50 Simple Ways to Reduce Accent Quickly - English Accent Reduction Training Pocket Book

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The project emerged from the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, which brought together federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for Francophone affairs. We are committed to supporting the vitality of Francophone minority communities and increasing the proportion of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec, working toward a target of 4. We have already introduced changes to temporary and permanent programs in order to attract French-speaking immigrants.

As part of this strategy, we will continue our international promotion, communication and recruitment work. Together with language-testing organizations, we will increase the availability and reduce the cost of French language tests required for economic immigration. We are exploring opportunities to strengthen the connection between French-speaking immigrants, improve the provision of Francophone settlement services and build the capacity of the Francophone settlement sector.

Under our new Action Plan, we will support a consolidated Francophone integration pathway to make sure French-speaking newcomers obtain complete information regarding Francophone communities and high-quality services from Francophone settlement organizations.

This will span from pre-arrival to citizenship, to ensure the successful integration and retention of French-speaking immigrants within Francophone communities and to enhance the vitality of these communities. This will include initiatives such as Francophone settlement services in international airports across Canada — for example, at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, a major port of entry for new immigrants to Canada.

A new initiative, Welcoming Francophone Communities , will support targeted communities in creating an environment in which French-speaking newcomers will feel welcome, and enhance capacity to integrate and retain French-speaking newcomers. Through partnerships, communities will be able to identify and implement projects, by and for Francophones, to address current gaps and develop innovative solutions adapted to their specific needs and those of the French-speaking newcomers settling in their communities.

The community is great. The connections that unite Francophones up here, in the territories, are indivisible… I don't know, everyone has a feeling of pride there, and it brings us all together. I really love that. To support the Francophone integration pathway, we will increase the availability of professional development in French to Francophone settlement service providers and provide greater opportunities to exchange best practices.

We will also explore ways to build capacity of Francophone service providers and improve service provision by Francophone communities. Our new Action Plan will increase the availability and accessibility of official-language training adapted to the needs of French-speaking immigrants. This will address the need for both French- and English-language instruction for effective economic and social settlement and integration.

It will also include curriculum adapted to the realities of these communities. Well, it's a very proud community. I've never met young people, or people in general, as welcoming as they are there. I only knew Spanish when I went to school, but it was so easy to learn French, because my teachers helped me so much. The community welcomed us, when no one else wanted to.

Our new Action Plan will reinforce the capacity of IRCC to improve and centralize coordination of policy and programs that favour Francophone immigration. This will support IRCC's ability to ensure sustained cooperation with provinces and territories in the context of the Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration , announced by federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for immigration and the Canadian Francophonie in March Accountability, reporting and performance measures will also be enhanced through the implementation of a new and comprehensive Francophone Immigration Strategy.

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The Government of Canada has a long history of providing support, generally through provinces and territories, to make services available for people in the official language of their choice. To this end, we will fund a series of initiatives to improve access to quality education, health and justice services. Minority communities have had to fight long and hard to have their education rights recognized. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of official-language minority parents to have their children educated in their language and to manage their public educational institutions.

For nearly 50 years, the Government of Canada has provided funding to provinces and territories to support minority-language education. The Government also has a long history of supporting and cooperating with organizations that work to promote and enrich minority education. The Government is committed to ensuring that these significant federal investments continue to address clear community needs and deliver impact on the ground.

As well, through Pillar 1 of our Action Plan, Canadian Heritage will increase core funding for organizations working to promote and support minority-language education. This will empower organizations to encourage more rights-holders to choose minority education and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge, methods and tools to support minority-language educators. Without French schools, there is zero chance that our community would survive. We have six schools attached to community centres and early childhood centres.

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As a result, we have excellent partners and the community has great potential for development. Though we can teach concepts and theories in classrooms, it is when young people are given the opportunity to put these things into practice in the field that we really see the impact. Communities and schools have everything to gain by working together to allow young people to plan and participate in civic activities.

Throughout the consultations, stakeholders emphasized existing teacher shortages in minority communities. In fact, the issue of improving the availability of French teachers across Canada was raised by provinces and territories at last year's Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie.

We will engage possible partners like provinces, territories and education stakeholders to develop an approach to allocate these funds. The development of minority-language education in Canada depends on communities having access to adequate facilities. The use of former federal lands for the purpose of building minority-language schools provides an important opportunity. However, the sale and transfer of federal lands remains complex, and decisions regarding the planning, allocation and approval for land uses on these properties involve multiple players.

