American Accent Training
             972.566.4844               Be proud!  You speak more than one language!!!                                                                 
Do you speak English as a second language?  Do you want to sound more professional, more educated and more proficient in American English?  If you do, Carol can guide your speech in the proper direction....


As a tenured professor at Southern Methodist University, Carol taught specialized courses relevant to modifying accent and dialectal variations.  She is an expert in articulation, phonetics, pitch modulation, rhythm, stress and intonation.  She believes that speech coaching for accent should be designed to first improve those speech skills that will make the greatest difference in the shortest amount of coaching time.

What is accent?  Accent, whether it be foreign accent or regional accent, is characterized by 3 components -- your intonation (melody, rhythm and pacing), how words are connected, and pronunciation.  Years ago, speech coaches emphasized individual speech sound correction as the primary goal in accent reduction.  It was tedious, time consuming and less than productive.  It was also boring and frustrating to the client!  Today, primary focus is placed on  those elements of your speech that will produce the quickest results in the least amount of time.  Sometimes it may be the distorted articulation or diction.  Many times the melody, rhythm and pacing of the American accent have never been addressed.  And, as a result, the melody pattern of your native language may be superimposed on American English.


What's the best way to learn the American accent?  

Individual speech coaching produces the fastest most customized approach to accent reduction.    Classes are certainly helpful, but do not allow much time for the teacher to work with individual speech differences.  Classes typically have different languages represented, which further dilutes the efficiency of the class.  However, classes ARE beneficial, particularly if the individual student practices diligently between sessions.  Telephone coaching is less than ideal.  Trying to learn the precise speech sounds or melody and rhythm patterns you need can be frustrating.  And, buying accent reduction books with CD's can certainly be helpful, but the problem is there's no one to tell you if your speech attempts are accurate.  You simply need a coach who can hear and see what you're doing, which will expedite the learning process.


How long does it take?  

 The key to learning the American accent is your ability to hear, discriminate and monitor the MELODY, sounds, and RHYTHM of the language.  It's wise to project 8-10 one-hour sessions following the evaluation.  Some students require more, some less.  Bur the information and technique you need to apply can likely be taught in less than 10 sessions.  The hard part is to take the information and integrate it into your everyday business conversation.  This part is up to the student.  So if you're serious about learning better speech, you'll have to invest time and focus on your speech outside the coaching session. If you have excellent listening skills, you'll likely do well in accent training.. People who listen to music... who learn well by listening...who catch on to ideas and concepts through the auditory channel have more success with accent development

How much does it cost?  The initial evaluation, which takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete, costs $295.00.  At the end of the session, you'll receive a prioritized list of written recommendations specific to your needs.  So you'll know what you have to accomplish and  what it will take to get there. 


Each individual session is one full hour and costs $95.00.  If you think the cost is high, remember, individual sessions are more productive and expeditious than classes, which virtually always have many students, and they often speak different languages.  So, individual attention is limited in a class full of students with different needs. 


Carol believes you should demonstrate your ability to learn in about 6-8 sessions.  You may not have perfect speech, but you'll know how difficult or easy it will be for you to continue.  The truth is, few students learn to speak with a perfect American accent, but they can usually improve their speech so it's more understandable and marketable.

AS SEEN IN USA TODAY.......  Carol instructs students at Edison State



      Professors of Pronunciation Help Immigrants



 By Laura Ruane, USA TODAY

A growing number of immigrants are taking lessons and taking classes on how to speak English like an American, experts in pronunciation say.

"There sometimes is heated debate whether an accent is an impediment to advancement," Tapia says. But "if an accent is so strong, their listeners truly cannot understand what they're saying, then I think accent-reduction is beneficial."

In Fort Myers, Fla., Edison State College offers a non-credit, accent-reduction course for the first time this fall, says college spokeswoman Catherine Bergerson. The initial class of 12 includes Richard Melillo, 40, a native of Venezuela who works at the Fort Myers Macy's department store and plans to study radiology technology at the college.

At the store, "some people are rude and say 'Can I speak with other salespeople here?' But normally, people are friendly and patient," says Melillo, who says he has studied English through public adult education since coming to the USA in 2008.

Most of the students in the Fort Myers course speak Spanish as their first language, but the course is open to people from any language background, teacher Carol Rommel says.

"The goal for me is to improve their intelligibility, not to make them sound like newscasters," Rommel says.

An accent "is part of your culture," she says. "All I give them is another option to use."

The accent-reduction course is new at Edison State, but about 120 miles away, in Tampa, the University of South Florida has held accent reduction classes for about 15 years, says Elissa Henderson, director of marketing for USF's continuing-education division.

Colleges and universities across the USA offer accent modification programs, including Washington State University, Arizona State University and Texas State University, an Internet search shows.