Training programs are offered individually or in small groups. Individual training programs can be delivered either in person or by video conferencing.
General Content of the Programs
Initially, every client is given a thorough accent assessment. After a detailed analysis of the client’s speech, a specific plan of instruction is prepared.
Clients then focus intensely on some or all of the following areas in training:
- The pronunciation of specific sounds (consonants and vowels)
- Rhythm, stress, and intonation – the melody of language
- General Canadian English speech clarity – speaking habits that increase understandability
- The development of a professional speaking voice
Working on each of these areas can benefit all clients. However, the amount of time spent in each area will depend on the type of program that works best for each client.
Another important aspect of accent training is to help clients use their modified speech pattern in many situations, especially those that are personally important to them. Speaking situations where clients place great importance in being understood can range from formal situations such as making a presentation in front of an audience to informal situations such as having a conversation with a friend. Clients are trained to use their new speech patterns in these and other common situations during the training program.
Description of Programs
There are several types of programs that are available to clients. The 4 core accent modification programs are the introductory, basic intermediate, upper intermediate, and advanced programs.
- The introductory program is 7 sessions in length.
- The basic and upper intermediate programs are 15 sessions in length.
- The advanced program is 25 sessions in length.
Most clients are encouraged to consider taking either the intermediate or advanced programs.
The introductory 7-session program is designed for clients who experience difficulties being understood, but are unable to commit to a 15- or 25-session program. In the introductory program, training is focused only on a few aspects of speech with the intention of providing clients with limited, but positive gains. In addition, clients are strongly encouraged to complete 30-45 minutes of independent daily practice after the 7 sessions are completed, in order to maintain their progress.
All of the above programs can be taken once a week or once every second week. In addition, each program requires between 30 to 45 minutes of regular home practice for maximum benefit.
The type of program that a client chooses depends on factors such as the client’s own schedule, the time available for the client to complete daily home practice, the results of the initial assessment, and the client’s personal communication needs.
In some cases, clients may feel sufficient progress after a limited number of sessions, and other clients may wish to extend their training to further sharpen their skills. In these cases, clients can change their type of program or extend/decrease the number of sessions in which they are scheduled. This can also occur if the client’s personal schedule changes.
The cost of training is $130.00 per session for clients who enroll in a program of 7 sessions or more. This does not include fees for the assessment or materials.
The total cost of the core training programs, which includes materials and assessment fees, are as follows:
- Introductory Program: $1,312.50
- Basic intermediate Program: $2,333.50
- Upper intermediate Program: $2,383.50
- Advanced Program: $3,748.50
The training fees for clients who book session-by-session or on a consult basis varies depending on the number hours per session.