The Accent Reduction course taught by a Speech and Language Therapist teaches the speech patterns of standard British English. You will learn the 12 English vowels and the consonants not found in Spanish. In addition to these individual sounds, you will also learn how stress, intonation, and rhythm convey meaning in British English. Prospective students must have an intermediate or higher level of oral English.
Accent reduction is another tool for improving your communication skills in English. Not only is it important to be able to speak English using appropriate vocabulary, grammar, and syntax but it is important that people pay attention to what you say and not focus on the way you talk. One obvious reason for improving your accent is so that the listener can understand you better. Even if the listener can understand you they may become focused on the way you talk instead of the message you are trying to convey or lose interest in what you are trying to say. In the business world it is important that people understand clearly the message you are trying to get across. If listeners focus on how you say something instead of on what you say you will have difficulty communicating your message effectively. An accent reduction course can help you become a better communicator in English.
Most people want to improve their accent so that others will understand them better. Others want to sound like native speakers, although it must be stressed that achieving the accent of a native speaker 100% is extremely difficult for adults who have not lived in an English speaking country. Sounding more like a native speaker is a realistic goal, however.
Improving one’s accent requires commitment, determination and a lot of practice. Students attend classes once or twice a week. The student is expected to study a few hours each week at home. The duration of the course depends on progress made towards achieving goals which are made up by the student and the teacher. Typically, after a determination is made of what vowels and consonants are needed to be modified or learned, instruction focuses on correct production of targeted English sounds. The student is asked to listen and repeat individual words frequently when learning correct pronunciation of vowels and consonants. Once these sounds are mastered in words the student will produce these sounds accurately in words in sentences. Students receive ongoing feedback and listen to recordings of themselves periodically to monitor their progress. Reading words and sentences out loud, as well as scripted role playing exercises are done in class when the focus is on intonation and prosody.
Benefits from accent reduction classes include improved speech intelligibility so that people can understand you better, a greater understanding of how to sound like a native speaker, and improved self-confidence in speaking English with other people whose second language is English as well as with native speakers. Enhanced communication skills achieved through improving your accent can also open up and improve your opportunities for career advancement. Clear and effective communication is important in all areas of life, but especially so in the business world. The degree of success one has in the business world often correlates to one’s success as a communicator. As you become a more successful communicator, you also improve your overall confidence level as a professional.
Course description: Accent reduction in English
Sessions: individual, 1-hour in duration
Approximate duration of course: 3 + months (it will depend on how much work is done outside of sessions)
Place: SINEWS' offices C/Zurbano nº34,1 Izda, 28010 Madrid
Level of English required: high intermediate to high
Price: Initial interview+evaluation 70€
Feedback session 60€
Treatment 60€ per individual session