We have started working on our new video course where we show you how English sounds are created in the mouth. Many of our students asked for it and we enjoy doing it. It will be ready in 2-3 months time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to our new video course.
21 March 2019
By Olga Smith
Can you afford to wait for the society to change?
Superprof (an online tutoring database, has 2,868 online elocution tutors offering one-to-one lessons), reported that, inquiries for elocution lessons increased by more than 23.5%, compared with the same period in 2015.
Here are some of the reasons to change one's accent which various people stated:
"Since I moved from Manchester to London two years ago, I have been mocked about my accent, which made me think about softening some of my rougher edges. Regional accents not only indicate where we are from, but can reveal our social class, while a recent study found that broad regional accents can be a barrier to social mobility."
“I always thought, when I was going for certain parts, that having a northern accent might hinder my chances. When I was 19 or 20, I tried to change my accent a little. I just felt like people would take me more seriously if I spoke better.”
“It was something I was really self-conscious about because people think that people with a Birmingham accent are quite stupid,”
“Outside of parliament, people definitely will use it as a tool to have a go at you,” she says. “They’ll say you sound thick and you’re common and you don’t speak properly.”
Here are the research data about accent change:
1. "The associations between intelligence and forms of middle-class and elite speech and accent are deeply woven into British class structures."
2." A broad regional accent might hold you in good stead in some jobs, but can be a drawback in more upwardly mobile careers. “There may be some kind of expectation that, if you’ve secured a good degree and aced teacher training, then why didn’t you modify your accent as a linguistic means to signal that you are moving up in the world.”
3."An employer might send somebody for accent softening, and actually what they mean is that the employee’s voice doesn’t quite sound formal. The difference between sounding formal and informal, lies in speaking too quickly, mumbling or reductions in speech such as the glottal stop – an abrupt silence that replaces T and, occasionally, other consonants at the end of words."
4. Other differences, such as TH-fronting, which is pronouncing “th” as “f” or “v”, can affect your employability. “The more somebody says ‘munf’ rather than month, ‘fru’ rather than through, we will consider that to be a marker that they are less employable. Because it is perceived to be a measure of socioeconomic status.”
The Guardian writer who came up with all these facts asked at the end: "Can we change society, so that people aren’t told they have to change themselves?" I think if someone has passion, money and time to change the society they can go ahead and do it. It is a question of how long this change will take and whether it will ever change. I prefer to speak with RP now and be successful now. I cannot afford to wait for the society to change. Can you?
I am learning two things now: how to dance beautifully and speak Italian. I have a private dance tutor who is an incredible dancer. As a publisher of Get Rid of your Accent apps and books and RP (Received Pronunciation, in the past known as Queen's English or BBC English) I always strive to learn what works and what doesn't for students who are trying to learn new skills. In this blog I want to share with you my knowledge about teaching and learning processes.
Learning to dance is very similar to learning to speak with a different accent. When I learn to dance I learn how to move my body the way I want. This is exactly what you learn during accent reduction: the first thing you learn is how to move your speech organs in the correct way. In our apps and books, the number one thing is to make it very clear how to place your speech organs correctly, secondly you pronounce the sound on its own, then in words, sentences and verses. It is a process, in which we break it up into small parts and our students learn very fast, because it s simple and clear.
On the contrary, my dance tutor tends to show me a very difficult routine and asks me to repeat it. I cannot do it and then she shows it to me again in a very fast way, and I that doesn't help at all. When I asked her to show me little moves slowly I succeeded. I conclude: the number one thing in learning is to break the thing you learn into small parts and master each part separately. If you rush, you are likely to make a mistakes.
I've just came back from Italy where I did a 3 weeks course in Italian. During my course we were studying grammar and hardly had very little practice. By the middle of my course in Italy I realised that I speak worse than before. Prior to this course, I practiced a lot of speaking, listening and repeating and may-be my grammar was not as good, but I was more fluent. In my opinion, the number two thing in learning a new skill is 10% of theory and 90% of practice. Unfortunately, many tutors do it the other way around, 90% of theory which makes them speak most of the time, and 10% of practice for students. That is probably why our accent apps and books are very popular, because we follow these two rules and our students get the results instantly.
Good luck with your study,
A couple of days ago I've taught one of my students. He is a barrister and presents his speeches in Courts. He is highly intelligent and eloquent. English is his native language. When we started working on one of his speeches, we had to cut some words, put stresses and liaisons. My student was surprised how simple rules that I taught him changed the quality of his speech. He said he never heard of these rules. He encouraged me to write a blog about rules of speech writing and presenting.
Bellow is the list of main rules of speech writing and presenting:
1. Never start a sentence with a preposition "and".
2. Stress the most important words that contain the meaning and the essence of a sentence. As a rule we stress numbers, names, strong words like "never", "not".
