Foreign Accent Aid
Thanks to the Accent Modification Program at the University of Missouri, people from other countries can learn to drop some of their native accents. AMP helps them improve articulation, melody and intonation.
"We're not trying to take away peoples' accents or make everybody sound like a computer," said AMP Supervisor Dana Fritz. "Our goals are really to work with people who are voluntarily interested in trying to improve English language pronunciation to make themselves better understood."
Clara Choi learned English when she was in seventh grade. Nearly 20 years later, she's still learning.
"I know now what my problem is," she said, "and I need to focus on my pronunciation and intonation."
The AMP offers an education that many non-English speakers never received in English as a Second Language courses.
"It's a lot of mouth movement and tongue position that ESL teachers don't qualify for," said AMP Clinician Marifloyd Wright.
Many believe the AMP helps boost speakers' confidence, helping them fit into a culture that's foreign to them. Similar programs are usually in cities larger than Columbia, with a greater mix of cultures and ethnicities.
MU's AMP costs $423 per person. For more information, click on the link to the right of this story.