ESL and Accent Reduction

My ESL / Accent Reduction Background

I am a certified English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor with a specialization in Business English. I studied Phonology and Phonetics (the science of human sounds) at the masters level in Paris, France, at the University of Paris VII (Paris Diderot) -- part of the Sorbonne system. I have taught accent reduction to lawyers, engineers, and other professionals from a variety of countries, including Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, and France.

Private and Group Lessons

Feel free to contact me for a completely free, one-hour session that is full of practical tips to improve your grammar, accent, or TOEFL score. I work with groups and individuals, whether in person or via Skype. You will:
  • receive customized tips for your learning goals
  • decrease errors on the reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections of the TOEFL
  • improve your accent (technically, "allophonic variants")
  • improve your prosody--that is, intonation, pitch, loudness, and tempo
  • decrease stress-pattern mistakes (e.g., generation = GEN er A tion, which includes primary and secondary stress).
For example, you'll learn that EVERY word in English must be stressed on either the first or second syllable (preTEND, SURface, GENer'ation) and that some words change pronunciation depending on whether they are nouns or verbs (ABstract=noun, abSTRACT=verb). Together, we will cover the relevant theory (e.g., the International Phonetic Association, vowel charts, consonant charts) but then focus on the practical aspects you need (e.g., business English, TOEFL practice, public speaking) using industry-standard tools such as the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. I customize each lesson based on YOUR goals. I've even helped native speakers of English improve their British accent (Received Pronunciation or RP) for acting, which means that I can also help reduce your "mistakes" due to having learned British English before immigrating to the United States. As for me, I am an American man with a "midwest" dialect--that is, a neutral "General American" (G.A.) accent. I studied phonetics and phonology at the University of Paris VII (i.e., Paris Diderot, in France). I am also an Oxford Seminars certified instructor of English (TESOL, TESL) with a specialization in Teaching Business English. In addition, I speak fluent French and (Mexican) Spanish and therefore am sensitive to the most common "phonological transfer" problems, such as Spanish speakers who, when saying "had", pronounce a somewhat "th" sound (technically, a "dental t") rather than the standard one (technically, a glottal stop or alveolar) that native speakers of American English expect.