FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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. Students with phone and skype support 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.
Is this course as-good-as or better than face-to-face training?
This course has been created by a team of Speech Pathologists, elearning specialists and ESL tutors. All working together to make the best online English Pronunciation & Fluency Course available today.
We provided face-to-face training for over 8 years. Face-to-face training has its benefits but it has many downsides too. These are:
1. Too many students rely on a teacher to correct their errors. They do not learn to monitor their own speech and therefore they don’t learn the essential skills required to make meaningful changes.
2. It’s difficult to find someone with the right skills to teach it properly. There are not many people that specialise in providing quality training in this area. I see many students who have been taught the wrong thing or are following a program that has obvious flaws. Or they are not given sufficient practise materials, so they do well in the class but they lose the skills between lessons.
3. It’s expensive and hard to get to. People often have to take time off work to attend classes, or travel long distances. It often costs $100AU or more per hour.
Here are some reasons why our online training is a better solution for many people.
1. The best quality training at your fingertips, accessible to you anytime, anywhere and at an affordable price.
2. Get direct benefit from a team. Elearning specialists have made the course easy to use, flexible and effective. Speech Pathologists have customised your course specifically for speakers of your first language and have made sure you work on the most important areas, first! ESL Tutors have made sure that all content is applicable to real life, every day situations. So the content will benefit you for social interactions and professional discussions too. The team worked together to make sure your progress is easy for you to track and measure and you’ll complete quizzes along the way to check your knowledge.
3. Easy access means better results. You can complete your training when it suits you and from where it suits you. From your couch, from your desk, while you are sitting on the train! Greater flexibility adds to better outcomes. You need to practise regularly – you need to be able to dip-in and dip-out when it suits you. You are busy and this course is built specifically for busy people. You’ll have everything you need to make practise happen.
4. Get the practise you need. We ensure you get the practise you need to successfully use your new skills in real life situations. The course is packed full of conversations, presentations, interviews, meetings etc. We make sure you are prepared for real life conversations! Each course includes over 25 hours of training -with 20+ bonus lessons. So you can do as little or as much as you like to suit your goals.
Will my employer pay for Speech Active training?
Many employers understand that developing your ability to communicate effectively will improve your job performance. A course which improves your spoken English skills is a solid investment in your future with their company.
As a result, many employers will fund Speech Active Training for their staff.
Talk to your employer about possible funding or even part funding for this course.
See our Articles on ‘Asking My Employer to Fund English Pronunciation Training’ to introduce them to Speech Active training. There is a .pdf document you can download to introduce them to the course and how it will benefit you.
Will it help with PTE, IELTS, TOEIC, OET scores?
YES! This course will help you improve many areas that are important for these exams. You need clear English to score well on the speaking parts for these tests. With this course, you will not only improve your pronunciation, you will improve your fluency on a huge range of topics. You will improve your understanding of English expressions and expand your vocabulary. The course is packed full of real life conversations and interviews while guiding you through correcting pronunciation problems.
Use the Speech Active course to improve your English speaking score for PTE, IELTS, TOEIC and OET English speaking tests. Both pronunciation and fluency and listening as well.
People taking these exams like the Speech Active course because it is self paced, so they can work through it quickly and revise areas as they wish from home. In the past, some students have studied this course 6 hours a day to develop their spoken English skills for PTE, IELTS, TOEIC and OET exams. They also find it improves their listening score too!
Why is this course better than a book with CD?
Pronunciation books with CDs provide a good introduction to pronunciation. The downside is that many of them are not tailored for speaker of your first language. So they are a one-size-fits all solution. Another problem is that they do not give enough practice on an area to actually achieve meaningful improvement.
Our training is targeted, tailored and in depth. We focus on:
- Tailoring training for speakers of your first language – allowing for more efficient learning and more effective use of your time and effort.
- Providing video instruction so you can hear see and hear exactly what the problem is and how to change it.
- Providing you with skills you need to monitor your progress and recognise your 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.
I really want to improve. What do I need to do?
Someone very wise once said – “Listen to the experts. They got that way for a reason!’. I agree with this statement. This course will give you the framework you need to speak clear, more fluent English.
We’ll provide you with everything you need to do as much listening and speaking practice as you can.
To improve your pronunciation and spoken English you need to:
Every lesson has conversation practise – both professional and casual. We believe that better confidence and clearer English makes people’s lives easier.
The more practise you do – the more you will improve.
How can I practice when I'm away from my computer?
We give you lots of ways to practice when you are living your day to day life. That’s one of the reasons why this course is so successful – we give you actions to complete in your everyday conversations! So you actively transfer your skills from practising with the course to using your new skills in real life.