A clear example of this is found in Vancouver, where the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique would like to obtain land to build a French-language school. The Government has expressed support for the Conseil scolaire , and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement has taken on a leadership role in bringing all stakeholders to the table to make this possible. The owners of the land, the Canada Lands Company CLC Limited and its First Nations joint venture partners, have committed to working with the community while respecting the City of Vancouver's planning process, to explore how future uses for this property could respond to the Conseil scolaire 's pressing need to acquire land.

Ensuring the needs of official-language minority communities are considered in the use and disposition of federal lands remains a priority for the Government. Access to justice is a very important value of Canadian society. The Government has taken concrete steps towards improving access to justice in both official languages that complement the investments of this Action Plan. These include:. The fund works to close the gaps faced by people from official-language minority communities as they navigate the justice system.

It works with non-profit organizations, learning institutions and provincial and territorial counterparts to improve access to justice. Support is provided for professional training and development needs, access to accurate, reliable and easy to find legal information in the official language of the minority. We will also continue to improve second-language skills of Canadians or train members of minority communities in a wide range of legal professions with a view to support an expanding array of legal services and procedures offered in both official languages.

Through the Contraventions Act Fund, Justice Canada will continue to provide provinces, territories and municipalities where the Contraventions Act is implemented with funding to undertake measures on Canada's behalf to ensure that constitutional and statutory offenders' language rights are respected in relation to the issuing and processing of contraventions tickets.

Health Canada will build on results that have been achieved and reinforce activities to improve access to health services in official-language minority communities.

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We have succeeded in showing that by having networks across the country, we can create action plans for viable solutions for Francophone minority communities. Health Canada will continue to support health networks whose mission is to mobilize health stakeholders, including political decision-makers, health administrators, professionals, teaching institutions and civil society, to adapt services and ensure equitable access for official-language minorities. Finally, Health Canada will partner in projects that address shared federal—provincial—territorial health priorities. Projects to support mental health and well-being for vulnerable children and families will be launched or expanded in select high-need minority communities across our country.

The Agency will work with key stakeholders to ensure projects respond to the needs of the communities. In late , as part of a commitment to improve the delivery of services in both official languages, we launched a review of the Official Languages Regulations for Communications with and Services to the Public. Our review is well underway, and we should complete the revised Regulations in The Regulations will specify the circumstances and criteria under which a federal office must provide bilingual services.

The review assesses the needs and perspectives of communities and the adjustments needed to align the Regulations with the current and future demographic and technological realities of Canadian society. It will also improve bilingual services around transportation. The Government of Canada has long encouraged and helped provinces and territories to deliver provincial, territorial and municipal services in the minority official language — English in Quebec and French in the rest of Canada.

The environment has significantly evolved in recent years, with a number of provinces adopting new legislation or policies to support the delivery of such services. For example, in , Prince Edward Island implemented the French Language Services Act , then a policy and regulations that set out the delivery of services in French. Finally, in June , the Alberta government unveiled a new French Policy intended to improve its services in French and ensure the vitality of the Francophonie throughout the province. Ontario, for its part, is currently working on a new version of its French Language Services Act and the Ministry of Francophone Affairs has just been created.

We welcome these efforts and the significant progress they represent. Today, nine out of ten provinces have laws, regulations or policies in place regarding the provision of government services in the minority language. These agreements provide significant increases in funding, as the federal government has a special role in supporting the delivery of French-language services in each of the three territories. At the same time, the Government took concrete measures to support the preservation, promotion and revitalization of Indigenous languages in the territories.

This support encourages provinces to create more services to minority-language communities based on needs identified through consultations with their official-language minority communities. Today, languages build bridges between English speakers, Francophones and Canadians of all origins. Our two official languages are an essential tool for the inclusion and integration of all Canadians into our diverse society.

Learning a second official language can open doors to many career options in both the public and private sector, in Canada and around the world. I have been in Canada for almost 17 years now. Before coming here, I learned that Canada had two official languages; this in itself seemed to me to be a wonderful asset. And I think that this is a point of pride for this country, that two of the most important languages in the world can coexist.

Today, our nation's capital officially reflects the bilingual character of Canada. Years of effort on the part of community members and organizations, the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario have culminated in the Province of Ontario passing legislation recognizing that both official languages, English and French, will enjoy equal rights, status and privileges in Ottawa. The measure reflects a common will to make Canada's capital bilingual and solidifies the City's own bylaw and languages policy to create services in the language of the minority.

