Accent Reduction

The accent reduction class focuses on understanding and strengthening the unique sounds and structures that make up the “neutral” dialect. While there are many dialects throughout America, it is the neutral accent commonly practiced by public speakers and officials. Radio DJs, TV news anchors, and even most Hollywood movie actors use the neutral accent to convey their message to the largest group of Americans possible. By eliminating accents in communication, we can more easily connect to our audience and erase any misunderstandings or unconscious bias from a foreign dialect, whether domestic or international.
Designed for

Students who have an accent when speaking English and want to work on accent reduction

Level

All levels

Class format

One-on-one and small group (Max. 7 students/class)

Class introduction

The accent reduction course focuses on understanding and strengthening the unique sounds and structures that make up the “neutral” dialect of the American accent. While there are many dialects throughout America, it is the neutral accent that is commonly practiced by public speakers and officials to convey meaning to the large populous. Radio DJs, TV news anchors, and even most Hollywood movie actors use the neutral accent to convey their message to the largest group of Americans possible. By eliminating accents in communication, we can more easily connect to our audience and erase any misunderstandings or unconscious biases that may come from a foreign dialect, whether domestic or international.

The class is structured around a 15-hour classroom schedule. During these classes, instructors will focus on the language’s building blocks: the phonemes (or sounds). Correct vowel sounds, consonant sounds, blends, digraphs, trigraphs, diphthongs, and other unique sounds of the American dialect will be remediated, along with proper placement of the jaw, tongue, teeth, lips, and other parts of the vocal tract.

This, however, is not an approach from a cognitive perspective, but rather an experiential and practical one. Students will be expected to spend time speaking vocal drills to perfect their craft outside of class and will be asked to demonstrate their improvement in the next class. No matter the client’s age or skill level, language acquisition does not come without practice. If a student applies
themselves to the content in and out of the classroom, this Accent Reduction course will provide an opportunity to strengthen the student’s ability to communicate with an American audience

Outcome
Course content
LessonTopics
1Syllable division and stress
2Practice, practice, practice
3Vowel sounds
4Practice, practice, practice
5Consonants
6Practice, practice, practice
7Word and Sentence Stress
8Practice, practice, practice
9Intonation with practice
10Linking sounds/words for smoother speech flow with practice
11Accent Reduction and practice
12Word Skills and practice
13Specific areas that Chinese students need to work on and practice
14Memorize exceptions
15Oral exam to include reading out loud and speaking
Feedback

Students and their parents will receive brief feedback after each class, via Teachworks, regarding the student’s general participation in class. Students will also receive feedback on graded assignments via email. At the end of the course, the student will receive a final report card, which thoroughly speaks to their overall participation in the course, including major assignments.

Schedule

15 hours of classes, 90 minutes/class

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