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ELL Guide

A guide for ELL (English Language Learners) at the University of Maine at Augusta

Pronunciation vs. Accent

We encourage you to think about the difference between accent and pronunciation. 

Consider accent as something that is a product of environment, culture, and context.  There are billions of English speakers from variety of contexts and diverse backgrounds.  As such, it is natural for there to be many English accents as there are many Englishes.  As there is no one standard, correct English, there is no one standard, correct accent.  People may desire to change or alter their accent, which is fine, but that is not our focus here. 

Our focus here is pronunciation.  While it is true that pronunciation may not be completely separate from accent, we think of pronunciation here in terms of legibility, comprehension, or communication.  In other words, is a difficulty in pronunciation affecting the speaker's ability to effectively communicate what they want?  If it is, then those are areas we attempt to address here.  

Of course it is not easy offer extensive help or guidance in this area in this format, but we hope to provide some useful hints and resources that could help you improve your pronunciation in specific areas.  

Accessibility Statement
The University provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities upon request. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for a workshop should contact UMA Libraries at to submit a request. Due to the lead-time needed to arrange certain accommodations, individuals should submit their request no later 1 week before the event.