FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

"What is an accent?”

Accent reduction, also called Standard American English pronunciation training, accent neutralization, or accent modification, is a systematic approach to reducing or changing a person’s accent. This is achieved by learning how to pronounce the sounds (consonants and vowels) and the stress, rhythm, and intonation of Standard American English.

Everyone learns the sound system of their native language. A person’s accent is created when they learn a new language and combine the sounds of the second language with their native language. An accent is the “unique way that speech is pronounced by a group of people speaking the same language”, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

What is accent reduction?

Accent modification or accent reduction is the systematic approach to changing speech patterns. Accent modification focuses on learning the basic sounds of English and it also identifies the specific sounds that are accented. An accent can be impacted by word stress, intonation, sound production, voice projection and rhythm patterns. Specialist in this field can improve these areas through accent modification. The Accent teaches the “neutral accent” which is similar to the English spoken in the Midwest in the United States.

How do I know if accent reduction training is right for me?

  • Are you fluent in English but still being misunderstood?
  • Are you frequently asked to repeat yourself?
  • Are you concerned that your accent may be negatively affecting your career?
  • Do you feel nervous when talking with new people?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, accent reduction training will help you to communicate more clearly, effectively, and with more confidence

Where are you located?

We are located in Cleveland, OH; however, we are able to travel to your location within the greater Cleveland area.  Fees to cover extended travel will be determined by your location.  If you have a corporate need, please contact us in order to discuss travel possibilities.

Is there a Trial Offer?

Yes. The evaluation and initial consultation are at no cost. Payment is only requested after the first session if you would like to continue.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the program depends upon the specific program that an individual receives.  The 13 session all inclusive course is $1,300.  We believe that if someone is truly dedicated to improving their English skills finances should not be a barrier. Scholarships and flexible payment options are available for individuals with a financial need. Please feel free to contact us to discuss payment options.

What type of payments do you accept?

or use on-the-go credit card processing using Square

Companies and institutions can add Accent Training Center, LLC as a vendor. Contact for more information.

Can I make improvements by just listening to tapes or studying by myself?

The number one reason why clients pursue accent training is because even with listening to recordings they aren’t sure if they are pronouncing something correctly. Listening to tapes and studying independently limits the amount of customized instruction that you would receive from a certified trainer. A professional is trained to not only properly evaluate your speaking patterns and differences, but provide you with a customized program based on analysis results. In addition, the trainer provides you with ongoing feedback and speech modification techniques that will ensure your success.  Additionally, you’ll reduce the amount of hours you would have spent trying to study alone without proper guidance.

Is my training covered through my medical insurance?

No. Insurance companies only cover the cost of training if there is an existing speech disability.

Do you offer phone or SKYPE coaching?

We do not work over the phone; however, we do work through SKYPE if you have a suitable webcam.  Our philosophy is that the individual receiving training needs to be able to not only hear the training, but also see the trainer’s facial expressions and mouth movements while pronouncing certain sounds. There are many different mouth positions that include specific tongue, lips and jaw movements that make telephone training unsuitable. In addition, there are auditory limitations to phone instruction that make it challenging for the client in making the necessary changes in their speech.  Skype offers better audio quality and the ability to view different mouth movements during instruction.

What Method do you Use?

We use the international standard, Compton P-ESL program.  Additionally, we combine the standard training program with knowledge gained from years of accent reduction experience, language learning experience, and world travel.

What is Compton P-ESL?

Compton P-ESL (Producing English as a Second Language) is a research-based method which provides clients with the skills necessary to modify their accents. The program was developed at the San Francisco Institute of Language and Phonology by Arthur J. Compton, Ph.D., an experienced linguist. Since 1983, the Compton method has helped thousands of non-native English speakers change their accents and lives.

Is it important for my accent trainer to be a Compton P-ESL certified instructor?

Yes. This certification is the highest level of training that an accent trainer can have. Compton P-ESL certification provides a trainer with expertise in an accent reduction method that is current and research-based.

How much improvement will I make after my training?

Most individuals who fully complete the training and assignments demonstrate at least a 50% improvement in the post evaluation. Many individuals who receive the training and complete the daily assignments have also shown up to 75% improvement.  (These figures are from the Institute of Language and Phonology, the institute that created Compton P-ESL)

How do you measure my improvement?

Each client will be given a detailed extensive speech analysis before and after training to determine the percentage of improvement.

Will I have to do homework?

Yes! Changing your accent is just like learning to play a musical instrument. You need to practice in order to gain a new skill.

Do you provide individual or group training?

Typically individuals benefit the most from one-on-one instruction. However, we provide on-site group training for companies and educational organizations. Each case is highly variable, please contact us to discuss specific details of your needs.

Does this program work for people within the U.S. who have regional dialects?

Yes. This program works well for individuals residing in various regions of the United States. In fact, the seven week program is often perfect for those individuals residing in various regions of the U.S.

What happens after I’m done with my training?

Each training program and course will provide you with all the necessary tools in order to continue with your speaking success. The amount of ongoing progress directly correlates with the time that you put into your individual practice. Many individuals may continue to practice their speaking using the techniques and materials taught to them through their training course. Recently, we have just started a Pronunciation Conversation Group for graduates of the program to continue practicing with an accent trainer in a comfortable, relaxed social environment.

I’m not a kid anymore. Is it too late for me to change my accent?

Absolutely not. The act of speaking is 99% governed by speech habits, most of which are formed by 4 years of age. However, we all know that habits can be changed. The way to change speech is to change the habits that govern the sounds produced. New habits or reshaping old habits can always be done by practice. It’s not magic! All you need is a skilled coach and motivation.

Will I sound like a native English speaker or American?

You will most likely not completely lose your accent; however, we can drastically change your pronunciation to dramatically improve your ability to communicate in English. Most people who speak a second language have some traces of an accent even after lengthy study and practice. Everyone speaks with some degree of an accent even if English is their native language. There is no such thing as a “perfect” speaker in any language.