I've always had a love of languages, and the desire to know how they work and where they come from. Learning a new language is hardly an easy task.
When I moved to Paris in the 80's, it was my turn to experience, first-hand, the challenges and complexities of language acquisition. As was the case for most foreign language students, accent reduction wasn't part of the curriculum--and for the most part, it still isn't. Not being able to convey your thoughts and feelings is lonely. Not being able to convey your professional expertise is downright debilitating.
My overseas experiences convinced me that accent training was the missing link to effective communication. Once back in the USA, I began to focus my attention on teaching American English pronunciation to business professionals. The need for corporate training was enormous. I developed the Ravin Method® of rapid language learning, and its correlating English pronunciation software, to address these needs.
Then, in 2005, an opportunity presented itself from the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists. Their request? To develop a tool to help English speakers understand foreign accents. The Accent Reduction Institute got to work and we soon had both a methodology and curriculum to do just that. This patent-pending program is called Decoding Foreign Accents®, or in our lingo "Building Bridges", and is now part of soft skills training in corporate America, academia and at the US Department of Defense.
Building Bridges of communication continues to be my life-long objective and passion. Helping people fully participate in their own lives, enabling organizations to bring out the full potential of their workforce, and assisting humanitarian aid missions abroad is indescribably gratifying.
"I was also very much impressed with her continued help after the training sessions were over. I approached her recently asking whether she would have time to help me with pronunciation of some words, and she was more than willing to give me very helpful feedback."