Accent Reduction and Communication Skills Training
Frequently Asked Questions
What is accent reduction? Accent reduction involves much more than just changing the way you pronounce words.It incorporates all aspects of spoken English, including pronunciation, grammar, stressing and intonation, speaking rate, speaking volume, and speaking smoothly by linking your words together.The goal is not to eliminate your accent, but to improve your communication skills so that everyone understands you the first time you say something.
Why canít people understand me when Iím speaking? American English speakers are used to hearing the English language spoken in a certain way.Because you may have differences in the way you pronounce certain sounds, the way in which you organize your sentences, and the up and down melody of your speech, they may affect how well others understand your speech. Speaking rate also plays a major role in how well others may understand you.If you speak rapidly, your accent will be more pronounced; if you speak more slowly, your accent will be easier to understand.
Can I lose my accent? If you learned English after the age of about 13 years old, you will not be able to completely eliminate your accent. This is because the part of the brain that is responsible for learning language is fully developed by this time.What you can do is significantly improve your speaking skills so that your accent is minimal.You will speak clearly, be easily understood, and eliminate the frustration you once felt.The days of repeating yourself over and over will be gone.As a result of your success, you will feel confident in speaking situations and be more successful in your career.
How much will I improve? The key to improvement is repetition and practice.The amount and speed of improvement depends on your dedication to practice, your motivation to learn, and your present skill level in English.With consistent daily practice, you can expect to improve a minimum of 60% by the end of the 12-week course.So, the best advice I can give you is practice, practice, practice!
When will I notice improvement? Because you have been speaking English for a while now, you have formed speech habits that will take time to change.Your speech has always been part of who you are, so some part of you will naturally try to resist changing even though you truly want to.With instruction and daily practice, you should begin to notice a difference in the way you speak in conversation in about a month. Many people begin to notice a difference within the first two weeks.
What happens if I have to drop out in the middle of the course? If you have to stop your course before it is finished, you have two options: you can discontinue classes permanently or you can postpone them for up to a month. At that point, you would finish your remaining classes.
Are telephone lessons effective? Yes. I have found that after working with hundreds of individuals, using both the telephone and video conferencing, there is no difference in the quality of the lessons or the improvement rates. As part of your course textbooks, you will receive a book showing correct tongue and lip placements for each sound you practice.
Every instructor is a licensed and ASHA certified speech pathologist and is trained to work with individuals with speech differences. Because of this specialized training, he/she can identify and explain exactly what you are doing with your tongue and lips and what changes you need to make just by listening to you. Only a speech pathologist has the skill to work effectively with speech differences.