We begin with a speech diagnostic, then create an individualized plan for each client to address their specific goals and challenges.
We start by breaking English down to the smallest components to learn all the consonant and vowel sounds of Standard American English. We use the International Phonetic Alphabet to identify the specific vowels in a word regardless of spelling. We practice the sounds in words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and then in natural speech.
We then move on to the suprasegmentals of intonation and rhythm, again practicing these patterns in controlled and then natural speech. I provide feedback and modeling for the target patterns. Each week we identify a focus to practice between sessions. You will use session videos, the workbook, and custom worksheets to practice the skills introduced in sessions. You will learn techniques for breath, voice, listening, and shadowing to employ in your practice.
Another speech diagnostic is taken again in the final week of the course to quantify improvement. With focus, routine practice, and patience, old speech patterns are re-learned and new habits take their place.
Ms. Knoop has over 20 years’ experience teaching American English and accent to speakers of other languages in the workplace, privately, and in community colleges. She has worked with students from over 60 language backgrounds.
Ms. Knoop trained as an accent coach and holds a Master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from San Francisco State University. She has taken courses in linguistics, phonetics, semantics, pronunciation, and teaching methodology.
Knoop is the author of "The American Accent Workbook", "She Built Ships: ESL Workbook", and editor of "She Built Ships in World War II". She has also designed numerous course materials and curricula.
Knoop is fluent and literate in Spanish and has lived in South Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica. A native of California, she resides in Sonoma County wine country, an hour north of San Francisco.
Jane Driscoll joined EnglishWorks as an accent coach in 2020. She has taught speaking and accent skills to students from around the world. Jane grew up in New York and moved to California to attend college. After receiving her B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley, she completed a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from San Francisco State University in 1993. Jane is a tenured college professor and has designed and implemented speaking, listening, and pronunciation curricula in her discipline. She currently lives in the Sacramento area with her family.