is understood), but do not always.
Accent services are an elective speech and language service. Because these services are not considered medically necessary, they are not covered by insurance. People typically seek accent services to make it easier for other people to understand their speech by expanding pronunciation in a second language. It is important to note that accent services are not provided to suggest that one form of spoken English is superior to any other, and CHAT has no desire to eliminate an accent that is a distinct part of an individual’s identity.
Accent services involve looking at the pronunciation, rhythm, stress, and intonation patterns of someone’s speech. A plan is created to expand a client’s current speech production of sound patterns, lexical, and phrasal stress with the goal of increasing their intelligibility in a second language. The client may also work on real-life speaking situations like job interviews, phone conversations, or presentations.