FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How will I know I'm improving?

With our training you will:

  • Become an expert on your pronunciation
  • Become an expert at hearing your pronunciation differences
  • Understand the positions of the mouth and how to correct them

If you rely on a teacher to point out your errors, how will you identify and correct a mistake when your teacher is not around?

With our specialised audio and visual training you will monitor your speech and progress. This is an ESSENTIAL step in improving your pronunciation.

Being able to hear the difference in your speech and those around you is the first step to becoming clear. So we train you to hear differently and identify the correct and incorrect pronunciation enabling you to assess yourself.

Using ‘Star Check’, at the end of each lesson you can compare your speech with a native speaker to check your progress and learning. You will notice a big improvement in how often you repeat yourself in your conversations with colleagues or peers. This will continue to improve long after the course has finished.

95% of learners that complete the course tell us they have more confidence in their speech.

A speech assessment and report by a speech pathologist can provide you with a summary of your strengths and development areas. You can contact us and purchase a second assessment on completion of your course to clearly understand how you have improved.

We’re on call to ensure you get the most from your online course. Our expert and Master students can arrange to speak to our Speech Pathologists to master any tricky sounds. We’re here to make sure you succeed and get the most from this course

How will I know I'm improving?

With our training you will become an expert on your own pronunciation. An expert at hearing your pronunciation differences, understanding the positions of the mouth and how to correct them. If you rely on a teacher to point out your errors what will happen when your teacher isn’t there?

You will make the errors and not realise! With our specialised audio and visual training you will monitor your speech and progress – an ESSENTIAL step in improving your pronunciation. We train you to hear differently. You will be able to identify the correct and incorrect pronunciation, being able to hear the difference in your own and others speech is the first step to becoming clear. You assess yourself. Using Star Check, at the end of every lesson you will compare your speech with a native speaker to check your progress and learning. Less repeating. You will notice a big difference in how often you repeat yourself, this will keep improving long after the course has finished. More confidence. 95% of people who complete the course tell us they have more confidence in their speech.

Speech assessments: With this written report and audio feedback from a speech pathologist you have snapshot of your strong and weak points. You can contact us and purchase a second assessment on conclusion. We’re on call. Our Expert and Master students can arrange to speak to our Speech Pathologists on Skype or the phone for 15 minutes to work on a tricky sound. We are here to make sure you succeed and get the most from this course.

What happens after the course?

You will continue to improve long after you complete your course. Your understanding of the correct and incorrect pronunciation will enable you to continue developing your English pronunciation.

We provide you with audio files after each lesson and these can be used again and again, long after your course finishes.

We recently met with a student still using some of our original recordings from almost ten years ago. This is a testament to the true and ongoing value and positive impact the course materials have.

Is this course as good as or better than face-to-face training?

We provided face-to-face training for over 8 years. Although it has its benefits it’s expensive, difficult to find and often not specialised enough. We find for many people wanting to learn English Pronunciation that online training is better. The results and data from our own learners prove this.

Here are some benefits of online training over face-to-face:

  • Convenience – Balancing the demands of work and home alone is not always easy. Online learning allows you to learn from home, work or on the road.
  • Accessibility – Online learning enables you to start a course in just a few mouse clicks.
  • Affordability – We eliminate travel costs associated with face-to-face training, so we can pass these savings on to you to offer a much more cost effective and competitively priced learning program.
  • Flexible – You decide when it’s convenient to complete your course.
  • Adaptable – Online learning benefits different learning styles. Working by yourself allows you to work at your own speed, without any pressure from peers in a classroom. You can study and revisit content over and over until you fully understand and complete and review exercises as needed.
  • Better Retention – The average learners retention can be as low as 10% when listening to a lecture or reading material. Whereas engaging, interactive, online training can increase learner retention greater than 70%
  • Relevance – All our courses are current and up to date ensuring accuracy and relevancy for each learner.
  • Quality – Every learner sees the same applicable learning material ensuring there are no variances to quality.
Does this course actually work?

96% of people who complete our course would recommend it to a friend. So yes it does. It also relies on you practicing. Practice is the most important part in the process of changing your speech.

We need to teach your brain (memory) and muscles new ways of making speech sounds. This requires repetition and practice.

Does this course actually work?

96% of people who complete our course would recommend it to a friend. So yes it does. It also relies on you practicing. Practice is the most important part in the process of changing your speech.

We need to teach your brain (memory) and muscles new ways of making speech sounds. This requires repetition and practice.

Why is this course better than a book with CD?

