- Provide consistent verbal models and feedback - How will you know if you are saying things accurately? You may have a model to show you how to pronounce 9 or 10 examples online, but you will not have someone to give you models for each word you practice and direction each time you say a word as you would with an instructor who is with you.
- Motivate you - At times, practice can be frustrating. Anything worth achieving takes time and practice. Your teacher is there to help keep you focused and excited about speaking with a reduced accent.
- Make you accountable - By giving you homework, you are more likely to practice each day., helping you generalize what you learn with your teacher.
- Track our progress - Any good teacher should be recording your progress and explaining how far away you are from accomplishing your goals.
- Help you pronounce sounds you have trouble differentiating from other sounds - They can explain the difference between “pat” and “bat”, for example.
Why do I need to learn in-person and not just over the phone?
While it is important to receive any kind of feedback, sometimes verbal (“Try saying that again, but push the air through with greater force”) and visual (“Look at where my tongue is when I say the voiceless th sound”) feedback is not enough. When I teach voicing, for example, I cannot have a student feel my throat to feel the difference between a “p”, which is not voiced and a “b”, which is voiced, if I am instructing over the phone.
Isn't it cheaper to take an accent reduction class instead of working one-on-one with an instructor?
Yes, it may be cheaper, but is it of good value for you? A class does not allow an instructor to tailor lessons and goals specifically to you and ONLY YOU. Instead, the teacher will have to accommodate the other members of the class, so you could end up spending your time working on sounds that others struggle with, but that you learned to articulate quickly. Instead of moving to your next goal, you could be wasting your time. Or worse, a teacher might not be able to fully help you with a sound you have trouble mastering because he/she has to move on in order to accommodate the whole class. Working one-on-one with a teacher allows you to get the appropriate level of support you need to succeed.
Why find an instructor that has an education in Speech-Language Pathology?
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) have learned the specifics of producing sounds (i.e. whether a sound is voiced or voiceless, or how the tongue moves when you say a certain sound), and can show you how to pronounce a sound when you have a hard time getting started. Many times, if you are struggling to pronounce a sound, you may not be able to fix it just by imitating. Certain sounds, when next to other target sounds, make it easier to pronounce the target sound. Having a Speech-Language Pathologist who knows which sounds make it easier for you to pronounce other sounds helps you reduce your accent with greater ease.