The Accent Coach Discusses Nonnative Accent Stereotypes

Claudette Roche

244 million people across the world are immigrants. This means that millions of individuals live outside of their native region.

VERO BEACH, FL, UNITED STATES, June 3, 2019 / -- 244 million people across the world are immigrants. This means that millions of individuals live outside of their native region. And nonnative accents may limit the opportunity for such individuals and consequently, impact an individual’s life in various ways. The Accent Coach, Claudette Roche, explains how this happens and how these nonnative accent stereotypes could potentially be prevented.

“I’ve had many clients with various accents come to me for help. They’ve discussed with me their reasons for seeking out accent training, and it’s interesting to hear how they’ve had experiences where they feel doors have been closed to them due to their accent,” Roche explains.

The Accent Coach further elaborates, “The bias and stereotypes that exist out there are often the basic reasons why these individuals come to me for accent training. They want to expand their opportunities - not just for themselves, but also for their families - and this expansion of opportunity is the often the main reason why they immigrated in the first place.”

Essentially, an accent defines the way an individual pronounces a language. It’s frequently associated with nationality, region, or social class. In many cases, accents vary depending on the emphasis placed on particular syllables or words.

But problems arise when individuals discriminate based on another’s accent. Roche believes these problems happen through potential employers and other individuals evaluating a person’s language proficiency based solely on their accent.

“As much as we try to pretend we don’t do this, people tend to form judgments when they hear a person’s accent. They make quick opinions and don’t truly listen to what the person is saying or don’t assess the person’s actual skills,” Roche states.

Interestingly, studies and research support these claims. People are more likely to make a negative stereotypical assumption when they hear another person speak with a nonnative accent.

Yet, Roche believes that awareness, as well as accent training, may help individuals overcome these issues. “I think the more people are aware of the negative assumptions and judgments they tend to make or are more likely to make, the less they will occur,” she says.

Roche adds, “I also think that these individuals with nonnative accents can also take these problems into their own hands through accent training. You can’t control others’ reactions, but you can control what you can do about it.”

The Accent Coach aims to help breakdown these nonnative accent stereotypes, as well as help those facing these stereotypes. Roche states, “I want to empower these individuals and show them that they can find opportunity. When it comes down to it, accent training is hard work, but it’s hard work that will open the doors to the opportunities that these people seek.”

Claudette Roche
The Accent Coach
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