Kean Quest


In our multilingual society, speech-language pathologists often encounter normal speech variations in people who speak English as a second language. These differences result from the influence of their first language(s) on their English, and are distinct from disorders of articulation and phonology. However, many individuals still wish to more closely approximate “American English.” The clinical application of advances in speech science allows assessment of perception and production of speech across individuals. These can aid in describing non-native English accents by providing live feedback.

To bridge theoretical and clinical aspects of speech science, one full-time faculty member and one adjunct faculty member initiated an independent study program with one graduate and one undergraduate student in the School of Communication Disorders and Deafness. The students led an accent management program at a local YMCA branch in Metuchen, New Jersey for six participants. With faculty guidance, advanced speech science software was used to provide biofeedback with traditional approaches to improve participants’ production of English speech sounds. This article discusses pre- and post-accent training outcomes, and the unique experiences of student-peer mentoring in conjunction with student-faculty collaboration.