Can a speech pathologist with an American accent help those who speak different languages or have different accents?

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Comments (6)

Sid in West Palm Beach, Florida

85 months ago

I am moving in two years to the United Arab Emirates. The population is a mix of British, Indians, Arabs, and Filipinos. I was born and raised here so i have the standard American accent. If I have an American accent, can I be of use to someone with a British accent? How about someone who speaks a completely different language? Ex. I can't imagine myself being able to help some Arabic speakers make the gluttural sounds they use, since I can't replicate them myself.

I am just wondering if this degree will have global applicability.

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lambda in Madrid, Spain

85 months ago

I'm a Spanish Psychiatrists and work in English for the expat community, here in Madrid. I think you would have no problem helping patients who speak English but can find difficulties working with Arabic speakers.
We are looking for a Speech Pathologist to work with our multidisciplinary team at SINEWS Multilingual Therapy Institute. We need a bilingual English-Spanish professional.
If you or any of your colleagues are interested, please send your CV to
You can find more about visiting our website:
Kind Regards,
Dra Orlanda Varela

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Deb in Houston, Texas

60 months ago

I am also very interested in working outside of the US, and have the same question.

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MackenzieSLP in Raleigh, North Carolina

53 months ago

In order to work with someone in their native language you MUST be fluent in that language. If you are working with a native Arabic speaker and you are helping with accent modification to help them with English you can do that. ASHA guidelines.

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jacobrajan18 in Bangalore, India

50 months ago

Please do go 4 it ........... they need your help......
I am an Indian(NRI) born in Kuwait. In the Arabic language, \r\ sound is quite complex since there are different forms of the arabic language but commonly \r\ is accompanied with \k\ as it ends or in terms of co-articulation.
You'll do grate........... God bless.

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Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington

49 months ago


I am an Australian SLP who has worked in Samoa and America, and the accent does not impact your practice that much. I might use my 'r' in final position when doing 'r' therapy, but 99% of the time I am understood by everyone who I work with. I also picked up different ways to stress syllables in words, for example with the word 'after', in Australia it sounds like 'arfter', but the people still knew what I meant!

I think it is important for SLPs out there to know that just because you have a different accent does not mean that you will not do amazing things! My blog talks about SLP 'issues' in reference to volunteering/working in a developing country and working abroad - of which I have done. Will be happy to answer any questions!

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