FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is accent reduction?

Why should I change my foreign accent?

Why do I speak with an accent?

I don't want to lose my foreign accent entirely. Will I lose my foreign accent if I work on my American accent?

How do I know if I need accent reduction training?

What can I gain from reducing my accent?

How hard is it to change my accent?

Can't I learn to change my accent through tapes and other materials?

Why is it important to have an ASHA certified speech pathologist and Compton PESL certified instructor?

What's the time commitment each week?

How do I know if my employees need accent reduction training?

What kind of materials do you use?

What is video conferencing and how does it work?

What's the difference between teleclass and video conferencing?

What are the advantages of taking an accent reduction course online versus in person?

How much computer knowledge do I need to do this training?

What are the system requirements or computer requirements for this program?

I need to pass the TOEFL, will this course help?

Is your course limited to people living and working in the United States?

Where is the Accent Reduction Center located?

Why should I choose the Accent Reduction Center?

I'm interested but the class doesn't fit into my budget, what are my options?

Do you have a question we have not addressed? Contact us! We are anxious to help.

What is accent reduction?

Also referred to as English pronunciation training, accent neutralization, or accent modification - accent reduction is a proven, and systematic approach to reducing or altering a person's accent. This is done by learning how to correctly produce the sounds (consonants and vowels) and features (stress, intonation, linking, pausing) of standard American English. learn more

Why should I change my foreign accent?

There's nothing wrong with a foreign accent unless it is limiting you in some way. The goal is not to get rid of your accent but to help you be understood. Our clients are highly motivated, intelligent, and capable individuals with a barrier in communication. Remove that barrier and it's amazing to see what they can accomplish.

Why do I speak with an accent?

An accent is simply the carryover of speech patterns from your first language to your second language. Each language has its own unique characteristics. When the unique characteristics of one language are applied to another language, an accent exists.

I don't want to lose my foreign accent entirely. Will I lose my foreign accent if I work on my American accent?

Not if you don't want to. Learning an American accent is like adding another tool to your tool belt. Our clients gain the ability to transition between their foreign accent and American accent depending on the situation. We call this skill "code switching" and almost everyone does it in one form or another. It's one's ability to alter their manner of speech depending on the situation and setting. For example, would you use the same manner of speech during a presentation at work versus a casual conversation with your best friend? Same thing applies to your new skill of speaking with an American accent.

How do I know if I need accent reduction training?

Are you frequently asked to repeat yourself? Are you fluent in English but are still being misunderstood? Do you feel undervalued in your career because of your accent? Are you missing opportunities for jobs or advancements due to your accent? Do your listeners look confused when you speak? Are you self conscious speaking in front of groups? Do you have difficulty communicating over the phone? Have you tried pre-packaged training programs that have not worked?

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions then personalized accent reduction training is right for you!

What can I gain from reducing my accent?

More confidence, get that new job you want, get that promotion you deserve, better customer service and sales, increased perception of capability, improved teamwork and collaboration, and greater productivity at work. Those are just a few; our clients could add many more advantages to this list!

How hard is it to change my accent?

It's not too difficult; a steady consistent effort is all you need!

Changing your accent is similar to learning any new skill such as driving a car. At first it takes focused time and attention. The movements might feel a little awkward and it may be difficult keeping all the actions occurring simultaneously. Gas, break, clutch, shift, steer, blinker. However, with practice you are able to successfully navigate through unfamiliar roads without any thought of the mechanics of driving. Learning a new accent is the same. At first the movement of your lips and tongue may feel awkward and difficult to coordinate. Before too long, your mouth muscles adjust to the new movements and it becomes automatic.

Can't I learn to change my accent through tapes and other materials?

It's possible but the success rate is low. With the Accent Reduction Center you will experience guaranteed results of at least 50% improvement, or your money back. What's the difference? With the Accent Reduction Center you will receive personalized instruction and feedback from a certified accent reduction specialist who is trained to listen and teach you how to alter your specific sound patterns. With other self-study materials you can only guess what sounds you have difficulty producing and then hope you are changing them correctly.

Why is it important to have an ASHA certified speech pathologist and Compton PESL certified instructor?

