Reduction Study (Ping Pong) is a result of a research-based investigation into the specifics of foreign accent. As an immigrant who speaks English as a second language in the United States, I am the main subject of this project. In an attempt to understand the concept of reducing one's native accent and learn to speak like an American, I am using my body as a tool to research and experiment by enrolling myself to an accent reduction class. Could I really get rid of the trace of my mother tongue? What aspect of my speech makes me sound foreign to Americans? How would I feel if I realize I am unable to speak like a native and to assimilate to the local culture? Besides taking the class, I have interviewed linguists, accent coaches and students to learn more about what an accent really is and the reasons people want to lose their foreign accents.
The ping pong balls in the video are symbols for communication and miscommunication. The voice-over in the video is based on the findings of my research and my experience as an accent reduction class student. It also serves as a critique of racial stereotyping, hegemony as well as cultural globalization and standardization.
This video was awarded Best Art Film at The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (2012), York, United Kingdom.
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