Accent reduction is a process where individuals learn how to pronounce the sounds of a language that do not exist in their first language. It enables people to express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and professional expertise so that the speaker and listener can readily understand one another. When this happens, consulting with clients, leading teams, and collaborating with colleagues happens with greater ease and impact.
People do not need to sound the same. On the contrary, this would diminish the rich cultural diversity of our global workforce. Our mission is to create a world where everyone is heard.
With the completion of any given Accents International training program, participants still have an accent. What they don't have is the experience of being frequently asked to repeat themselves; or worse, dismissed because their listeners aren't able to understand their message. By acquiring a solid foundation in English pronunciation, non-native English speakers become culturally competent while maintaining their unique cultural identities.
The statistics speak for themselves. The average participant sees >70% improvement after a 12 session accent reduction program.
The figure below illustrates the improvement made by 600+ participants at a Fortune 100 company.
All Accents International instructors are certified in the Ravin Method® of rapid and long-term language acquisition.
The Ravin Method® teaches non-native English speakers the articulation techniques needed to pronounce sounds in English that do not occur in other languages.
- Teaches second-language speakers how to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar sounds
- Is rooted in the core disciplines of cognitive and socio-linguistics
- Uses a kinesthetic, visual, and auditory approach to incorporate these speech patterns on a regular, or 'second nature' basis
- Provides learning techniques to 'self-correct' during the learning process
- Creates supportive and inclusive environments that elicit maximum student involvement in his/her language acquisition process
Judy Ravin, President of Accents International, certifies university faculty in the Ravin Method® of teaching accent reduction.
Accents International's exceptional faculty members practice cultural competence and know how to create supportive, inclusive environments where differences are not only accepted, but valued.
About the Powerful Pronunciation™ Team:
- Every Accents International instructor has taught accent modification at the university level and/or has a master's degree in linguistics or speech and language pathology
- Instructors are bilingual and understand, first-hand, the speech and language acquisition process
- All faculty are certified in the Ravin Method® of rapid language acquisition
- They are compassionate instructors whose primary objective is to help their clients master the accent reduction techniques for clear and effective English communication
- With 15 minutes of practice a day, the average rate of improvement is >70%. Participants have the tools to continue improving after the conclusion of the program.
- Rates of improvement for accent reduction programs conducted in Accents International's live, virtual classroom are equivalent to those conducted onsite
- 100% of surveyed respondents receive fewer requests to repeat themselves
- 100% of surveyed respondents use their skills daily
- 100% of surveyed respondents say they are more effective communicators
Accents International partners with organizations to ensure every member of their organization is heard, excels, and contributes to their maximum ability.
What exactly is "accent modification" and how does it help organizations, and their employees, further excel?
Accent modification is a process where people learn how to pronounce the sounds of a language that do not exist in their first language. It enables people to express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and professional expertise so that the speaker and listener can readily understand one another. It lets them meet a shared objective. People do not need to sound the same. On the contrary, this would diminish the rich cultural diversity of our global workforce. The goal of Accents International's curriculum is not to teach a "correct" way of speaking — we strongly believe there are no right or wrong accents. An accent is a speech pattern, not a speech problem – we all have an accent.
With the completion of an Accents International training program, participants still have an accent. What they don't have is the experience of being frequently asked to repeat themselves; or worse, dismissed because their listeners aren't able to understand their message. By acquiring a solid foundation in English pronunciation, non-native English speakers become expert communicators while maintaining their unique cultural identities. Graduates of the Powerful Pronunciation™ program speak with greater clarity, confidence, ease, and authenticity.
As one program participant put it, “No more holding back! I now bring all of me to the table!”
A Short Case Study: Leveling the Playing Field
Judy Ravin, President, Accents International
Recently DuPont Pioneer, the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, decided to offer American accent training to nine lead scientists identified as candidates for future supervisory roles. Each one is an expert in his/her field. Yet these scientists, while fluent in English, didn't have the repertoire of articulation techniques needed to pronounce the sounds in English that do not occur in their first language. This created communication barriers that impeded the scientists' ability to lead teams of innovators and problem solvers, characteristics that Pioneer is known for around the globe.
A year after Pioneer launched its first set of accent modification programs, I met with Pioneer leadership. What does a successful talent development program look like? Several of the managers present were the previous year's program participants!
Whether it's for communicating internally or interfacing with clients, Powerful Pronunciation™ gives every team member an opportunity to advance their career.
Learn about Accents International's accent comprehension program, Inclusive Listening: Tuning Your Ear to Accents™
An accent is a speech pattern, not a speech problem. All of us have an accent. Another word for speech pattern is pronunciation. Accent reduction training provides learners with an additional speech pattern to facilitate communicating in English with clarity and ease.
