Standard Article

Accent Reduction

  1. Ron I. Thomson

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0004

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Thomson, R. I. 2012. Accent Reduction. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


The term “accent reduction” is normally used by individuals or businesses offering to help second language (L2) learners reduce or eliminate their foreign accent. These services are provided under what Derwing and Munro (2009) refer to as a business view of accent, and are often premised on the belief that foreign accents are a negative trait, and a detriment to L2 speakers' ability to establish relationships and find employment. A Google search for the term “accent reduction” results in well over 100,000 hits, primarily linked to Web sites offering courses that promise to rid speakers of a foreign accent, some in as little as 2.5 hours. In this unregulated market niche, no specialized training is required of instructors in accent reduction programs, although some do have backgrounds in English language teaching (ELT) or as speech language pathologists (SLPs). While some accent reduction programs and instructors are well-intentioned, many others appear to be solely profit-driven. This section will contrast accent reduction with related terms and practices, and briefly summarize the perspective of applied linguists and learners.


  • ESL/EFL;
  • teaching methods in applied linguistics;
  • discrimination;
  • pronunciation