Immigration & Your Pronunciation: Does One Affect the Other?

perfect your American English accent with pronunciation pro certified speech pathologist

The American Dream is as much yours as anyone else’s!

The discussions on immigration reform have always existed, but with the government deficit growing, many citizens are suggesting more action from the government. Some citizens are for immigration reform, while others are against it; but either way, the current discussions often affect foreigners and immigrants living in the United States.

While unfortunate, there are currently no laws in America that consider making a decision on an applicant due to their accent a form of legal discrimination. Because of this, it’s becoming ever important for foreigners and immigrants living in the United States to improve American English pronunciation in order to be seen as an individual and not simply an immigrant. How strong of an accent you have as a foreigner and your ability to communicate in English, can impact how citizens view you and decide if you’re qualified enough to rent a property, be given a job, and be seen as reliable.

Trying to communicate clearly with others can be an overwhelming experience as a foreigner or immigrant living in America. While many individuals try to learn English by immersing themselves in the language, there can often be a variety of pronunciation and grammatical errors that get picked up when trying to learn on your own. Everything from bringing your native accent into how you speak American English to what sounds and words you stress in a sentence can cause miscommunication and hinder your opportunities for a better future and accomplishing the “American Dream.”

To learn English pronunciation correctly many immigrants are starting to work with certified Speech Pathologists in a personal one-on-one setting where they can get the help and guidance they need. Many ASHA Certified Pathologists offer online pronunciation courses, where learners can have access to worksheets, mp3 files, and a variety of other tools to help them work on their English pronunciation in their own time. Pronunciation Pro for example, offers a 12-week course to greatly improve your American English pronunciation 100% guaranteed or your money back. Working with online ASHA certified Speech Pathologists can help you be seen for more than your accent and help build your confidence to speak English confidently through strong communication skills.

If you are a foreigner or immigrant to the United States and you feel that your native accent is hindering your ability to communicate clearly in American English, working with an online Speech Pathologist can improve your pronunciation and help improve your communication skills and confidence. Learn more today about how you can be speak like an American native in just three months!

How Native French Speakers Can Reduce Accent in English

French speakers reduce accent in English with Pronunciation ProAmerican English can be a difficult language for native French speakers to pronounce. French speakers tend to have a lot of interface, or using characteristics of their first language when speaking a non-native language. When they speak English and can carry their accent and grammar rules into English where those rules may not apply. While the journey towards learning English varies from one person to another, here are the top four issues native French speakers have when learning English.

Rhythm

Although English has a lot of patterns to help non-native learners understand syllable stress, English is much more irregular than the patterns of French. English pronunciation is in rhythm; for example words that end in –tion, -sion, or –ic suffex are stressed one syllable before the suffix. Interestingly, many of those same words can also have –al and –ally added to them causing the stressed syllable to not move and make words like classic become classically.

I vs. E

Native French speakers often substitute the short I sound with the long e sound. The differences between the words still and steel depend on proper pronunciation.

Voiced & Unvoiced th sounds

French speakers often use a z sound in place of the voiced th and an s sound in place of the unvoiced th. This trouble area can cause words like “then” to be pronounced as “zen,” and “think” to be spoken as “sink.” Given that many voiced and unvoiced th words create other English words when used incorrectly, miscommunication can occur very easily if proper pronunciation doesn’t occur.

Ch versus J

English has two sounds that are affricates: the ch sound and the j sound. To properly create an affricate, you must use your tongue to stop air for a small amount of time, and then releasing the air with friction. French speakers tend to pronounce the ch sound as sh, and pronounce the j sound like a zh due to creating just the released sound instead of the entire affricate. This means that the word chip gets mispronounced as ship.

Since many of the issues French speakers face when speaking English are due to creating actual words, just not the intended words, learning where the areas of improvement are can be difficult to pinpoint. For example, many French speakers will wonder if they said “I have a ship on my shoulder” as an incorrect idiom, without realizing that the word ship should have been pronounced as chip. Therefore, it’s extremely useful to work with an ASHA certified online Speech Pathologist who can help you find the areas of improvement and learn correct English pronunciation.

If you’ve been trying to learn American English for awhile now but haven’t had much success, online speech pathologists can help you significantly improve your American English pronunciation in as little as 12 weeks. Instead of struggling to learn American English on your own, begin enjoying learning a new language working with an online ASHA speech pathologist today!