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  1. #1
    ESLinMI Guest

    pronunciation vs. accent

    can anyone help explain the difference between pronunciation and accent? many things use both to describe a product "improve your pronounce and reduce your accent" aren't they basically saying the same thing?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: pronunciation vs. accent

    Not necessarily- your accent would be the region or, more broadly, the country you come from. Pronunciation would be the way you said individual words. You could have two speakers from the same region, with the same accent, but one could pronounce words better and more clearly than the other.

  3. #3
    ESLinMI Guest

    Re: pronunciation vs. accent

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Not necessarily- your accent would be the region or, more broadly, the country you come from. Pronunciation would be the way you said individual words. You could have two speakers from the same region, with the same accent, but one could pronounce words better and more clearly than the other.
    Thank you for responding. I guess my confusion is if we say an ESL course will improve a students pronunciation, is it fair to say that we are reducing their native tongue accent? and vice versa. I see the difference between the two in someone's mother tongue but it is more difficult to seperate the two for someone learning a second (or third) language. You explaination works for both native and non-native speakers, but most language learners say they have a thick accent, is more unusual to say that they have problems with pronunciation in the new language.
    In any case, thank you for the reply!

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: pronunciation vs. accent

    In ESL, the aim would be to reduce L1 accent, so the distinction would be less clearcut.

  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Re: pronunciation vs. accent

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Not necessarily- your accent would be the region or, more broadly, the country you come from. Pronunciation would be the way you said individual words. You could have two speakers from the same region, with the same accent, but one could pronounce words better and more clearly than the other.
    I think that's speaking about people whose first language is English.

    Improved pronunciation can often mean reducing a foreign accent when speaking English. Even just remembering final "s" sounds can make one sound less foreign to some extent. More is usually needed. That's just one adjustment that might need to be made in some cases.

    Within the context of teaching pronunciation to ESL/EFL students, I think pronunciation is accent in many respects.

    Does improving one's intonation refer to "accent reduction" or "improving pronunciation"? I would say it refers to pronunciation, but "accent reduction" is sometimes a better marketing term. It depends.


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