By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A heavy accent costs people confidence and possibly their dream job, says a professional development coach.
Aarti Royan is part of a business called The Difference Makers, which is offering an eight-week ‘accent neutralisation’ course for migrants.
She nominates it as the number one issue for why migrants can’t get ahead.
“This need has been in my psyche for quite a while now.
“I’ve encountered doctors who might lose their practices because their patients don’t understand them.
“In factories, things can go horribly wrong if you can’t communicate clearly.”
The workshops don’t aim to modify a person’s natural accent, but focus on vowels, consonants and commonly mispronounced words, Ms Royan says.
It also drills down on speech patterns, the importance of putting stress on particular words.
“It’s very difficult to take an accent out,” Ms Royan says.
“The objective of this program is not to put on a fake accent. We want to communicate, communicate, communicate.”
Participants are encouraged to socialise, network and take every opportunity to develop their communication skills.
“When you communicate well, you understand better as well.
“Whether you’re a qualified professional or not, it can cause you to lack confidence – to feel not at your best at a business meeting, family gathering or a job interview.”
The course runs on Tuesdays, 24 July-11 September, 7-9pm at Bunjil Place library. Book by 30 June at https://www.trybooking.com/WDQH
Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0409019365.