What do shattered glass, shattered dreams, and accent reduction classes have in common? A lot- if you look at the end result.
While traveling over a holiday weekend, our family was brought behind several backups on the interstate. Trying to take a shortcut, we started down a smaller road where a deer suddenly jumped at the side of our van, shattering the window in the sliding door. Although it was scary at first, no one was hurt.
We had thought it would be easier and quicker to go down a different road, but our expectations were suddenly shattered. Riding home for several hours with a plastic bag taped over the hole, weave up on conversation because the wind noise was deafening. Its constant presence weighed on us the entire way, and we could not wait to get home and have a new, quiet window installed.
It made me think about some people I know who came to America as second-language English speakers expecting to blend in easily, not realizing that their accented speech would be an obstacle to their success. They had studied English for years, knew all the grammar rules, and felt secure in their ability to communicate. But, once they got here, people misunderstood them and kept asking them to repeat themselves, and their expectations shattered around them much like the glass in that van window.
At that point, they had two choices. They could put tape over the shattered windows of their dreams, fighting to be heard above the wind noise of their heavy accent.
Or, they could recognize that life was not exactly how they expected it would be, but that they could create a better life for themselves by replacing those shattered dreams with new ones. By taking accent reduction classes, some of them learned to reduce their accent and make their speech much clearer than before. Instead of struggling to be understood, they can now communicate clearly and easily with those around them. The shattered dreams are gone and have been replaced by new, clear speech patterns and new dreams of success.
Which choice have you made? Are you struggling to get through each day, repeating yourself and feeling more and more defeated as the "noise" of your accent drowns out what you really want want to say? Or, have you taken steps to reduce that noise, to improve your pronunciation, and open up the path to clear communication?
Do not settle for less than what you had hoped for. You deserve to be heard and not to be drowned out by your accent. It's time to put your shattered dreams and replace them with a window of hope. By taking accent reduction classes, you can get rid of the "wind noise" in your speech and begin communicating clearly and easily. That's a dream that really can come true.