Accent Assessments are designed for people who are serious about making themselves clearly understood. Perhaps you have professional or business needs or you have an upcoming presentation to make. Typically clients who seeks an assessment have career or business goals. Assessments provide a personalised development plan based on the findings of the assessment, usually leading to a personal coaching program.
Assessments will identify problem areas such as:
- Your unique phoneme issues (often thought of as pronunciation)
- Use of rhythm and stress
- Gaps in vocabulary
- Poor grammar (typically around use of plurals and tense)
- Lack of cultural awareness (know the people, love the language)
Who is an Assessment for?
- Migrants from non-English speaking cultures eg India, South and East Asia, China, South America, Southern parts of Europe
- Professionals and business owners (eg white collar roles or health related occupations)
- People in client facing roles (Sales, customer service, law)
- People using the telephone for work (Receptionists, technical support, call centre staff),
- People having to make presentations to clients or colleagues (Teaching and training staff, accountants, researchers)
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have a strong accent?
Whether or not you have a strong accent is a very subjective issue. We sometimes get native English speakers asking us to reduce a strong perceived accent. However, there are some clear objective signs that you may need to do something about it. Find out for yourself here: Take the Accent Quiz.
Do I need to have an accent assessment?
An assessment is a prerequisite for any of our tailored coaching programs. So if you have set yourself personal targets or if your manager has identified personal development needs, then an assessment is a great place to start. That said, some of our clients are simply curious or want a starting point to create their own personal development journey. Book an assessment here
My accent make me sound stupid! Am I stupid?
Quite the opposite! In Australia, being able to speak another language fluently puts you in the top 20% of the population. If, like many of our clients you can speak three or more languages you are 4 in the top 10%. Rather than feel stupid, you should be congratulating yourself. Multiple studies show that you can expect to significantly slow cognitive decline and extend your life between five to seven years. We also find that most of our clients have as a minimum a Batchelor’s degree. Many have higher degrees and post-graduate qualifications. Universities are not in the habit of handing those sort of qualifications out to stupid people.
What accent will I have when the program is finished?
Your accent, but hopefully not as strong. We work primarily with clients in Australia and New Zealand. However, people in other English speaking countries will get some benefit from our program, particularly those in former Commonwealth countries. See our article here
If I have an assessment am I obliged to invest in an Accent Reduction program?
No. Assessments are completely stand alone. There is no obligation to do anything further. We will even give you suggestions about things you can do to improve your speaking skills that don’t involve one of our programs.
How long does the assessment take?
Typically an assessment session takes about an hour, but we suggest that you allow an hour and a half. Clients often have questions, after all this is probably the first time that you realised that anything like this existed!
What is involved?
Besides a detailed examination of your problem sounds, we look at things like pace, volume, intonation, vocal variation, physical issues with your voice and your ability to control breath and speech. There is an Australian vocabulary assessment and you will be asked to read a few short passages. If you have conditions like dyslexia or vision impairment it is important that you flag these at the outset.
Is the assessment a test? Will I need to prepare?
No! The assessment is definitely not a test and there is no preparation, apart from an information form. The assessment is designed as a gap analysis. It takes a snap shot of your skills and knowledge now and then compares that with where you want to be. The plan we develop aims to fill the gap. Click here to book an assessment.
Is this an English Language Course?
No! We assume that you already have a good grasp of the English language, sufficient to have passed an IELTS or similar exam. We find that nearly all of our clients have a better grasp of English grammar than most people who claim English as their first language. If you need English language tuition, there are plenty of services that offer this, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
Will I lose my accent?
Probably not! No one we have worked with so far has completely lost their accent, but that’s is definitely not the aim of our program. We aim to help you communicate more effectively in English. We believe that accent is a key part of who you think you are, so losing 6 your accent would be to lose part of that identity. Besides most of our clients have passed the age where they have the ability to sound like a local. Read our article here
Why don’t they teach Accent Reduction in English Language courses?
That’s complicated! Of course, good courses do. A lot depends on who taught you and their understanding of the language. Typically, English language schools in non-English speaking countries do not understand one of the keys to sounding natural, namely rhythm. English has a different rhythm from many world languages like Hindi, Mandarin and Spanish. Unless your school taught you the correct stress patterns and you learnt when you were an adult, you are likely to have a stronger accent. Every language has its trick and English’s is rhythm.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a personal tailored program set at your pace and for your specific needs. Your coach is your friend, mentor and chief whip! You could think of a coach as being your unreasonable friend encouraging you to achieve your best.
If I decide to opt for coaching what programs do you offer?
Our programs run over three or six month periods and vary in intensity, from once a month (Explorer), through twice a month (Professional), to weekly (Executive). Onsite options are available for residents of the Melbourne metro. Costs for coaching programs range between AUD$900 and AUD$12,000 +GST.
What other programs do you offer if I don’t want coaching?
Do I have to come to your offices?
No. It’s good to have an initial face-to-face meeting, but that’s always possible because of time or geography. We use Zoom to carry out client meetings. The Zoom app is available for most major platforms click here to visit the Zoom website.
Where are you based?
We regularly use offices in Narre Warren and Richmond in the Melbourne metro area. With a little notice we can also carry out in person meetings in the following metro locations: Ringwood, Chadstone, Caribbean Park, Bundoora, and Highpoint For details visit the Waterman Business Centre website here.