Voice and Accent Neutralization
Among all living creatures on planet Earth, only humans have the ability to speak and communicate with each other, while most of the primates, birds and mammals have some sort of communication using various vocal sounds, signs and gestures. Early humans used a combination of gestures and distinct sounds to communicate with one another. This gave birth to a crude form of language and millions of years of evolution have resulted in the development of the language that we use today.
English and its various accents:
We all are aware that the one language that is spoken in almost all the countries, states and cities throughout the world is English. The reason for English being so widespread is the colonization of the British Empire during the Victorian era. The British had their colonies in almost all the corners of the world, including the American continent, the African continent, the Australian continent as well as the Indian sub-continent. With their advent they gave the gift of the English language to the colonies as well as the entire world. However, over the centuries, the English language used in those countries was subjected to various changes because of its usage, along with the other native languages of those countries. This resulted in what we call as “Accents”of the English language. So, accents mean the typical way of pronouncing alphabets, words, stress on syllables, phonetics, articulation, intonation etc., which is associated with a particular country or to a region within the country itself.
The other important factor that creates Accents in English is the influence of the mother tongue of the speaker. This is in short called as “MTI”. A non-native English speaker would have grown up speaking a language which may not have certain sounds unique to English language. Also, he may have started learning and using English at a much later stage of his language learning process, for such a person, certain sounds/phonetics of the English language would be difficult to produce. Ultimately, this makes it difficult for a non-native English speaker to be understood by a native English speaker.
Importance of Accent training in Indian scenario:
Indian education system is more theory based than the practical approach used by other educational institutes in the developed countries. The English taught as a second language (ESOL) in schools and colleges does not stress on practical usage of English in everyday life or on speaking. However, the trend is slowly changing with many schools now teaching English language using phonetics and using internationally recognized methodologies for teaching English as a foreign language. But for those students and adults who did not have this privilege during their schooling, a formal Voice and accent training become a must.
Another fact is that, in the last decade India has become the centre for business excellence for hundreds of MNC’s as well as SME’s. This IT / Non – IT industry boom has resulted in the creation of new technology parks and business parks in not only the metros but also in the major cities like Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Pune etc., Thousands of jobs are being created each day and this trend is likely to continue in the future as well. This makes English language learning and accent neutralization training even more important for an individual aspiring to work in these MNC’s.
This accent neutralization training at Indian Institute of Foreign Languages would also serve as a foundation course for students who are planning to do their higher education abroad or for those planning to take-up other competitive exams like TOEFL, TOIEC, GRE, IELTS etc.,
Who is the Accent Training / Accent Neutralization course designed for?
At Indian Institute of Foreign Languages, we have uniquely designed the Voice and Accent Neutralization course to suit the needs of students and professionals alike. We recommend this course to the students who are aspiring to study abroad in one of the English-speaking country or those who possess good knowledge of English, but want to improve their accent and pronunciation for future career opportunities at multinational companies. Professionals especially who are in the IT/ITES/BPO industry would find this course really helpful to better serve their clients/customers and thus gradually increase their chances of growth in the corporate world. Always remember a neutral English accent and pronunciation will increase your confidence while speaking with friends, peers and seniors at work.
We have a team of highly qualified ESOL trainers, who are professionally certified and have ample experience to train you successfully in the Accent reduction course. On the first day of this course, our trainers will assess your accent and pronunciation through an interactive session of question and answer. Following this, our trainers will use a combination of methodologies to help you achieve a neutral accent in the prescribed duration of 40-60 hours.
A brief overview of the course:-
- Identifying and reducing the influence of mother tongue
- Classification of English alphabets based on vowel sounds and consonant sounds
- An introduction to diphthongs and phonetic symbols taught Internationally
- How to use articulators or speech organs while speaking
- Word stress, Syllable stress and sentence stress
- Pronunciation difference while using plurals as well as verbs in past tense
- The difference between Indian and global accents and common mispronunciations made by Indians
- Understanding terms like pitch, tone, intonation, liaisons, colloquialism and rhythm of speech
- Training on reducing rate of speech and speaking clearly
British (UK) / American (US) Accent:
The dialect of English used in all the regions of the United Kingdom is the UK / British Accent and similarly the dialect used in all the states of the United States is called the American / US Accent. The written form of English is slightly different in the two regions; however, it varies distinctively in the spoken form. The Accents and dialects vary within the country itself. The British and American accents are the two norms of English language followed widely across the world. There is also Australian and Canadian Accents.
Some important difference between the two accents:
- There is a distinct difference in syllable stress and intonation.
- The American “r” is pronounced with the rolling of the tongue and is stronger compared to the British way of pronouncing “r”.
- One important difference is the pronunciation of the alphabet “A”. The Americans pronounce it with more open mouth than the British.
- Words ending with “ILE” life fragile, agile, mobile are some examples. Note that in the British accent the “I” is pronounced like the alphabet itself, while in the American accent it is more like the pronunciation of “A”.
- The letter “T” in words like better, bottom, native, writing etc., Sounds more like “D” when the Americans speak fast
At Indian Institute of Foreign Languages, we train students in Voice and Accent Neutralization as well as in the UK or US Accent depending on their requirements.