If you speak English as a second language and want to improve your American English pronunciation and speaking skills, you may be looking for an American accent training course. There are so many courses available on the market today that you may be wondering what kind of instructor to choose and which program is best. Since most of us turn to the internet for just about everything, beginning there for your American accent course is a good place to start.
The first thing you want to find out when searching for a good American accent training course is what the trainer's qualifications are: is he/she a certified speech and language pathologist, or trained as an ESL teacher? You will find both. You will want to look thoroughly for the instructor that you feel is best qualified to teach you, as well as the person with whom you feel a connection. In other words, you should really like working with your instructor, whoever it is.
Let's first begin by talking about what an ESL teacher is. ESL stands for "English as a second language", and this type of instructor is trained to teach the English language to anyone who is learning it as a second language. They should be certified to teach English by taking training courses, such as the TESOL, TEFL, or others. They do not require a college degree or master's degree to be an instructor. ESL instructors often teach individuals who have limited or no experience with English and work to develop vocabulary, oral grammar, and stressing and intonation patterns. They also instruct individuals who have a good foundation for English and focus on improving pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills.
A speech and language pathologist must have a master's degree and needs to be licensed and nationally certified to practice. They are trained to treat speech and language disorders of all types, although in the past ten years or so they have begun taking a much more active role in teaching accent reduction. They usually begin where ESL instruction ends and work to help individuals improve all aspects of communication, both oral and written. Please keep in mind that individuals who speak English as a second language do NOT have a speech or language disorder, but a language difference. This means that there is nothing physically wrong with them to cause the speech and language differences they have. These differences occur only as a result of not having the same sound system or grammar structure in their native language as we do in English. Because of the speech pathologist's extensive knowledge of the underlying aspects of communication, they have expertise in understanding just where the tongue is inside the mouth when forming sounds and can easily identify the changes a person needs to make to change an accented sound into the correct American English pronunciation. They also have extensive training in language development and are well-equipped to teach all aspects of grammar. There is no other professional who has this type of intensive training.
Speaking Your Best offers private classes via the internet using Skype and a webcam, as well as telephone classes. You can register for "pay as you go" classes or courses consisting of 7 weeks, 12 weeks, or 24 weeks in length. Visit us at www.speakingyourbest.com.
In addition we offer Speaking Your Best Online where you can improve your spoken English skills at your own pace using video clips, audio recordings and written text accompanying all exercises and activities. The course includes pronunciation, stressing/intonation, connecting words together to speak smoothly, and many important speaking techniques to help you become an effective, confident speaker of American English.