I am often asked, “Where are you from?” While I look Asian, I was raised by a Caucasian family in the Midwest and have an American English (more specifically Midwestern) accent. (My husband has pointed out that my accent becomes even more pronounced when I am with my family). Many people with whom I have discussed this question also believe the meaning behind this question can be confusing for those of us who are asked. Several possible intended questions come to mind:
I am excited to announce that English Accent Tutor has recently been invited to speak to the Job Networking Club at the Washington Accueil Association on Friday, May 13th, 2016.
At this presentation, I will be discussing the following:
- How code switching can help individuals communicate more effectively
- Differences between Standard American English and French language systems
- American English sounds French people usually struggle to pronounce
- The process of changing an accent (accent modification)
- Strategies to help you change your accent
- American English intonation and stress patterns
- Helpful resources for people wanting to improve their accents
And much more
I want to thank Sybille Ozanian for inviting me to present.
I look forward to meeting those of you who will be attending!
I am frequently asked how I started out in International Business and Marketing and ended up working with people who want to improve their accents. After obtaining my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, I decided I wanted to work with people from all over the world. Like many of you, I have a passion for traveling, and for learning about people that come from different cultural backgrounds. I also have a love of learning other languages and trying other cuisines. I wanted to be able to celebrate the diversity we have in the Washington, D.C. area. For me, sitting on the metro or walking down the street and being able to hear multiple languages and many wonderful accents always brings a smile to my face.
My goal in working with people with accents is not to eliminate them (That would make the world such a boring place!), but to allow people to use two forms of speech, to code switch. NPR provides an excellent explanation about code switching and why people do it.
As you know, my name is Ellen and I work with non-native English speakers. You can read about my general background on my About page, but I wanted to start this blog in order to share more with you.
I will try to write about things you will hopefully find useful, such as how to’s, useful resources in learning to obtain a more Standard American English accent (such as recommend books and websites), strategies to help you communicate more independently, student success stories, evidence-based research done about accents, frequent questions (FAQs) students ask and learning to live in the Washington, D.C. area in general. I may even share a bit about myself as an Accent Improvement specialist and a person.