THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCENT REDUCTION-How to be understood when speaking ESL-English as a Second Language




Accent reduction for non-native English speakers is of supreme importance. Accent reduction is not difficult, but it takes time, concentration, and practice commitment. It also takes working with an expert and experienced coach or teacher.

If you are taking and learning English as a Second Language or ESL classes, an “Accent Reduction” section should be part of your curriculum. If you did not have the accent reduction section, then you can take classes specifically for accent reduction. When you are finished learning English as a Second Language, people should be able to understand you because your pronunciation is clear and your accent does not get in the way

During my many years of teaching and speaking English as my second language, I have heard hundreds of different accents from persons all around the world. I have also heard people say, “I like your accent, it is so cute”, “I do not want to lose my accent it is part of me”. Inversely I have heard university students and others say, “I am completely lost in my Physics class because my Professor has a thick accent and I cannot understand what she/he is saying”. “I fell asleep during the presentation because I could not understand the speaker, he had a thick accent” “When I am on the phone with that person I cannot understand what he is saying, his accent is too thick”

All the above statements are true, and justified to an extent.

When a person’s accent gets in the way of being understood and when communication stops, then there is a real issue. You will know when you are not being understood, when your audience or the person you are speaking with, shuts you down in his mind and is no longer receiving your message, words, or your attention.

How do you know when this happens? When you see a glazed look in the other persons eyes, when your audience cannot repeat what you just told them when you ask them a question or when you hear from someone else that because of your accent you cannot be understood.

There is a good solution for this issue. You should conscientiously work hard on this area of your speech with a trainer, coach, or teacher. This training could be for one to three months. It is not difficult to reduce your accent to the point where people can understand your lectures, presentations, or your conversation. Your instructor should listen to you and pick the words and phrases that are interfering with your speech or communication and should prepare a program specifically to practice those sounds and reduce the accent that is interfering. Only a well-trained and experienced teacher or coach can assess and coach you on this.

Your accent in speaking English as a Second Language is the mirror of your mind and intellect, make sure it is as shiny as it can possibly be.

Prof. Carlos Roncal is the Founder and Director of World Language Schools. Please contact him at 469-400-4787, carlos@world-languageschools or visit