These two certifications are the highest level of training an accent reduction trainer can hold. In order to be ASHA certified, an instructor must hold an undergraduate and graduate degree in speech language pathology. They must also work under a supervisor for a period of time following their graduate training. Speech Pathologists are highly trained in phonetics and American English speech and language patterns. A Compton PESL certification provides even more training and expertise in the proven methods of the Compton accent reduction method. In addition to these certifications, our trainers have studied and worked with a variety of other proven programs, giving our clients the best training available in the field of accent reduction.

What's the time commitment each week?

Each week you will participate in a 1 hour live session with your certified accent reduction specialist. Our courses are typically 12 sessions long. In addition to your weekly sessions, you are encouraged to practice at least 30 minutes every day. However, many of the practice assignments will be incorporated into tasks you already perform on a daily basis.

How do I know if my employees need accent reduction training?

Is your company being limited in any way due to an employees accent? Are customers or clients experiencing any difficulty when communicating with your employee? If so, your company's bottom line could be at risk as a result of something that can easily be addressed through our online courses. Still not sure? Set up a free consultation with one of our certified trainers.

What kind of materials do you use?

We are continually gathering and exploring any and all materials on the market to find the best for our clients. Our clients receive a student workbook and computer software program as their main study materials. However, our trainers are equipped with a full library of accent reduction resources to enrich your learning experience.

What is video conferencing and how does it work?

Video conferencing is the ability for two or more people to meet face to face online through their computers. Each participant needs a web-cam either built in to their computer or mounted on or near it. When all parties are transmitting their video through a common online program (such as Webex), they are able to speak to each other in real time. learn more

What's the difference between teleclass and video conferencing?

The Accent Reduction Center uses an online video conferencing tool (Cisco Webex) to conduct our weekly sessions. A teleclass only offers audio interaction. Our video conferencing tool offers audio, video, and the ability to share teaching materials on your computer desktop. We can share documents, PowerPoint's, and videos LIVE (did I mention each session can be recorded?). All of these components combined, result in an optimal learning environment for our clients.

What are the advantages of taking an accent reduction course online versus in person?

There are two major advantages to an online course versus an in person training. First, it's much more convenient. No travel time or cost, just sit at your home or office computer and get started. It doesn't get any easier. The second major advantage is the recording capabilities. We record each live session you have with your instructor and email it to you. How do I say that sound again? Just play back your session recording. Your instructor will also be in contact throughout the week as you send and receive audio and video recording, a convenient and effective way to enhance your learning experience!Learn about the online sessions here.

How much computer knowledge do I need to do this training?

Do you know how to use the internet? Can you plug in a microphone and webcam into your computer? Then you're set! Even if you answered 'no' to those questions, don't worry, we can walk you through it!

What are the system requirements or computer requirements for this program?

Your computer needs to have high speed internet access (DSL or cable) that is directly wired into your computer (no wireless). Our software program is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, or 2000. You must also have at least the following specifications:

  • Pentium III 800MHz or higher
  • 256MB RAM
  • 480MB free disk space
  • CD-ROM Drive
  • Graphics card that supports Direct X 7
  • Internet Explorer version 6 or higher

These system requirements can be found by going to start > control panel > system and maintenance > system.

Test meetings are provided by Webex and can be found here.

I need to pass the TOEFL, will this course help?

Absolutely, if your goal is to pass the TOEFL then we will customize your course to help you get the best score possible.

Is your course limited to people living and working in the United States?

Definitely not! Because we are an online program, we are available all over the world! Contact us and we'll get you started!

Where is the Accent Reduction Center located?

We are proud to be based in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. However, our trainers can be found all over the United States.

Why should I choose the Accent Reduction Center?

Our clients come to us looking for results and we deliver. The Accent Reduction Center offers the highest level of time, attention, and professionalism for our clients. Our convenient and flexible online format makes it easy for anyone to incorporate our program into their busy schedule.

I'm interested but the class doesn't fit into my budget, what are my options?

We have a couple different options for you.

  • Our most popular option - we will contact your employer for you! Many companies and organizations are more than willing to pay for their highly motivated employees to gain better communication skills. It helps you in your career and consequently helps your employer.
  • We are willing to break up your payments into 2 or 3 installments. This way you can get started and pay as you go.
  • We offer a student discount option (which we don't limit to just students) which takes a little work on your end but gets you a full 12 week course for just $150. Learn more.
  • We offer many options to fit all budgets. Take a look at our program options here.