Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Member

Ana Claudia Harten, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Eric Acton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kennetha S. Thompson, ClinScD, CCC-SLP


Accent “modification” is a type of service offered by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) that is intended to, among other things, help speakers improve their intelligibility in a target second language. This area of practice has been, and continues to be, a controversial topic amongst scholars and practitioners. To explore and understand the perspectives of non-native speakers of English regarding their participation in accent services, the present study employed a qualitative research design using individual, semi-structured interviews. Ten adult non-native speakers of English (female: n = 7; male: n = 3), with ages between 28 and 47 years old (M = 35 years), participated in this research. Seven common themes emerged using a hybrid approach to datadriven, inductive thematic analysis. Overall, the participants described their experiences with learning English and accent services as beneficial while recognizing potential drawbacks, such as pressure to sound more “natural” or “less foreign.” To foster the provision of culturally affirming practice, SLPs need to be aware of deficit framing/thinking and biases toward accents. A focus on clients’ empowerment and confidence should be considered, with accent services centered on clients’ cultural values, identity, experiences, individual needs, and goals.