Accent Reduction Classes: the Key to a Better Quality of Life?

Have you ever been misunderstood when you thought you had been very clear?

Do people ever ask you to repeat yourself because they don’t understand what you said?

Are you concerned that you may miss a job opportunity or promotion because of your accent?

If you have ever experienced any of these things, you may have wondered if there were any way to solve these problems without losing your native accent or regional dialect.

talking1You’ll be happy to know that the answer is YES.

By working with a trained speech professional, you can increase the clarity and accuracy of your English speech, often by 50% or more, without completely losing the accent that reflects your heritage.

Would it improve your self-esteem to be understood every time you speak? Would you gain self-confidence if you never had to repeat yourself again? Would you sleep better at night knowing that your speech no longer negatively impacted your job performance?

If you answered yes to those questions, then accent reduction training could be right for you.

First, look for a speech trainer or coach who specializes in accent reduction. Speech pathologists have specialized training in how to teach you to pronounce sounds correctly and show you how to form those sounds in your mouth.

To determine if an accent reduction class will be beneficial, ask for a screening or consultation and tell the trainer exactly what concerns you have about your speech.

A quality program should include a customized evaluation and a training plan tailored to your individual needs. It may include either individual or small group sessions, since it is often beneficial to hear others practice even if their native language is different from yours.

Your classes may be held in person at your office or at the office of your speech coach. Alternately, you may choose to have individual lessons via webcam, a more private and time -saving approach.

During the sessions, you should learn to hear the differences in your speech, discover a new way to pronounce troublesome words, and practice your new skills in relevant conversation.

Reducing your accent will require a time of dedication and practice on your part, but by working with a qualified speech professional and practicing at home, you will soon find yourself communicating more easily with everyone around you.

As Anthony Robbins says, “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

Don’t you deserve a better quality of life?

 

Why do we need Y on the end of the word?

You CAN Touch This to Improve Your American Pronunciation

Today we are talking about how you can use your sense of touch to improve your American accent. All you need is a small stone or a watch or bracelet.

Are you AT work or IN work? Figuring out Prepositions of Place

How do you say Wednesday? (And the other days of the week!)

Do you say Wed-nes-day? Or Wenz-day? Which do you think is correct? Watch this video  to find out!

 

American Pronunciation of Stare and Steer: What’s the Difference?

Welcome! In this video, you get some American pronunciation practice as we talk about the difference between the words stare and steer. We’ll talk about the double meanings of each word and how they are pronounced, and you will improve your American accent as you learn how to say each sound.

 

Episode #1 – Your New Year’s American Pronunciation goals

 

Transcript:

Hi, It’s Lisa Scott with losemyaccent.com. Have you written your New Year’s Resolutions or set those New Year’s goals? I will tell you in just a minute why that might not be a good idea.

But first, I want to share with you how excited I am about some of the new developments we have here at Accentuate. One of the biggest changes is that we are moving to much more video this year. When you ask pronunciation questions, it is so much easier for me to explain them when you can actually see what I’m explaining. So, starting today, the majority of my blog posts will be videos rather than written articles.

You have asked for some lower priced video trainings, and those are coming as well. I have an all new 6 week series that is almost ready for you, so I’ll be sharing the details very soon. I can tell you that since my birthday is at the end of January, I will be running a very special birthday sale as I launch this new series.

And lastly, I have started a Facebook page that is just for us to talk about your questions and concerns regarding American pronunciation. So, come visit me at www.facebook.com/losemyaccent and tell your friends to join us too. Introduce yourself, share your concerns with learning English, and ask your questions about pronunciation, grammar, intonation – whatever is on your mind! I will try to answer simple questions on the page and I will choose some of them as topics for future blog post videos. I’m really looking forward to connecting with you there!

And now, back to my comment at the beginning on why New Year’s Resolutions might not be a good idea.  People make them every year and every year they get frustrated because they just can’t stick with them. But what if instead of focusing on the specific goal, you focus on the outcome, or who you want to be when you meet that goal. Let’s take the example of setting a goal to reduce your accent. You could set a measurable goal of improving 50% on a pronunciation test, and that would be great. But you don’t really care if you score 50% higher on that test, do you? What you really care about is being understood more easily, not having to repeat yourself, and feeling confident when you speak English. Right? Those are outcomes rather than goals, and it is those outcomes that truly make you feel like you’ve accomplished your goal.

So, how do you change your focus? First, you think about your goals for the year one by one and think about how you will be different when you meet that goal. What will you gain by meeting that goal? What will the outcome be? That is your true motivator and the way to help you stay focused to accomplish that goal.

And if one of your goals is to improve your American pronunciation, and the outcome you are looking for is to be understood more easily and feel more confident when you speak, then I hope you will be an active part of our community this year. Watch these videos, share your questions on the facebook page, and let me know what I can do to serve you as you work towards the outcomes you desire in 2013.

See you next time!

 

 

Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer Contest

Today’s post is a contest I ran a couple of years ago, but since we have added lots of new readers since then, I decided to post it again – and yes, I am running the contest again, too. Be sure to send me your entry!

Ever get frus­trated try­ing to improve your spo­ken Eng­lish by read­ing writ­ten Eng­lish? Or won­der why two words that are spelled com­pletely dif­fer­ently are pro­nounced exactly the same? With cer­tain words, you have to hear them in con­text in order to fig­ure out which word, and which spelling, was intended.

lose my accent spellcheck

Today’s entry is a humor­ous look at how using spellcheck on your com­puter might sub­sti­tute cor­rectly spelled words in a com­pletely wrong con­text. Give your­self a spelling chal­lenge and see if you can fig­ure out how the words really should be spelled.

To make it more fun, I’m turn­ing it into a contest!

