First Advisor

Christina Farrell

Document Type


Date Created



As immigration rates within the United States increase, the prevalence of speech varying from Standard American English (SAE) continues to grow as well; sub sequentially, many immigrants experience social, personal, and professional obstacles attached to their nonnative speech that can result in feelings of cultural isolation. Accent modification has quickly become a solution for individuals wanting to assimilate themselves into a new culture by adopting the phonemic and pragmatic structures of the regional language, essentially reducing personal discomfort connected with speech; however, those who strongly correlate their accent to their identity may regard the therapy as an unnecessary means of conformity to further strengthen western globalization. This phenomenological study aims at examining the relationship between accent and identity among students from the Center for International Education (CIE) at the University of Northern Colorado as well as immigrants/refugees and from the Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado (IRCNOCO) with the purpose of exploring how thoughts and feelings toward accent modification differ between participant groups in regards to their experiences and environment. In addition to uncovering potential themes about immigrant and international identity, results show that feelings towards the phenomenon of accent modification differ between participant groups. In conjunction with additional research, information from this study will help to benefit various professions, the general public, and immigrant populations considering accent modification therapy.