In sociolinguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation. An accent may identify the locality in which its speakers reside (a regional or geographical accent), the socio-economic status of its speakers, their ethnicity, or social class (a social accent), or influence from their first language
- Would you like to have an accent like Eminem ? Nope
- Would you like to have a Canadian accent if you have never been to Canada? Nope , Not even possible
- Would you like to sound like you are from Texas if you have never been to Texas? Nope , Not even possible
- Would you like to get a social accent without mingling with that social group ? Nope , Not even possible
- Would you like to have a good pronunciation , correct use of grammar and collocation? Yep
Wikipedia Excerpt #2
The most important factor in predicting the degree to which the accent will be noticeable (or strong) is the age at which the non-native language was learned
The critical period theory states that if learning takes place after the critical period (usually considered around puberty) for acquiring native-like pronunciation, an individual is unlikely to acquire a native-like accent
Most researchers agree that for adults, acquiring a native-like accent in a non-native language is near impossible.
There are also rare instances of individuals who are able to pass for native speakers even if they learned their non-native language in early adulthood
- If I learned English on my thirties , would I be able to get a British accent? Not very likely
- Do you still feel like getting an accent after reading the words Unlikely and nearly impossible? Nope
Wikipedia Excerpt #3
Getting an accent depends on factors other than age, such as length of residence, similarity of the non-native language to the native language and the frequency with which both languages are used
- Is even possible to get a Canadian accent , a Texas accent or a peculiar person accent without being to that country , location or mingling with that social group? Not possible
Lenght of residence
- Can you get a Canadian accent if you live in a Peruvian neighborhood? Not possible
SimilarIty of Non-native language
- Do you see a Japanese native speaker getting a British or Canadian accent? Maybe , Maybe not , Those two languages aren’t remotely close to each other
the frequency with which both languages are used
- so you think you can get an accent by talking to students who most of the time doesn’t have a clue of what you are saying? Nope .
This is video is something I recommend when people ask me about the importance of getting an accent.
What should be the focus then?
Fluency is a speech language pathology term that means the smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are joined together when speaking quickly.
In the sense of proficiency, “fluency” encompasses a number of related but separable skills:
Reading: the ability to easily read and understand texts written in the language;
Writing: the ability to formulate written texts in the language;
Comprehension: the ability to follow and understand speech in the language;
Speaking: the ability to produce speech in the language and be understood by its speakers.
Reading Comprehension : the level of understanding of text/messages.