Accent Reduction and Conversation

Program Description

We work on improving areas of pronunciation that affect comprehension; that is, areas that make it difficult for native speakers to understand you. Our goal is to bring you as close as possible to sounding like a native speaker of American English. In our Accent Reduction classes, you will receive clear and effective instruction from an experienced teacher and participate in a variety of interesting accent reduction activities. The Accent Reduction teacher will also provide plenty of feedback to help you sound more like a native speaker of English.

CCLS Houston offers two types of Accent Reduction classes:

1. Individual (one-on-one) classes: Our certified, experienced teachers work directly and specifically on your particular accent issues. For this one-on-one instruction, you can either come to us at CCLS, or we come to you at your company or another designated meeting place. Online sessions are also available through Skype or Webex.

2. Group classes (up to 6 students): We also offer Accent Reduction group classes at CCLS. Our group classes emphasize teacher-student and student-student interaction.

For each of the above types of classes, there are five levels of instruction:

Level 1: All Accent Reduction students will begin with Level One.

Most beginning AR students report that their accent makes them hard to understand and, as a result, interferes with many aspects of their careers----from participating effectively in meetings to giving clear presentations to being considered for promotions. Although prospective AR students have varying levels of fluency and use the language every day in their professions, fluency is not a major consideration in this accent reduction program. Clear and natural speech, which results in effective communication, is our priority. Therefore, all Accent Reduction students will start at Level 1.

In Level 1, the student will learn about and practice:

  • • American English Vowel Sounds
  • • Three Aspirated Consonants (p, t, and k/hard c)
  • • Basic Linking and Reduction
  • • Schwa
  • • Ear Training

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

Level 2: New elements of Accent Reduction will be added to previously learned rules and skills. The student will learn about and practice:

  • • Difficult Vowel Contrasts
  • • Voicing and Syllable Length
  • • Voiced vs. Voiceless Consonants
  • • Three pronunciations of -ed in regular past tense verbs
  • • Content vs. Function Words
  • • Ear Training

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

Level 3: New elements of Accent Reduction will be added to previously learned rules and skills. The student will learn about and practice:

  • • Voiced vs. Voiceless Word Endings
  • • Difficult Consonant Blends
  • • Five Pronunciations of T
  • • Hearing/Recognizing Intonation Patterns
  • • Ear Training

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

Level 4: New elements of Accent Reduction will be added to previously learned rules and skills. The student will continue to integrate and build upon what was learned in the previous three levels. In addition, the student will learn about and practice:

  • • Thought Groups and Focus Words
  • • Imitating Intonation Patterns
  • • Targeted Review of Difficult Sounds
  • • Pace (rates of speaking speed)
  • • Ear Training

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

Level 5: At this level, the student knows how to correctly reproduce most sounds and incorporate most features of English within the controlled environment of the classroom. The student should also be close to speaking with an intonation, rhythm and stress that is friendly to a native speaker in terms of comprehension. However, in hectic everyday situations, students may find themselves reverting to old speaking habits that make their speech difficult to understand. Level 5 offers AR students the opportunity to apply what they have learned to more intensive and advanced activities. Special attention is given to:

  • • Guided Conversation
  • • Advanced Dialogues and Role Play
  • • Student Presentations
  • • Review of Difficulties in Speech

Recommended duration: 24 hours of instruction.

What do our clients think about Accent Reduction Program?

  • Sorin Ghervan
    Hello Ms Carol,
    "Thank you for making this accent reduction class available. Carol is brilliant and she is the best teacher one can get in this field. Her presentation and teaching style was the most exciting and informative that I have ever seen. One of those amazing experiences that in the future I will look back and remember with appreciation.

    Sorin Ghervan

  • Maite Meseure
    I was really attracted by the unique accent reduction program offered by CCLS Houston.
    As everyone knows, having an accent or not fully understand your interlocutor leads sometimes to tricky situations.
    What I found at CCLS Houston is a high-level training with native-speaker’s instructors, very professional, rigorous but also kind at the same time: the perfect combo! Moreover, the small group class allows us to evolve confidently.
    We first reviewed how to correctly produce the basic sounds which is truly essential and we progressively moved forwards to incorporate rhythm and stress with different kind of exercises including talking, active listening, recording ourselves, etc.
    I can say that I learned a lot, improved a lot and I feel much more confident at work as well as in the everyday life situations! For this reason, I highly recommend this program and CCLS Houston in general. Thank you to my teacher Carol

    Maite Meseure
    Software Engineer at Guardian Research Network

  • Lourdes Nieves
    Finding CCLS Houston has been one of the best things that ever happened to me since I moved to Houston. Actually I am taking the “Accent Reduction and Conversation” class. It has been a wonderful experience for me personally and professionally. Even when I speak English I always found hard to communicate effectively because of my accent. Those days are over!

    Lourdes Nieves

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