Pronunciation books with CDs provide a good introduction to pronunciation. Our training however is much more targeted, tailored and in depth. We focus on:

  • Providing video instruction so you can hear the sound and observe mouth positions for optimum results and clarity.
  • Providing you with tools and methods to empower you to monitor your own progress and recognise your own improvements and development areas.
  • Providing in depth, purposeful activities that require active participation and mouth position exercises to achieve real results.
  • Providing real life examples of speakers from around the world so you can hear commonalities and identify the change and improvements in their spoken English.
  • Providing high quality learning resources – Our courses include over 20 hours of audio and video training material complimented with 20+ bonus lessons.
  • Facilitator and Student interaction – you have the opportunity to ask your teacher questions online and receive personalised feedback.
What improvement can I expect / when can I expect changes?

Students that complete the recommended activities can expect to see a significant improvement in their:

  • Pronunciation skills
  • Confidence
  • Listening skills

Within 1 month you should start to see small changes and your listening will adjust. Within 2 months you will find you’re not repeating yourself as often. By the end of the course you will have corrected each of the areas someone from your language background finds challenging. You will keep improving long after the course is completed.

You can repeat any video lessons in your course and written notes are provided with each lesson so you can keep track of your learning and make your own notes. Each video lesson includes loads of guided practice on each area. You can also ask your teacher questions online – we  will give you everything you need to succeed in improving your pronunciation! Practice is the most important part in the process of changing your speech. We need to teach your brain (memory) and muscles new ways of making speech sounds. This requires repetition and practice.

How can I practice when I'm away from my computer?

You’ll receive a variety of speech exercises to complete throughout your course. You can put these on your smatphone, tablet or computer and practise wherever you go. You should aim to use the ‘listen and repeat’ audio files for 15 minutes per day. This gives you the repetition and practise needed to successfully improve your speech.

The audio files will provide an opportunity for you to:

  • Improve your listening skills.
  • Develop your English vocabulary.
  • Improve your language skills.
  • Improve syllable stress in hundreds of important words and phrases.
Can I ask the teacher questions?

Absolutely! Yes! You have the opportunity to message your teacher directly and ask questions about your pronunciation or pronunciation in general.

Expert and Masters students can call us anytime. We are here to make sure you get the most from our courses.

Your questions help us improve our training for future students!

Will this training improve my listening skills?

Yes. This training helps people understand native speakers more easily. Our lessons include ear training exercises that help you learn to hear and say sounds and stress patterns (the rhythm / music of English). By the end of the course you will be very good at hearing subtle aspects of speech and pronunciation like pitch changes of the voice, vowel length and consonant sound quality.

You will understand exactly what native speakers do with sounds and the pitch of their voice when they speak English. You will be a pronunciation expert and you will be able to hear the important differences between your pronunciation and a native speakers.  All of our students find that their listening skills improve with this training.

What makes my English clear or unclear?

Research shows that the stress and rhythm of your English has the biggest impact on how clear you are. It is the most important area to improve to reduce your accent and be more easily understood. Most people learning English find making the correct syllable stress challenging. You will cover making stress and rhythm in detail in your Star Pronunciation lessons and correct your stress and rhythm in hundreds of important words and phrases.

I really want to improve. What do I need to do?

To improve your pronunciation and spoken English you need to:

  • PRACTISE
  • PRACTISE
  • PRACTISE

We’ll provide you with everything you need to do as much listening and speaking practice as you can with resources provided.

Will the course help me correct my ‘th’ sound?

Yes of course! ‘th’ is a sound that most non-native speakers find challenging. It’s one of the most common sounds in English so it makes a big difference to your accent if you pronounce it correctly.

Throughout your Speech Active course you will correct the areas that have the biggest effect on speech clarity and accent to make your speech clearer and more like a native speaker.

What computer and internet will I need?

Visit this page to learn more about technical requirements

What teaching method does the teacher use?

We help you become aware of your English pronunciation problems. Then we provide step-by-step training to improve them. You will see and copy your teacher in the video as she guides you through making each sound correctly. At the end of each lesson you have lots of guided revision and practice to help you succeed in using the new sound or speech pattern correctly.

Will my employer pay for Star Pronunciation training?

Many employers understand that developing your ability to communicate effectively will improve your job performance.  A course to improve your spoken English skills will be a solid investment in your future with the company. As a result, many employers will fund Star Pronunciation Training for their staff.  We recommend talking to your employer about possible funding for the course.  You can use our Information For Employers page to introduce them to Star Pronunciation training.

About pronunciation and accent
What is accent?

Everyone speaks with an accent. In today’s world people constantly move from state to state and from country to country. One thing that people take with them is their accent. The way we move our mouths when we pronounce words give us an accent.

Non-native speakers of English have a ‘foreign accent’. A ‘foreign’ accent is different to that of a native English speaker who will have a native English accent like an American accent, British accent, Australian accent, Scottish accent or Canadian accent. Accent is affected by: – sounds (vowels and consonants) – stress and intonation (the pitch of the voice used within words and across sentences).

