I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to have you here, my friend. Thanks for inviting me along on your journey to improve your American accent!
They say business isn’t personal, but in my case, it is (in the best way
possible!). A bit about me—I started my mission because I wanted to share my passion for accents with the world. You can learn more about my founding story below.
Have you ever listened to someone speak your native language with an accent and wondered where they were from? It’s natural for all of us to do this. Our ears are so finely tuned to what we know a language should sound like that anything different is noticeable.
Back in the day…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by accents. I love to try and guess where someone is from just by listening to them speak. As a child, I’d try to imitate my great grandmother’s Italian accent. To me, listening to her accent was like figuring out a puzzle. I wanted to understand how her speech was different so I could sound like her.
When I started my journey as a speech-language pathologist, I first focused on what caused accents. This led me to my research and master’s thesis on the different ways non-native English speakers produce speech. I learned how changing the way the mouth and tongue moved would change the way the accent sounded. But that’s not the only way to improve your American accent. I also learned that accents are a byproduct of laying the native language rules upon a new language and how to change this process. This was thrilling to me because I now had a valuable skill and wanted to share it with people who wanted to change their accent.
When you don’t improve your American accent
Many years later in my career, I served as a hospital administrator. I worked in a critical care environment where foreign physicians and nurses, who were the very best of their trade, struggled to instill confidence in both their patients and the family members because of their inability to communicate due to their accent barrier. PAINFUL!!! That’s when I realized that as a leader, it’s not only about what you’re saying, but about the rate, intonation, word stress, and connected speech that allows for exceptional interpersonal communication.
The craziest part was, even with far less expertise than the doctors, many times I was brought in to the patient’s room to step in and act on their behalf because of my command of language and how to leverage it to effectively communicate a message.
I’ve seen this happen more times than I can count across several industries. Where the people with all of the knowledge and expertise can’t communicate the message and have to bring in subordinates under them to do the job on their behalf. YIKES!! Quite often, those subordinates wind up picking up the knowledge and get promoted over their peers because they’re the ones that can effectively communicate.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
No matter what industry you’re in, whether you’re a software executive, tech startup CEO, or in health care, it’s all the same. It doesn’t change the fact that you must understand the nomenclature of the language but also how to deliver it. If you’re experiencing barriers because of your accent, know that you can improve your American accent with determination and consistent practice. But just listening to Americans talk won’t get you there.
It amazes me how many pieces must come together to achieve great communication. I’ve had many opportunities in my career and in life to observe this phenomenon. From that, I’ve built my model and trained people on it. It’s life changing. Every time I watch the transformation happen, I just want to do this more and help more people.
From this I’ve made many friends and acquaintances from all over the world. I’m thrilled to have been given this gift and to be able to share my passion with others. Literally if I could not sleep and do this all day, every day, I would be happy!
In my free time, I love to travel with my family. We have four boys who share our passion for beautiful places, different cultures, delicious food, and connecting with people from all over the world. Did I mention we love the food? Okay, just making sure 🙂
Helping you improve your American accent
Something I’ve witnessed in both in my travels and in my work, is that non-native speakers of English have a deep desire to connect. I’ve noticed that when accent is a barrier, it frustrates both the speaker and the listener. The speaker wants to be understood and the listener desperately wants to understand. Non-native speakers want to feel confident. This need to communicate with confidence inspires me to continue my work and show people how to overcome these barriers. I feel very fortunate to find inspiration for my work through my love for travel.
My hope for you is that you pursue and achieve the best version of yourself. If you have barriers in your way, move them. If that means improving your accent to get that promotion, feel more comfortable in social settings and board rooms, or to just to be the best you can be…I’m here for you!