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Ottawa's bilingualism is a source of pride and a national symbol of our linguistic duality and the plurality of the Canadian identity. Researchers would still need to demonstrate sufficiently high intra- and inter-coding reliability by recoding a sizable proportion of the data, in some cases based on repeated listenings in a sound-attenuated environment—a highly time-consuming and labor-intensive endeavor. Derwing et al.

In particular, Derwing et al. Motivated by this line of work, the current study focused on 11 rated variables drawn from the domains of phonology, fluency, lexis, grammar, and discourse structure created for use by listeners not accustomed to evaluating L2 speech, as opposed to trained coders. These variables were embedded in rater-training materials, in an effort to enable even inexperienced listeners to reliably apply them. The first objective was to determine the extent to which 20 native-speaking listeners with or without linguistic and teaching experience could use these 11 variables to evaluate L2 speech samples, and to examine how these listener-based ratings compare with the output of linguistic coding and analysis.

To ensure comparability of research findings across studies, these 11 listener-based categories were developed to closely match the 18 phonological, temporal, lexical, grammatical, and discourse measures used in our precursor research Isaacs and Trofimovich ; Trofimovich and Isaacs To summarize, this study explored linguistic influences on comprehensibility and accentedness through listener judgments, as opposed to linguistic analysis. The overarching goal was to expand the practical relevance of L2 speech research to other research settings and pedagogical contexts.

At the time of the study, all raters were residents of Montreal, a bilingual French—English city, which was the same context where the target L2 speech samples had been recorded see below. Because listener familiarity with L2 speech can impact their judgments e. This allowed for controlling the listener familiarity variable while also ensuring that both the raters and the speakers came from the same sociocultural context. Six were undergraduate students at an English-medium university while the others were unaffiliated with any postsecondary institution.

Six reported having taken a course in applied phonetics or pronunciation teaching, with the remaining four raters reporting no pronunciation-specific training experience. All reported having normal hearing. The speakers recorded a narrative based on an eight-frame picture story about two people colliding on a street corner and accidentally exchanging their suitcases, which were identical in appearance Derwing et al.

Because the original recordings ranged in length between 55 and s, the beginning of each narrative 23—36 s was excised from each audio file in line with previous L2 speech research Derwing and Munro The resulting audio samples were normalized by matching peak amplitude across samples and removing initial dysfluencies e. All samples were orthographically transcribed and verified for accuracy by another transcriber. The raters were tested individually in a quiet room and performed three rating tasks in a fixed order, starting with a global rating of accentedness and comprehensibility, followed by ratings of the speech for five pronunciation variables and, finally, ratings of orthographic transcriptions of the speech for six lexical, grammatical, and discourse-level variables.

To avoid rater fatigue, the rating was divided into two sessions scheduled on separate days, in line with previous research employing listener judgments e. All ratings were collected using MATLAB, and the raters used a moving slider on a computer screen to assess the global and linguistic qualities in L2 speech samples for the various measures for training materials, see Appendix A.

Apart from the frowning and smiley faces and accompanying brief verbal descriptions e. The relevant sliding scales for each set of judgments accentedness and comprehensibility for global ratings; five pronunciation and fluency categories for audio ratings; six vocabulary and grammar categories for transcript ratings were all visible simultaneously on a computer screen for onscreen labels, see Appendix B.

The raters were told that the speech samples represented variable English language proficiency and were encouraged to use the entire range of each scale. The slider on each scale initially appeared in the middle, and the raters were told that even a small movement of the slider may represent a fairly large difference in the rating. Before proceeding to the next speech sample, the raters were allowed to adjust their judgments on all visible scales as many times as they wished until they felt satisfied with their decision. At the beginning of Session 1, raters evaluated each of the 40 speech samples for accentedness and comprehensibility simultaneously.

The raters first received detailed instructions about each construct on a printed paper and recapped orally see Appendix A , then rated three practice speech samples not included in the main data set to familiarize them with the procedure, and then proceeded to evaluate the 40 randomly ordered speech samples, working at a pace that was consistent across all raters approximately 30 min. Each sample was played once, following prior research e.

Following a short break, the raters then evaluated the same 40 speech samples for five pronunciation variables which represented segmental, suprasegmental, and fluency dimensions of speech. These variables included i vowel and consonant accuracy substitution, omission, or insertion of individual sounds , ii word stress misplaced or missing primary stress , iii intonation appropriate, varied use of pitch moves , iv rhythm alternation of stress between content and function words , and v speech rate speed of utterance delivery.

