Our Philosophy

Accents are learned in childhood

Whether near or far away, children learn to speak from their families and communities. They learn the sound preferences and accent of the people around them. When everyone around the children sounds the same, they think that they have no accent and are ‘right’ within their limited world. When ‘outsiders’ come into the community, the outsiders will sound different and will ‘have an accent’.

Accents can differ by a sound or two or they can be so different that people can barely understand each other even when speaking the same language. Accents are created by doing what comes naturally; people from faraway places use the deeply embedded childhood muscle, sound and rhythm patterns to speak a new language.  These sound production patterns are felt and heard as ‘right’ to the speaker and ‘wrong’ to the listener.

What was learned can be re-learned

When learning another language, people tend to ‘fit’ the new words into the original muscle coordination and sound systems of their native language. It is like trying to sing the words of  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to the music of  The Bear Went over the Mountain. These are two simple songs but the rhythms don’t match. 

Learning a new language tends to focus on accumulating new words and less on how to make the sounds of the language. In childhood, the sounds, rhythms and nuances are absorbed from their environment, but not so with adults learning a new language. Adults need to be taught the mouth mechanics so they can produce accurate sounds in the new language. They must learn to hear, feel and experience similarities and differences. Otherwise, there are significant communication breakdowns.  The bigger the differences in how sounds are produced in different languages, the bigger the communication problems.

Typically, English as a second language (ESL) teaches words, grammar, reading and writing, but teaches few if any speaking techniques in many parts of the world. Clear Communications offers new research and methods, information that fills this gap! We turn foreign accents into Canadian accents.

Training is the key to ongoing success. In the hurry, hurry of the business world, communication slowdowns and misunderstandings are costly. The further an accent veers from the standard local accent the more problems newcomers to Canada have in the workplace. Even highly educated professionals can be perceived as ‘not very smart’ because the cultural cues and intonations that elicit trust are missing. If you have foreign educated professionals who have accents that weaken their communication skills, retraining is the solution. Speaking with a local English accent is only months away.  What would accent training do for these employees? What could these employees then do for your company?