Author Archives

  • Introduction to American Culture, Part 2

    In part 1 of our blog on American Culture we discussed the American propensity to work hard, skip lunch, and devote oneself to the office.  In some cultures this devotion is imposed from the top down; from the boss to the worker.  In American culture however, it’s often a choice made by the worker based […]

  • Introduction to American Culture, Part 1

    Many of our accent reduction students are interested not only in perfecting their pronunciation but also want to better understand the American psyche.  The American English language reveals the American personality.  Like Americans themselves, our language is a world where exceptions are the rules, where consistent pronunciation of vowels and consonants is a moving target, […]

  • Accents in the World of Siri and Alexa

    We recently worked with a pharmacist who came to us after failing the speaking/listening portion of the TOEFL test 12 times. Passing this test was a necessary step for him in moving up in his career. What he explained to me when he was describing his continued failure was that the test is no longer […]

  • Of course everyone has an accent!

    Having an “accent” is based on the creation of a norm that is in the center of a spectrum. Saying that someone “has an accent” is based on perspective as viewed from the center of that norm. A norm is pretty much the mid-point of almost anything (from behavior, personality, lifestyle, clothing, to a dinner […]

  • To Russia With Love

    We have clients from every corner of the world; our map has pins from the northernmost part of Russia to the southernmost tip of South America.  And of course the pronunciation issues we hear are as varied as the sounds a human can make. We find variations even within countries, especially the vast area of […]