As well as your video lessons, you’ll put audio files on your phone or mobile device. You’ll use these to practise with when you are out and about. You should aim to use the ‘listen and repeat’ audio files for 15 minutes per day. This gives you important 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 vocabulary.
- Improve your language skills.
- Improve syllable stress in hundreds of important words and phrases.
- and more.
Can I ask the teacher questions?
Absolutely! You have the opportunity to email your teacher directly and ask questions about your training.
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. One of the top things that students say this course helps them with is to understand English 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.
You’ll learn lots of everyday expressions that English speakers use and important vocabulary too.
Will I continue to improve after my video course has finished?
This course gives you with the skills needed to continue improving into the future. You’ll learn to recognise your problem areas AND know exactly what to do to correct them. You will get the practise you need to use your new skills successfully in your everyday life!
After your 6 month video course ends, you will continue to refresh and revise your learnings with the audio files and notes.
If you want ongoing access to the videos, we offer month to month extensions.
Many of our students use the audio files for months and even years after they have completed their course! We recently met with a student still using some of our original recordings from 8 years ago!!! This is a testament to the true and ongoing value and positive impact the course materials have.
What computer & internet will I need?
For your online English Pronunciation & Fluency Course you’ll need a laptop or computer with speakers and a microphone. It’s important to have up to date browsers.
Recommended browsers are: Chrome, Safari, Firefox. ME can be buggy but will also work.
You can watch your video lessons from any device as they are mobile compatible.
You will need a good broadband internet connection and plan to complete the course.
What teaching method does the teacher use?
The first step in the process of change is awareness. Without awareness we cannot change anything.
We help you become aware of your problem areas. Then we provide step-by-step visual and audio training to improve them.
See and copy your teacher in the videos as she guides you through correct positioning. See other students as you learn. We make sure you know exactly what your problem areas are and exactly how to correct them.
At the end of each lesson you have had the guided revision and practice needed to succeed in using your new skills correctly.
What makes my English clear or unclear?
There are many aspects of spoken English that contribute to unclear speech. Including the listeners experience with different accents and speech styles.
Areas to think about are: your pronunciation of word endings, grammatical markers, long vowels, double vowels and consonant clusters. And possibly the most important of all is the rhythm and stress of your English.
Research shows that the stress and rhythm of your English has the biggest impact on how clear you are. For most people it is the most important area to improve to 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 course and correct your stress and rhythm in hundreds of important words and phrases.
Listen to Georgie giving some English pronunciation feedback here.
More on English pronunciation & English accents
What type of English accent will I learn?
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 pronunciation that’s easily understood by all listeners. I prefer not to refer to accent. In my view, it is more about clarity. Someone can still have a very strong accent and be clear! So it’s not about accent – it’s about clarity. Changing some areas of pronunciation so that a speaker is clearer to listeners.
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?
It’s difficult because the way we speak is an automatic habit. Changing anything that is an automatic habit is challenging!
People often find that their English pronunciation improves a lot in the first 6 – 12 months after their arrival – then they find it stops improving and doesn’t change much after that! After that time, it won’t change much without effort.
Because you spoke mostly in your first language from the time you were born until your were 10 years of age – 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 Speech Active English Pronunciation & Fluency 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.
Do I need accent / English pronunciation training?
Complete this English pronunciation CHECKLIST. It will help you understand if you would benefit from this kind of training.
Ask yourself – do people understand me easily or not?
If the answer is ‘no’ then you would benefit from improving your English pronunciation. Speaking English that is clear and easy for people to understand makes your interactions easier.
If your speech is difficult for people to catch this can cause you many frustrations. Your customers, patients or co-workers may misunderstand you or may have to concentrate hard to understand you. This can mean that you are not as effective as you should be at work.
It can cause problems 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 are some tips so I can start now?
Here are some steps you can follow until you are ready to take a full online course.
1. LISTEN! Listen more carefully to your own speech and the speech of English native speakers. Pay attention to the emphasis and stress that native English speakers put in words. Listen to the sounds they make. Open your ears and start to compare.
2. Start with our free English pronunciation resources. See our youtube channel, our facebook page. Sign up to our 5 day free English Pronunciation video course. It’s the perfect place to start thinking about your English pronunciation.
3. Speak more English. The only way to improve your English fluency is to SPEAK MORE ENGLISH. Start with this video that will help you speak more fluent English – video.
4. When you are ready to get serious about speaking better English, enrol in a Speech Active course. Find our more about your tailored course here.
I'm looking for a Speech Pathologist but not for English accent training.
To find an Australian Speech Pathologist that works in areas other than accent visit Speech Pathology Australia.