ACCENT TRAINING COURSES AND FEES
Sylvia offers face-to-face individual, couple and group Accent Training Courses in and around Toronto, Ontario. Group size is restricted to a maximum of 5 people to ensure that each participant receives adequate direct feedback during class. Classes can be scheduled at your workplace or school. A minimum number of clients/scheduled hours are required for Sylvia to travel to your location within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) without charging an additional travel fee. Individuals and small groups interested in Online Accent Training for some or all of their classes are encouraged to contact Sylvia directly.
Assessments involve an evaluation of speech in words, sentences, reading passages and conversation (including high use work-related vocabulary). Following the assessment, clients are provided with a summary of the sounds/patterns affecting their speech clarity.
Typically, clients are seen for between 7 and 14 hours of training, depending on the degree of accent and personal goals. Sessions are generally one hour long and take place weekly. Condensed courses can also be arranged for individuals desiring to complete the course within a shorter time frame. Sessions are intense but fun!
Goals are introduced in easy contexts (sounds, words, sentences, listening activities) and progress to conversation. With consistent practice, new skills become more automatic and are gradually transferred to real-life contexts. Sylvia applies her extensive speech therapy skills throughout training.
Sylvia focuses first on patterns that impact the most on clarity. Her primary goal is Accent Management, not just Accent Reduction or Modification. She teaches clients how to change those features of their English pronunciation that impact most on clarity. Often times it is not the sounds, but rather the prosody or rhythm (stress and intonation) that can make ESL speakers more difficult to understand. High use vocabulary is targeted from the very first session. This ensures that clients learn to pronounce those words that are most critical to their daily life more accurately from the very first session.
Practice outside of the training sessions is critical. Clients are provided with audio files to practise daily (30 minutes minimum is recommended) outside of class. Personal words/phrases are also recorded at the end of sessions. As new sounds and patterns become established, clients are encouraged to gradually incorporate them into their daily speech. It is strongly recommended that clients engage a “Speech Coach” (colleague, spouse, older child, friend) so that they may receive additional, regular feedback in real-life situations. This can be as simple as giving a colleague a list of work-related vocabulary that has been worked on during the sessions and asking for a prompt to self-correct.
Reassessments are completed during the final session for longer, individual courses. For groups and shorter courses, final assessments can be scheduled separately or a brief summary will be provided during the final session.
Guided Practice Accent Modification Courses
For clients with limited budgets, short courses of 3 to 6 sessions can be arranged. Clients take a greater responsibility for practising, transferring goals and involving people in their home or work life in the program.
Accent Reduction Course Fees
Fees for individuals and groups are based on the guidelines published by OSLA (Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists). Please contact Sylvia for further information regarding rates. It is suggested that you also check to see if you have Extended Health Benefits through your work that may cover some or all of the training. Look under Speech Pathology or Speech Therapy. A growing number of companies are also offering to pay for courses for employees who are impacted at work by their unclear speech. Sylvia would be pleased to speak to your employer regarding Accent Training.
Fees to bring Sylvia to your location are negotiated based on the number of clients, classes and distance traveled. Consider Online Accent Training to save on travel costs. For Accent Reduction Training in Toronto, please contact Sylvia directly to discuss options. All practice materials, including audio files specifically recorded for individual clients are included.
Results of Accent Training
Accent Training benefits clients in three areas:
- Clarity: Understand and use the features of English that matter most for clear speech.
- Efficiency: Learn how to speak English more fluidly and understand when and how to shorten and link words.
- Confidence: Avoid communication breakdowns by learning to monitor patterns. Prevent communication breakdowns in presentations by evaluating and practising key vocabulary and phrases beforehand. Repair miscommunications on the spot. Stop avoiding words and learn how to pronounce them clearly.