Accent Reduction Classes: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s wrong with having an accent?
Nothing! Accents contribute to our global diversity. However, people with accents often express feeling held back professionally and/or socially.
Your accent may make it hard for others to understand you, especially on the phone or in fast-paced situations. In today’s highly competitive job market, clear communication is an asset high on every employer’s priority list.
2. What happens when I reduce my accent? Will I lose my native way of speaking?
Your native accent will always be a part of who you are. You can switch back into your original accent whenever you want—but eliminating hard edges will make for a much smoother cultural and professional transition.
Developing a new accent is a key communication tool for living in the United States, but it does not mean your cultural identity is lost. However, you should be comfortable with the idea of speaking with an American English accent before starting accent reduction training.
3. What is Standard American English?
Standard American English (SAE) is not native to any U.S. region. SAE is considered the most neutral, least distracting way of speaking American English.
Fluent and gentle, SAE highlights resonant, open vowels and an intonation that rises and falls smoothly. English is a stress-timed language that alternates constantly between stressed and unstressed words. Actors, radio broadcasters, and public speakers use SAE because it’s clear and easy on the ears.
4. Is accent reduction covered by health insurance?
Health insurance does not cover accent reduction classes. However, it often covers speech or voice therapy if you have a speech, language, or voice disorder.
5. Will my company cover the cost of speech or voice training?
Some employers will cover our services as part of their personal development or continuing education programs. Ask your employer or HR specialist, and let us know how we can help.
6. Can’t I just use tapes and other materials to learn American English on my own?
You can likely make some progress this way. However, to experience lasting change, most people need consistent feedback. A speech pathologist is the best person to determine if you are hearing and producing sounds correctly; otherwise, you may further distort your speech.
7. Why should I choose AccentsOff Speech and Voice Improvement services?
We are all ASHA-certified speech pathologists with decades of collective experience. We’ve been trained at the master’s degree level by some of speech and voice therapy’s most renowned experts. We’ve practiced our skills in diverse areas like music and acting, giving us broad insight into language and voice coaching.
AccentsOff uses a unique approach that teaches you how to speak clearly by listening in a careful, natural, and relaxed manner. Our goal as instructors is to give you the resources and support you need to see change immediately – in the first session – and keep the progress going during home practice. We will encourage you to take risks and experiment. We strive to help students learn the American English accent quickly, with long-lasting benefits.
Our instructors will provide you with the highest level of attention, sensitivity, and professionalism. With our office centrally located in the Midtown New York City, we offer flexible scheduling both in-person and online. We are available 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends.
1. How long will it take for me to see results? How many sessions will I need, and how often?
That will depend on your goals, frequency, and how developed your accent is. Most people come in once or twice a week, and start noticing changes during the very first session.
Developing a new way of speaking is a cumulative process. If you think about how long you’ve been speaking with accented English, then you can appreciate the time and effort of learning a new accent. Some clients have graduated from our program with extraordinary results in less than 20 sessions.
2. When are sessions available?
We offer flexible scheduling 7 days a week, including weekday evenings and weekend hours.
3. What if I am not in New York City? How do online video sessions work?
We engage with you face-to-face using the online video conferencing platform your choice.
4. What about group classes?
We offer group classes for as few as two people. Call and let us know your needs. Open small-group classes will be announced on our website as they are scheduled.
5. How much does the program cost?
We begin with a free evaluation to determine what program is best for you. We offer private and group packages at different rates depending on format and instructor. Please call us for more information.
1. How do I know if my staff will benefit from training with a speech pathologist?
If you frequently hire internationally, you’ll want to provide speech and voice training as part of your onboarding package. These skills help employees get comfortable in the workplace, communicate effectively, and get up to speed as quickly as possible.
2. Should I sign my employees up for group or private sessions?
There are pros and cons to each: private sessions offer employees flexibility, while group sessions are a cost-effective way to learn in a dynamic group environment and practice with peers.
3. Can AccentsOff train employees with a variety of accents and skill levels in corporate group sessions?
Yes, we can. Each student can expect different progress based on their skill levels, how developed their accents are, and how much work they are willing to put in both in and out of class.