3. Write short sentences and use short punchy words. There is a difference between a written and a spoken word. It' is fine to use long sentences if you write a PhD thesis or a scientific article for a magazine because readers can read it several times if needed. But if you speak in long sentences, then your listeners might feel lost in words and lose the plot. Thus you might fail to deliver your message. Very often when I help to prepare speeches I often cut 30% of words. I would like to give you an exercise:
a) Write your speech, then record it.
b) Read your speech again and delete unimportant words. Record this speech again using pauses and stresses correctly.
c) Compare these two speeches.
You will find rules and practical exercises for speech in our apps "4Ps, Power, Pitch, Pace, Pause" and "Fluent English Speech". They will help you to make your speeches impressive, powerful and interesting.
23 January 2019
By Olga Smith
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who works as a recruiter in Silicon Valley.
He conducts phone interviews, and if the interviewee is successful, he conducts a personal interview with a job applicant, many of whom are non-native English speakers. He said, “It’s harder to understand someone with an accent, especially on the phone. I feel frustrated because I can’t understand what they are saying.” He further added that regretfully, many job applicants do not have a second interview because of their strong accent.
On average, it takes between one and three months to neutralise a strong accent and make one's speech clear and easy to understand. People start with a speech analysis, then book a few lessons and practice at home. This process of accent reduction costs around £500-£1,000 on average.
My recruiter friend also told me an interesting fact, "We have many people already working in Silicon Valley who have strong Chinese or Indian accents. Many of them make $150k per year, however if they spoke more clearly, they would find it easier to be promoted and could earn up to $500k per year."
If you are looking for a new job or a promotion, why wouldn't you invest in improving the clarity of your speech?
Our company, which has helped hundreds of people with strong accents to start a new job or get a promotion, has recently published an easy to use and powerful app, built specifically for business people: Business English Speech.
This app will give you four benefits to boost your career. It will:
1. Prepare you for a job interview
2. Improve your business emails writing skills
3. Enrich your business vocabulary
4. Improve your listening skills
Download the app today.
When you find it useful and if you write a review, you will receive a FREE thirty minutes speech analysis with a written report that will speed up neutralising your accent (usually it costs £120).
We are delighted to announce that our new book "Get Rid of your Accent for Beginners" by Linda James and Olga Smith became an instant bestseller.
This new book is a total solution for accent reduction, and helps you to:
Ger rid of insecurities when speaking English
Break the barrier to speak English
Become confident and competent speaker of English
Enhance your image, get a better job prospects and improve your social opportunities.
Join our success story today! Find out more on www.batcsglobal.com
Guest blog post
There is a phenomenon called "immigrant energy" that makes some immigrants to English-speaking countries very successful. However, mastering English - which increases people's success - often takes several generations:
The first generation has either no English skills, or limited English skills, with a strong or very strong accent.
The second generation speaks their parents' language at home and English at school, which leaves them with less English skill and either a strong or a mild accent.
The third generation speaks English at home and at school, giving them full English skills and a mild accent or no accent.
International business people often follow a similar trajectory.
Our Get Rid of your Accent products accelerate this process. We help first-generation immigrants and international business people graduate quickly to a mild accent. That way, people have the energy of new immigrants, but the language skills of the second or third generation.
By reducing your accent and speaking in clear, understandable English, you change the subject. It's no longer, "What country are you from?" Instead, you talk about work, education, fun, family - whatever you want to talk about.
As a typical Russian I was rubbish at "small talk". I found it boring and useless. I want an instant connection on a deep level. For me, small talk was a waste of my time. A typical small talk is usually about the weather, current events or immediate surroundings, so superficial and meaningless, I thought.
I was wrong. Small talk does have a purpose. It is a great opportunity to size up the other person. We see their gestures, hear their accent and make an eye contact. It helps us decide whether we want to carry the conversation any further. Recently I was talking to a friend, a CEO of a consultancy company, he says that it's enough for him to say hello and shake hands with a person in order to understand if he can work with them.
In the UK, your accent speaks louder than words, it is a sign of your cultural background, education and social status. Once people hear your accent, to coin a phrase, they put you in a box. People make judgments immediately.
This fact explains why RP (Received Pronunciation, which in the past was called Queens English, Oxford English or BBC English is still an accent people want to learn. This accent is simply a shortcut to sound neutral and educated. Elocution, articulation and other vocal techniques help you to enhance your powers of communication further and cultivates strong presence. Once you have strong presence doors open people want to be around you, have business with you, you get a better job and a higher salary , and we can continue this list.
With our accent apps, books and lessons, it usually takes only 1-3 months to learn RP, and the benefits are priceless and will last you a lifetime. To listen to free lessons from our audio accent books visit: http://www.batcsglobal.com/products/