Sylvia offers individual, couple and small-group Accent Reduction Training Courses. She is licensed to work with people who reside in Ontario.
Online group size is restricted to a maximum of 3 people to ensure that each participant receives adequate direct feedback during sessions. Clients form their own groups. All classes are now online until further notice.
Assessments involve an evaluation of speech in words, sentences, reading passages and conversation (including high use work-related vocabulary). It is recommended that clients bring personal words/materials to the assessment.
Typically, clients are seen for between 3 and 20 hours of training, depending on the degree of accent, personal goals, budget, rate of progress and other factors. Changing your accent is a physical skill and requires a great deal of repetition. You are learning to co-ordinate many tiny muscles to alter how you sound. This is something you will need to practise until it becomes automatic.
Sessions are usually one hour long. Forty-five minute sessions are also offered online. Condensed courses can also be arranged for individuals desiring to complete the course within a shorter time frame.
Sessions are intense but fun! Sylvia applies her extensive speech therapy training to all aspects of the program from assessment through training and transfer to real life contexts.
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. Sylvia focuses on the features that impact how easily you are understood by others first. Your personal, 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 beginning of training.
Practice outside of the training sessions is critical and clients are provided with audio files to practise daily (30 minutes minimum is recommended) outside of class. Personal words/phrases are also recorded following sessions.
As new sounds and patterns become established, clients are shown how 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.
For clients with limited budgets, short courses of 3 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.
Fees for individuals and groups are based on the guidelines published by OSLA (Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists).
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. Learn how to repair miscommunications on the spot. Stop avoiding words and learn how to pronounce them clearly.
(IT ONLY TAKES 2 MINUTES)
COVID-19 RESPONSE: ALL CLASSES ARE NOW ONLY BEING OFFERED ONLINE