American Accent Coaching
Why accent coaching?
The purpose of accent coaching is to enable you to communicate clearly, confidently, and accurately in English, while maintaining your cultural identity. The goal is to be understood and to communicate with confidence, not to eliminate your native accent completely. Think of it as adding the Standard North American accent to your repertoire.
How long does it take?
There are two main phases in the process of changing accent. In the first phase, you acquire the tools you need to create change. Noticeable differences can occur in the first few weeks. After completing a course, you will have the tools to move into the second phase: integration. This is where you continue to use your new skills and will self-correct until they become habit. This phase can take up to a year or more and continues even after you finish your course. As you use your new tools, you will integrate them more and more until eventually you use them without conscious effort.
A rubber band helps emphasize stressed words and syllables
"The goal is to be understood and to communicate with confidence, not to eliminate your native accent completely."
How does it work?
Recent research has shown that the brain has plasticity, the ability to change, and can change even in older adults. By training intensely, kinesthetically, and systematically, you take advantage of the brain's plasticity to affect change in accent.
We relearn speech habits first by hearing the differences in sounds, then producing them consciously, until with continued awareness, new speech behavior becomes internalized and natural. The coach supports this process by providing targeted modeling and feedback, and kinesthetic techniques in conjunction with vocal and articulation exercises. The trainee does reinforcement exercises at regular intervals between sessions. Eventually new behavior becomes "wired" in the brain.
Why use an accent coach?
Audio-visual programs, language apps, and books can provide information on what makes an accent, and can offer tips for change, but they are no substitute for one-on-one coaching. A good accent coach provides personal, immediate feedback, as well as a syllabus targeted directly at your needs. In addition, the emotional content inherent in the interaction between client and coach creates context, which stimulates the brain and memory in a way no app can do.