What is the ESL Industry? Role of Accent in Spoken English

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One of the most popular and widely accepted languages in the world is English. People from various countries and different cultures converse by using English, as it is the most familiar means of interaction. This language is so influential that it has become an international language. This language has connected people worldwide and has built bridges among different cultures, so many countries insist their citizens be fluent in English. This demand has given rise to a multibillion-dollar industry called ESL (English as a second language) industry which has expanded to every part of the world, in metropolitan cities and small towns as well.

There are about 1 million companies related to the ESL industry in total, all competing to engage, coach, recruit and help native-speaking teachers and foreign students in one way or the other. We can speculate that there are many unrecorded, unaffiliated, and hoax businesses as well. English as a Second Language (ESL) has many attractive facets.


The accent is a segment of a dialect and indicates the way people say particular words and phrases of the same language distinctively from each other.  The accent is how we pronounce the words—a style of voicing. In a way, our accent is the process of speaking our native language and this may appear wrong or strange to native speakers of the same language.  Our accent depends on where we live and what social groups we belong to.

For example, an Indian will speak with an Indian accent, but in India, there are various accents due to differences in social background and education. This can be related to everyone throughout the world. Even in a country or region, accents can vary.

One noticeable accent is known as Estuary English that is spoken in the localities near the River Thames and its estuary. There are typical accents, accents that are not related to a particular region like Standard English, also popular as Received Pronunciation (RP), an accent not related to a particular region but it is associated with the accents in the south of England. Received Pronunciation is regarded as an impressive British standard accent by several people, still, a small part of the society living in the UK actually speaks in this accent.

English Second Language, English

English, a Lingua Franca

It is a fact that the majority of people who speak English are non-native speakers, that means individuals who speak English as a second or third language, a lingua franca means a language used to communicate among the groups of people who speak distinct languages, for example, the staff working at an airport. As we consider this, having a native-speaker accent is quite natural.

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You may think that a person doesn’t have an accent because he may have an accent similar to you, but this is not true as everybody has an accent. A person’s accent is related to his history and identity and different accents show the affluence of development and culture. So, is someone’s accent a real problem?

Not at all.

Nowadays, English is taught as an international language and while speaking English as an international language, the only real problem can be something that affects the ability to understand. The main focus should be to be able to communicate with others whether they are native or non-native speakers.

ESL industry, improve English accent

What do Language Learners Need?

To understand others and communicate intelligibly, a language learner should come into contact with different accents and be sensitive to the differences in pronunciation in the real world when they encounter people with different accents.

You can have your own accent, it doesn’t matter if you are a native or non-native speaker and can gather information about many other English accents around the world and expose yourself to a few through the course materials, movies, and the internet and even try them. English is accepted as a global or international language and no accent is worth more or regarded higher than the other.

One should be able to communicate comfortably and confidently with other people and be able to understand the other person’s message in return. Millions of people speak in English around the world, but in different accents. It is important to be understood and also grasp what the other person is saying.

Some practical tips to improve your accent in the English language:

  • It is important to learn the Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Getting familiar with the  Language.
  • Find out if something is strange about the Pronunciation.
  • The more you speak, the more perfect your language will become.
  • Practice makes a man perfect.

I hope this article will give you all an idea about the growing ESL industry and the importance of accent for everyone, as everyone has an accent no matter which country we belong to.

By- Suman Lata

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