Here’s how the con­test works: Rewrite the poem with the cor­rect spellings for the con­text, leave a comment below telling me what you’d like to learn in your free coaching session, and then e-mail your completed poem to me at lisa at losemyaccent dot com. Don’t post your corrected poem below- just let me know what you’d like to learn if you win the free session! From all the cor­rect entries, I will select one win­ner on Wednesday, August 21st to receive a free 30 minute coach­ing ses­sion with me! This is a $50 value! We can work on pro­nun­ci­a­tion, gram­mar, idioms, or other Eng­lish top­ics. It’s up to you!

Please share this with your friends on FB, Twit­ter, and other sites; I want as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to have a chance to win! Good luck!

Here’s the poem:

Eye halve a spelling che­quer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly mar­ques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its let­ter per­fect in it’s weigh
My che­quer tolled me sew.

— Sauce unknown

 

Don’t for­get — when you fig­ure it out, post a comment below to tell what you’d like to learn in your free coaching session, then e-mail me your poem. Check back on Thursday, August 23rd to see if you are the lucky winner!

Share with your friends by clicking on the buttons below:

 

How to Prevent Communication Breakdowns in Medical Settings

The statistics are unsettling. According to the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 65% of hospital deaths and injuries are directly related to communication breakdowns. Nearly 55% of medication errors are caused by faulty communication. These are preventable, treatable problems that would not have occurred if the communication had been clear.

We all know that more paperwork is not the answer. But how can we prevent the needless deaths? What can be done to reduce errors and improve patient outcomes?

One area that must be addressed is that of foreign-born doctors’ accented English. Even those who are proficient in English often still speak with such a thick accent that it is difficult for nurses and patients to understand what they are saying. Unfortunately, it is difficult for them to see the problem because, often, they’ve been speaking English since they were a child and it was good enough to get them through medical school.

But here’s the reality. It’s not an issue of a deficit in their expertise or knowledge and it’s not an issue of their needing “speech therapy”; it’s simply a matter of needing some extra training to improve communication skills.

For example, let’s suppose that a doctor treating a patient turns to his nurse and asks her to administer fifteen milligrams of a medication. She misunderstands him and proceeds to give the patient fifty milligrams of the medication. Now, the doctor knew exactly what he was doing, and the nurse followed instructions as precisely as she could. The problem occurred because of one simple mispronunciation — and could have had disastrous results.

The solution? Providing onsite or online accent reduction training for foreign-born medical professionals. With programs tailored specifically to the medical community, accent reduction specialists can provide the pronunciation training that healthcare workers need while adapting to their hectic schedule.

Depending on the needs of a particular hospital or private practice, accent reduction training can often be provided individually, in small groups, or even in a large group seminar. With virtual training now available via Skype, classes can literally be scheduled anytime and anywhere in the world, as long as there is internet available.

Please don’t expect your staff speech pathologists to provide this service. They have enough on their plates, and asking them to “treat” the doctors would reinforce the stigma that something is wrong and requires therapy. Instead, locate a speech pathologist off site whose specialty is accent reduction training. That way, this person is brought in as an expert trainer offering continuing education opportunities.

Communication breakdowns are one of the biggest causes of error in medical settings – and many of them are preventable. Accent reduction training is one effective way to reduce the number of communication-related mistakes. What are you doing to improve the communication skills of the foreign-born healthcare workers in your practice?

To find out more about Medically Speaking classes, accent reduction classes for the medical community, please visit http://www.losemyaccent.com. You can also get a FREE online accent screening with personalized tips for practice.

Foreign Accent Causes Woman to Miss Bus

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you don’t care where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

But what if you do care where you’re going, but can’t communicate it clearly to the person driving. Or, even worse, what if you are confident that you have the skills to get you where you want to go, but you still end up in the wrong place. Pretty humbling experience, isn’t it?

Let me tell you a story that happened to me when I was in college. I minored in French in college and had already been to Paris once after high school, so on this trip to Paris, I was feeling a bit too sure of myself.

My French was good enough to communicate with those around me, and just for fun, I wandered away from the tourist hot spots to areas with more “local flavor” to try my language skills on the real native speakers. I did just fine in several little shops, which boosted my confidence even more.

I decided that I was ready for a little day trip, and someone had recommended that I visit the Chateau at Chantilly. I went to the bus station, asked for directions and boarded the correct bus. Or so I thought. As the bus pulled away, I looked at the list of bus stops for this bus. Chantilly was not one of the stops listed. How could the attendant have told me to get on the wrong bus?

However, as I looked more carefully at the list of stops, I realized what had happened. I was on the bus headed for Chatelet. I thought my French pronunciation was good enough to get me through any situation, but in this case, a subtle difference in the way I said a word had landed me on the wrong bus.

Fortunately for me that day, it didn’t really matter where I ended up. But, I missed seeing a sight that I was looking forward to and may not ever have the opportunity to see again.

But, what if that day, I had been headed for a job interview, and I missed a great job opportunity because of that little pronunciation difference?

Then, it would have mattered. A lot.

What job opportunities or promotions might you have missed out on because your speech wasn’t quite as clear as you thought? Some very intelligent professionals are so confident in their abilities that they do not realize the difficulties that their accented speech can cause. Have you ever thought about the consequences of being misunderstood? Of missing a promotion … a critical contract … or a better job offer? Did you know that by working with an accent reduction specialist, you could eliminate those consequences altogether?

You know that clear speech and accurate communication are critical to advancing in your career, and an accent reduction specialist can help you to speak standard English like an American. If you are a non-native speaker of English or an American with a regional dialect, you can improve your American accent in just a few short weeks. So, if you have any question about your communication skills, contact a professional who can help you improve the clarity of your speech and the direction of your career.

I don’t want you to miss the bus.