Accent Reduction and Conversation

Accent Reduction and Conversation Courses in Houston

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Our Accent Reduction program is aimed at the upper-intermediate and advanced English as a second language speaker. We work on reducing areas of pronunciation that affect comprehension; that is, areas that make it difficult for native speakers to understand you. On your first session, you will take a placement test to check for problem areas to be explored - for instance, vowel and consonant sounds, word and sentence stress, linking, and intonation. You will practice these features in different situations, from very structured exercises to spontaneous speech.

Our program uses audio, video, drilling, reading, role playing, dictation, tongue twisters, short creative writing, and interactive conversational speech with target sounds, as necessary. A variety of oral and written tasks are included in each lesson to ensure the active participation of the learner. These diverse assignments liven up the classroom environment.

Through understanding the sound system of the English language and developing self-awareness, students are given the means to improve their accent.

The Accent Reduction series is offered in two formats::

  1. Individual (one-on-one) classes: Our certified instructor works directly and specifically on your particular accent issues. In the in-person delivery, either you come to us or we come to you. The online delivery provides instruction through Skype, wherever you are.
  2. Group classes (up to five students): We provide in-person instruction at our location or at your company, emphasizing teacher-student and student-student interactions.

For each of the above formats, there are at least three levels of instruction:

Level 1: For High Intermediate speakers who wish to be able to effectively communicate with native speakers at the level of proficiency they already have.

It is a common scenario: you have studied English for a while now and, while there is still room for growth in terms of grammar and vocabulary, there is a gap between what you already know and how much of that you can actually communicate to native speakers. “What’s the use of knowing 200 words and grammar rules in English if I still can’t ask for directions and be understood?”

Level 1 provides intermediate speakers the opportunity to speak more clearly and be understood now; that is, sooner rather than later.

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.


Level 2: For Advanced speakers, part 1. In this course you will learn to:

  • Recognize common mistakes in English sounds.
  • Distinguish similar sounds.
  • Reproduce difficult phonemes.
  • Initiate the incorporation of the targeted sounds into your speech.

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.


Level 3: For Advanced speakers, part 2. In this course you will:

  • Continue to incorporate targeted sounds into your speech.
  • Learn and practice intonation used by native English speakers, resulting in a more natural speech pattern.
  • Study rhythm and stress, including them into your speech.

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

Level 4: Conversation, for those who wish to consolidate their acquired accent reduction skills with the guidance and support of a certified instructor

At this level, the student correctly knows how to reproduce most targeted sounds in the English language in a controlled environment, with an intonation, rhythm and stress that is friendly to native speakers in terms of comprehension. However, in hectic everyday situations, he or she may find themselves resorting back to old speaking habits, at times making it difficult to be understood.

For these speakers, conversational practice with the assistance of a certified and experienced instructor is the missing link. Through constant interaction in different situations, the instructor creates opportunities for the student to converse in different areas of knowledge, ranging from technical areas to current world affairs, incorporating important aspects of the American culture, including common expressions (idioms).

In this context, special attention is given to:

  • Target sounds in North-American English.
  • Natural rhythm, stress, and intonation used by native English speakers, resulting in a more natural speech pattern.

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.