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    I'm a psychology graduate and I'm interested in training as a speech and language therapist, specifically at MMU. However, I'm from the north west of England and I do have a very strong accent (I'm from Wigan for those who are curious). I'm fascinated by the discipline and it's many applications. For example, I work with children who have severe autism and I've seen how communication aids such as Makaton, timelines, pecs cards etc can be used in this setting. I've also worked with adults who have acquired brain injuries and seen the application of SALT there.
    I just feel my verbal communication skills will hold me back which is quite
    depressing.
    It hasn't really held me back in a professional capacity as I usually have good phone etiquette and make a real effort to speak slowly when on the phone. I did my undergraduate dissertation on child language acquisition and studied similar modules in my third year and that was by far my favourite part of the degree.
    So I feel I have a good background of relevant work experience and a genuine desire to be in the profession. Will my accent and my verbal communication hold me back?
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    It's a common misconception that SLTs should have 'unaccented' English (whatever that's supposed to be!). Most SLTs I know take great pains to stress to people that their role isn't about elocution coaching or teaching people to 'speak properly'. It's about supporting patients to communicate in the way that's best for them. A regional accent should not be a disadvantage and it could even be a help if you end up working in that particular region. The only time when it might legitimately pose a barrier is if it's so strong that you can't be understood without difficulty, but that's unlikely - I'm from the North West too and it's not like people from Wigan are aliens. You're just about comprehensible.
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    (Original post by opalescent)
    It's a common misconception that SLTs should have 'unaccented' English (whatever that's supposed to be!). Most SLTs I know take great pains to stress to people that their role isn't about elocution coaching or teaching people to 'speak properly'. It's about supporting patients to communicate in the way that's best for them. A regional accent should not be a disadvantage and it could even be a help if you end up working in that particular region. The only time when it might legitimately pose a barrier is if it's so strong that you can't be understood without difficulty, but that's unlikely - I'm from the North West too and it's not like people from Wigan are aliens. You're just about comprehensible.
    Thanks for your advice. That makes me feel better. It's not so much my accent that's a difficulty, as it's not a typical 'Wiganese'. People often say I sound like I'm from Yorkshire. I guess it's just I have a very deep voice and I do speak quite quickly I guess I just need to make every effort to speak slowly.
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    With time you'll get around it. Much like speaking on the phone, you'll probably find you develop a 'patient-facing' tone which most people can understand without you really having to think too hard.
 
 
 
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