A Clear Speech Approach to Accent Management Purpose A 5-session twice-weekly clear speech protocol with daily home practice was developed to enable Spanish-accented speakers of English to code-switch for increased listener ease of understanding. This study provides preliminary data to test the hypothesis that this protocol results in increased ease of understanding for native English listeners, not ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 08, 2017
A Clear Speech Approach to Accent Management
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alison Behrman
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, The City University of New York, Bronx
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Alison Behrman: Alison.Behrman@lehman.cuny.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls
    Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 08, 2017
A Clear Speech Approach to Accent Management
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2017, Vol. 26, 1178-1192. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0177
History: Received October 12, 2016 , Revised March 6, 2017 , Accepted June 13, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2017, Vol. 26, 1178-1192. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0177
History: Received October 12, 2016; Revised March 6, 2017; Accepted June 13, 2017

Purpose A 5-session twice-weekly clear speech protocol with daily home practice was developed to enable Spanish-accented speakers of English to code-switch for increased listener ease of understanding. This study provides preliminary data to test the hypothesis that this protocol results in increased ease of understanding for native English listeners, not in decreased talker accentedness.

Method Using a single-case experimental design, 6 adult native Spanish speakers with English proficiency participated in the protocol. Ease of understanding and accentedness were probed at least 5 times pretraining, at each training session, and once per week for 5 weeks posttraining. Thirty native English–speaking listeners assessed the probes using 7-point scales for each measure.

Results Ease of understanding improved for all participants (mean improvement = 3.5 points; effect size range = 6.98 to 15.33). Accentedness improved for 4 of 6 participants (mean improvement = 2.3 points; effect size range = 4.04 to 10.48). At the outset, most participants expressed concern that this approach would highlight speech errors. Upon follow-up, all participants reported confidence in using the approach and found it helpful in daily communication.

Conclusions Further research should explore the effects of this protocol on intelligibility and acoustic metrics and their relationship to ease of understanding and accentedness.

Acknowledgment
The participants are gratefully acknowledged. This research was supported in part by a clinical research grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, awarded to Alison Behrman.
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