Here is what our learners say about how the Accent Neutralisation Course has been for them
Michelle shares her knowledge about language and accents and the importance of training and neutralising accents to improve contact centre customer communications.
Discovering the depths of conversations through an in-depth understanding of language pathology and human engagement
Our primary product is our online accent modification course, which aims to improve the English accent of any frontline person whose second (or third) language is English. The course is also designed to improve the trainee’s auditory processing of English, i.e. teaching them to interpret what they are hearing in English accurately.
The effect of the South African English Accent on customer service
If your mother tongue is isiZulu, isiSotho or isiXhosa your first language will have a powerful effect on your English accent. It’s as if you are walking into a minefield of vowels which you simply don’t have in your vocal arsenal. A common feature of the South African languages is strong throat resonance. Voice is produced in the middle to back part of the mouth. This results in a deep, full, warm voice. But because of this, when English is spoken there is blurring of the forward, round English vowel sounds, such as er, ar, and or.
Which channels do you prefer to use to contact customer service or support?
The study was conducted by Interactive Intelligence in March/April 2014. The sample was 1,462 individuals who had had a non-personal interaction with a business in the last 12 months. The consumers were from eight different countries; Australia, Germany, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Brazil and Sweden.
In South Africa the English accent is influenced by the Southern African languages. In particular the Black South African languages are characterized by:
Strong Throat Resonance:
Voice is produced in the middle to back part of the mouth. This results in a deep, full warm voice. But because of this, there is blurring of the forward, round English vowel sounds, such as ‘er’, ‘ar’, and ‘or’.
An interesting idea for developing countries
Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other – using resources and mentoring from the cloud.