Accents International teaches people how to "code switch" so they can use whatever accent they choose. Our students master how to best express themselves and be heard.
Accent reduction is NOT a form of speech therapy, because accents are not disorders.
|Speech Therapy||Accent Reduction|
|Focus||Targeted (to a specific disorder)||Global (enhancing communication strengths and mastering fluency patterns)|
|Scope||Narrow (fixing specific impairments)||Broad (comprehensive English pronunciation program)|
|Model||Medical (therapy / intervention)||Non-medical (accents are not something to be "fixed")|
Accents International Learners are Force Multipliers
Here's how it works. Post-training, learners convey their professional expertise with greater clarity and efficacy. As a result, their colleagues, direct reports, and strategic partners utilize newly acquired information and become more effective themselves. This becomes a chain reaction where levels of engagement, productivity, and innovation increase for learners as well as those with whom they interact. When one person is armed with tools that take communication to a higher level, the impact is company-wide. This is organizational capacity building at its best.
Improved Client Retention
It is 10 times more expensive to bring on new clients than to retain existing clients.1
Your organization's long-term growth depends on your ability to retain existing customers. Since trust and transparency are key factors in developing and maintaining customer loyalty, communication breakdowns can be particularly damaging to client relationships. Without a strong level of mutual comprehension, clients may begin to lose confidence in your ability to serve them adequately.
Accents International's accent reduction and accent comprehension programs give your employees the flexibility required to keep all lines of communication open and effective. This will help them convey their professional expertise and effectively communicate the unique value your business provides.
Improving the Patient Experience
Since 2006, Accents International has partnered with hospitals and medical schools to deliver exceptional care and patient experiences.
International medical graduates, or IMGs, comprise nearly 30 percent of all primary care doctors in the United States. Across the country, 20.8 million people live in areas where foreign-trained doctors account for at least half of all doctors. In addition, of the approximately 80,000 physicians who teach at medical schools, more than 18 percent are IMGs. Along with U.S. trained healthcare providers, our IMG’s provide essential and second-to-none patient care.
Accents International helps hospitals and medical schools maintain each physicians' unique cultural identity while creating high performance environments that improve the delivery of healthcare.
The results are threefold:
- Better patient-centered communication due to greater understandability of their physicians and/or nurses
- Increased physician confidence and engagement
- Higher Press Ganey HCAHP patient survey scores.
By communicating with clarity, confidence, and ease, foreign born physicians have transformed the patient experience. To learn more, please contact Judy Ravin, President of Accents International.
1 http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/acs-10.pdf (PDF, 625k)
We work with companies of all sizes. This partial client list shows the range of companies that have benefited from our services.
Accent Reduction Classes / English Pronunciation & Communication Training
- Adventist Health System
- AT Kearney
- Boeing Corporation
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- CA Technologies
- Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd.
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Citrix Systems, Inc.
- CMS Energy
- Comerica Bank
- Compuware Corporation
- Cornell University, Johnson School of Business
- Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corporation
- Daimler Chrysler
- Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center - Washington
- DTE Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
- ETRADE Financial
- Extra Space Storage
- Federal Mogul Corporation
- Ford World Headquarters
- Geisinger Holy Spirit Health System
- General Motors Corporation
- Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance
- GSN Games
- Hewlett-Packard Company
- Holcim (US) Inc.
- Hyundai Technical Center
- Infinity Primary Care
- Integrys Energy Group, Inc.
- J.P. Morgan
- Korn Ferry
- Johnson Controls
- Lockheed Martin
- Marriott Corp.
- Masco Corporation
- McKesson Pharmaceuticals
- Merck & Co.
- Micro Key Solutions
- The National Education Association
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
- Nestlé PURINA.
- NSF International
- Oracle Corporation
- Pitney Bowes
- Rauland-Borg Corporation
- ReCellular, Inc.
- St. John Health
- Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital Residency Programs
- Schering-Plough Research Institute
- Sound Physicians
- Spectrum Health System
- Tennessee State University, Dept of Speech Pathology and Audiology
- Terumo Cardiovascular Systems
- Thunderbird School of Global Management
- Thomson Reuters
- Trinity Health
- United States Marine Corps
- University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
- University of Michigan, Cancer Center
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
- Wacker Silicones Corporation
We would love to speak with you.
From Our Clients
"I used to dread talking on the phone. I was always trying to find ways to write; if I write then the person can read it. Talking on the phone was so awful, but now I have a telephone conversation and nobody asks me to repeat myself. It's really exciting!"
- ARI Participant and ESL Student