Accent reduction, or accent modification, is the systematic approach for neutralizing a foreign accent to adapt to the majority accent. The process includes identifying the variations in the individual’s current speech, and comparing them to the constants in the target dialect. These variations include not only sound distinctions, but also the differences in grammar styles, idioms, stress patterns, and rhythm of the new language.
A foreign accent is an important personal characteristic to one’s identity. Accents make individuals unique, and they are often viewed as attractive for this reason. Heavy accents can impede communication in the workplace. Accent reduction, not elimination, might be a valuable communication and professional development endeavor. Accent modification aids in better understanding in the workplace and social settings.