What is an accent?

An accent occurs when the same sounds and intonation patterns (melody, rhythm) you learned in your first language are also used when speaking your second language. A regional accent occurs when you continue to use the same sound and intonation patterns in regions other than your native region. Although an accent is not a disorder, it may interfere with communicating effectively.

What are some signs that an accent may be interfering with effective communication?

  • Difficulty being understood by others.
  • Others ask you to repeat or talk more slowly.
  • Feeling less confident about communicating, especially in work situations.
  • Difficulty being understood on conference calls or other phone calls.
  • Feeling self-conscious about your accent.
  • Feeling that your accent may limit potential for career growth and opportunities.
  • Avoiding or not enjoying social situations.
  • Others consistently ask “where are you from?”

How can accent improvement training help?

Accent improvement can help you speak your second language more clearly and with more confidence. Others become less distracted by your accent, which means they are listening more to what you say rather than how you say it. This frequently results in better self-esteem, improved potential for career growth, and further opportunities at work, socially, and in the community. Telephone conversations also become more successful and enjoyable.

We begin by first evaluating your speech habits (intonation, use of consonants and vowels, auditory discrimination, grammar, breathing style, vocal variety), and then planning a personalized program based on your individual needs. Our program models Standard American English (SAE). This is frequently the melody used by broadcasters or others who need speech training for their career. Because SAE is generally considered unaccented, others will be able to focus on your message rather than become distracted by your accent. For the most part, you will learn new patterns by incorporating consonants and vowels you already know into Standard American speech.

Accent improvement is achievable. We help you incorporate your new skills into practical everyday speech, including typical words and phrases you often use at work, socially, and in the community. As with learning any new skill, seeking specialized training, being motivated, and committing to frequent practice are the keys to success!


“I’m a fluent English speaker from China.  Yet, I have some difficulties in pronouncing some vowels and consonants.  I’m glad I was able to get help from Sharon.  She is very knowledgeable and experienced, worked with me patiently to improve my pronunciation and overall way of speaking so that I could sound more natural.  Changing my way of speaking is not an easy step.  I’ll continue to work on improving my accent with the techniques and skills I learned from Sharon.  Thank you very much!”  –Catherine of Brown-Forman


“If you are looking to reduce your accent to sound more like a speaker of North American English or are looking for this type of training for an employee then look no further than Speech & Voice Therapy Center LLC.  We have a very valuable administrator in our company who had a heavy Spanish (Latin American) accent prior to attending the course of instruction and was not well understood by our customers, particularly via the telephone.  So, initially I looked into the many various options via a web search such as online programs, skype tutors, websites and apps etc. and for our specific area in the South Shore of Mass. the only option for one-on-one lessons was S&VTC with Sharon Frank.  Thinking this type of training would prove to be most effective and not wanting to leave things up to chance with something other than one-on-one instruction we decided to go with it and we are so glad we did.  After the three months program our young lady’s accent has drastically improved and her confidence level has soared!  A very wise investment to say the very least.  Sharon Frank is an expert in her field. Highly recommended!!” — S.W., Bridgewater, MA


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