Accent Modification 101:  Improving Communication Skills in Individuals Using Non-Native English and US Regional Dialects

Course Number
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Presenter: Dr. Leigh Ann Spell
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are receiving more and more requests to provide accent/dialect modification services to individuals who speak English as a second language or use a non-standard American accent/dialect.  This course will introduce SLPs to the area of accent modification.  Topics discussed will include the sometimes confusing terminology used, the different professionals who currently provide accent modification services, the typical clients who seek out these services and why they want to change their accents/dialects.  We will also review research that has examined the efficacy of accent modification from different perspectives.  The majority of the session will provide specific strategies and resources related to providing services to non-native English speakers and those who use US regional dialects in regards to assessment and instruction for more effective communication skills.


Following the course, participants will be able to:

1. Define terminology associated with accent modification and what influences accent/dialect.
2. Explain who can provide accent modification services, where they typically provide services, to whom they provide services and why.
3. Describe assessment strategies for evaluating the speech and language of non-native English speakers and speakers of different US Regional Dialects.
4. Describe evidence-based strategies to improve communication skills in individuals using non-native English and US regional dialects.

About Dr. Spell: Dr. Leigh Ann Spell has worked as a speech-language pathologist and professor for almost 30 years. She currently has a part time private practice called Accent Connections, LLC and is an Associate Research Lab Director and Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina (USC). Her background includes teaching in the Sookmyung International Summer Program in Seoul, South Korea and being very involved with the Columbia Council for Internationals as well as with the USC English Program for Internationals
Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.35 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area

Course Timeline:

20 min: Introduction and Overview of Accent/Dialect Modification

40 min: Who, What, Where and Why of Accent/Dialect Modification and Does It Work?

45 min: Assessing Speech and Language in Individuals Using Non-Native English and US Regional Dialects

60 min: Strategies for Accent/Dialect Modification in Individuals Using Non-Native English and US Regional Dialects

45 min: Review of Resources for Providing Accent/Dialect Modification Services

Disclosure Statement for Leigh Ann Spell:

Financial: Leigh Ann Spell is a presenter for Video Continuing Education and receives royalties. 

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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