Learn the neutral American accent to be better understood
If you're tired of being asked, "Where are you from?" or having to repeat yourself to colleagues and clients, you need to learn the general or neutral American accent. You'll be more easily understood, and understand Americans more easily.
My physically-based approach works quickly, teaching you how to form the sounds of the American accent even if you can't hear them at first (people customarily hear only the sounds in their own language until they're taught to make the sounds of a new accent). I've been retained by Maximus, Anthem, Honeywell Analytics, Ernst & Young, Imperial Capital Bank, Oakwood Worldwide, Jafra, TAXI, Reuters International Television, California Lutheran University and the Los Angeles Japanese Consulate, to name just a few.
How Does It Work?
I'll have you read me a short story, and using that, as well as hearing you converse, I'll determine which sounds you're changing from a neutral, or general American accent.
We'll look at those sounds one at a time: I'll teach you how the American version of the sound should be formed (what you do with the tongue, jaw and lips) then give you some practice using the new sound, first in words, then in sentences and brief stories.
We'll also address issues of stress or intonation and liasons or word connections, both key components of the American accent. As you get comfortable with the individual parts of the new accent through brief daily exercises, I'll have you read longer passages (including work-related material), eventually using the new accent in conversation.
I'll record each session (whether in person or by phone) and give you a cd for later review. I may recommend you purchase a textbook, either American Accent Training by Ann Cook (3rd Edition), which comes with five cds for practice, or for native English speakers Speak With Distinction which contains many useful exercises (though we'll steer clear of the Mid-Atlantic accent that the book teaches). I'll supplement the books with additional original material (via email if we work by phone, so it's best to call from a phone near a computer connected to the internet).
My clients almost always report that they've learned something new during the very first session, and achieve a significant change in their sound between 12-24 sessions. You may take fewer or more sessions depending upon your accent.
Where are you located, and can we work by phone or skype?
We can work at my office near Westlake Village, California, off the 101 Freeway, at your location (additional fees will apply) or by telephone or skype, which are equally effective.
Client Lara Homsi said of working with me by phone: "It was like being face to face. Joel is so specific and wouldn't let me give up until I owned my sound. He caught all the sounds that I made which created the accent and worked with me on every single one."
What are your rates?
Rates for private accent modification coaching at my office or by telephone vary, depending upon what you need to accomplish, how quickly you need it, and whether you pay for sessions individually or prepay for a package of six or twelve sessions. Additional fees will apply for travel to your site. Please contact me for specific information about your needs.