A total of 20 raters again received thorough instructions see Appendix A and then evaluated three practice samples. For each practice sample, they were asked why they made their decisions and then received feedback to ensure that the rated categories were understood and applied appropriately.

The raters then proceeded to rate the 40 randomized speech samples at their own pace, which was comparable across all raters approximately 60 min. They were allowed to replay each file if necessary, in view of the fact that they were rating several discrete measures as opposed to global measures of accentedness and comprehensibility. Although all raters used this option during the practice sessions, few did so during the main rating.

In Session 2, the raters evaluated speech transcripts for six lexical, grammatical, and discourse-level variables see Appendix A. Following Crossley et al. Therefore, using written transcripts rather than actual speech samples helped us tease apart and control the influence of pronunciation and fluency factors on rater judgment of lexical, grammatical, and discourse properties of L2 speech.

Each transcript was modified to remove obvious sound substitutions or omissions, especially those specific to French speakers of English e. Thus, cleaned-up versions of all transcripts were used in Session 2. The six variables included i lexical appropriateness accuracy and precision of vocabulary , ii lexical richness varied and sophisticated use of vocabulary , iii grammatical accuracy errors in word order, grammar endings, agreement , iv grammatical complexity use of sophisticated, non-basic grammar , v story richness narrative sophistication and detail , and vi story cohesion use of discourse markers.

As in the speech rating session Session 1 , the raters scored three practice written samples following instructions. In each case, they were asked to explain their decisions and received feedback. Subsequently, the raters evaluated the 40 randomized written transcripts in a self-paced task, which was comparable in duration across all raters approximately 30 min.

To determine the extent to which the raters were able to assess the linguistic dimensions from the speech and transcripts using continuous sliding scales, their ratings were compared with the original coding of the same speech samples by linguistically trained coders from the precursor research Isaacs and Trofimovich ; Trofimovich and Isaacs Because these coded measures are discussed in detail in the original study, only a brief description is provided here. Of the 18 coded measures selected for this comparison, the first nine targeted pronunciation and fluency and the remaining nine focused on various aspects of lexis, grammar, and discourse structure.

A trained coder first conducted a linguistic analysis for each measure either through auditory measures e. Then, another trained coder recoded 40 percent of the speech samples for each measure. Segmental error ratio. The total number of segmental vowel, consonant substitutions, divided by the total number of segments articulated.

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Syllable structure error ratio. The total number of vowel and consonant epenthesis insertion and elision deletion errors, divided by the total number of syllables articulated. Word stress error ratio. The total number of word stress errors i. Intonation error ratio. The number of correct pitch patterns produced at the end of phrases i. Vowel reduction ratio. The number of correctly reduced syllables over the total number of obligatory vowel reduction contexts in both polysyllabic words and function words as a measure of English rhythmic timing.

Articulation rate. The total number of syllables produced excluding dysfluencies e. Mean length of run. Lexical errors. The number of incorrectly used lexical expressions, over the total number of words spoken. Token frequency. The total number of words produced i. Type frequency. The total number of unique words i.

Lexical sophistication. The number of frequent words i. Grammatical errors. The number of words with at least one morphosyntactic error errors in word order, agreement, morphological marking , divided by the total word count. Subordinate clause ratio. The number of subordinate clauses, divided by the total number of clauses produced.

Number of propositions. The number of distinct propositions or storytelling elements predicate, followed by another argument in a speech sample, normalized for sample duration. Number of story categories. The number of different proposition categories in a speech sample e.

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  • This measure is based on the idea that a speech sample describing only the setting may be poorer in discourse structure than a sample that first focuses on setting and then describes the events and consequences. Number of cohesive devices. The number of adverbials used as cohesive devices e. The first objective of this study was to determine the extent to which native-speaking raters with and without linguistics and teaching experience could use 11 rated variables to evaluate L2 speech and to examine how these judgments compare with the output of linguistic coding by trained coders.

    Across the entire program is instructional points from your author. Self assessments are included so you can monitor your progress and determine where more support is needed. This newest edition includes lessons on additional cultural aspects that create accent such as how to speak from your best and strongest voice, speak with American oral resonance, learn how to apply less muscular force to sounds, manage fast speech and learn how to breathe from a diaphragm breath. Accent Reduction will position you to achieve your accent reduction goals and speak with greater clarity and confidence.

    Noticeable improvement occurs in about 3 weeks! See the instruction as if you were present. Practice the exercises along with the participants and hear helpful feedback.