Sometimes a person’s accent can result in communication difficulties. People with a strong accent may be asked frequently to repeat themselves. This can be very frustrating! When someone’s accent causes communication difficulties they can choose to see a professional trainer to improve their English pronunciation so they can deliver their message clearly, effectively and with confidence.

What is the difference between accent reduction, accent modification, and accent neutralisation?

These three terms are used to describe accent training for non-native English speakers. They all aim to teach people a standard pronunciation that’s easily understood by native speakers.

Is it too late to change my speech?

It’s never too late to change your speech! Some of our clients have been in English speaking countries for over 30 years and have made excellent improvement to their speech. However it is true to say that the sooner you start the better. The longer you use the same speech patterns, the more difficult they are to change. It’s never too late or too early to start! Start improving now.

Is English pronunciation training the same as Presentation Skills Training?

No. Presentation skills training usually focuses on body language for presenting, structuring a presentation, how best to engage your audience, projecting your voice and eye-contact, handling nervousness etc. English Pronunciation training focuses on speaking clearly. The training is all about how we move our mouths to pronounce English sounds correctly. The focus is on articulation.

If someone has unclear speech it can be a problem for them when presenting to a group. It can make a person lack confidence and feel nervous. If people listening to a presentation need to concentrate to understand the presenter’s accent they become tired more quickly or may miss some of what has been said. People often engage in English Pronunciation Training to improve their presentation skills through clearer speech.

I've been living in an English speaking country for a long time. Why is English pronunciation still difficult?

There are a few reasons why changing your accent is difficult. The first reason is because you spoke mostly in your first language for more than the first 10 years of your life. This means that when you speak, your mouth automatically moves in the way it does for your first language. Trying to change this is challenging. Learning the correct pronunciation in English is further complicated by the fact that there are over 20 vowels in English and also because you cannot tell by looking at a word how to pronounce it.

Here’s an example. The letters ‘ough’ make different sounds in each of the following words: ‘enough’ ‘bought’ ‘cough’ ‘rough’ ‘through’ ‘although’ ‘thorough’ ‘drought’. Confusing hey! Did you know that ‘muscles’ and ‘mussels’ are pronounced in exactly the same way? Yes – all very confusing! This doesn’t happen in most other languages where you can know the exact pronunciation just by looking at the spelling of a word.

A Star Pronunciation course teaches you new, more correct ways to move your mouth to pronounce the sounds and speech patterns of English. At first, these may feel strange and unnatural. Through guided, step by step instruction and practice you will be able to successfully use the new sounds when you speak. Making your English clearer and more like a native speaker.

Why do I need accent / English pronunciation training?

A strong accent can cause a number of communication issues, particularly in the workplace. Your customers, patients or co-workers may misunderstand you or may have to concentrate hard to understand your speech.

This can cause problems, especially on the phone, in meetings or in places with background noise. If people have difficulty understanding you it can negatively affect your chances of getting a job. Many jobs require good communication skills and at the top of the list is spoken English.  Having unclear speech can also affect your chance of getting the promotion that you want. Many people find that they are stuck in a technical position rather than managerial because of their spoken English skills. To perform at your best in the workplace, you need to communicate easily and effectively with other people.

English Pronunciation training can help you achieve this. Included in your course is tips for job interviews, job interview preparation and practice job interview questions.  Completing our training will also help you understand English speakers more easily, because you’ll have a better understanding of pronunciation and how it works.

How is accent training different from ESL?
ESL classes are general and focus on all aspects of English. ESL classes teach students of all levels of language proficiency, from beginners to advanced. Our accent training focuses on the pronunciation and rhythm of English.  It’s for people who have English as a second language but have a high level of English.  Most of our students live or study in an English speaking country.  Their English is at intermediate to advanced level. This course is not for beginners of English.
What type of English accent will I learn?
 People often ask me which type of English accent will I learn with a Star Pronunciation Course. It is important to remember that because English is your 2nd language, you will always have a ‘foreign’ accent. In other words, if your first language is Mandarin, you will always speak English with a Chinese accent. If your first language is Russian, you will always speak English with a Russian accent.
Of course, you can reduce that foreign accent to make your English more clear and more like a native speaker, but you will always have a slight accent. Our students want to be clearer and to reduce their foreign accent. Our courses teach English that is clear and relevant to UK English, Australian English and American English.
All of the pronunciation areas covered in the course are appropriate for all types of English. Your teachers have a very mild Australian accent, which to many non-native English speakers sounds British. This course will help you to be clearer and sound more like a native speaker. See more on which accent should I learn here.
What are some tips so I can start now?
I am looking for a Speech Pathologist but not for accent

To find an Australian Speech Pathologist that works in areas other than accent visit Speech Pathology Australia

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