About Michelle Knoop

My Approach

I 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.


I have​ over 20 years’ experience teaching American English and accent to speakers of other languages in the workplace, privately, and in community colleges. I have worked with students from over 60 language backgrounds.


I am the author of The American Accent Workbook, She Built Ships: Workbook, and editor of She Built Ships in World War II. I have also designed numerous course materials and curricula.



I trained as an accent coach, and I hold a Master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from San Francisco State University (1994). In my Master’s program I studied linguistics, phonetics, semantics, pronunciation, and teaching methodology. 


Living Abroad

I am fluent and literate in Spanish, and I have lived in South Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica. A native Californian, I reside in beautiful Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.