Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes
“What are some Accent Modification CEUs?”
Recently I was asked this question and it occurred to me that there are probably quite a few Speech-Language Pathologists who want to get into Accent Coaching but aren’t quite sure where to start. Well, we’re here to change that!
We’re going to look at 4 different sources for learning more about accent reduction, accent modification and accent acquisition that can all be used to help you create and grow your online corporate speech private practice.
Between these resources you’ll develop the knowledge and skill required to start doing corporate speech coaching successfully.
Here’s a list of resources I’ll introduce:
- CORSPAN – A supportive, tight-knit professional organization.
- Online Speech Services – Online training for all things Speech-Language Pathology business related.
- Here’s How to Do Accent Modification: A Manual for Speech-Language Pathologists. – A book written by an eminent Corporate Speech-Language Pathologist.
- Accent Freedom – Accent reduction software for you to use with your clients.
Let’s go through them one by one.
The Corporate Speech Pathology Network [CORSPAN] is an international non-profit professional organization consisting of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) that have expanded or completely transitioned from their clinical practice into the growing niche of ‘corporate’ speech pathology.
Corporate speech services are geared towards enhancing business/professional communication skills of clients that do not otherwise demonstrate any clinical/medically-based communication challenges. Individuals in corporate speech pathology practice may identify themselves as a “Corporate Speech Pathologist”, “Corporate Speech Trainer”, and/or a(n) “Executive/Professional/Business/Leadership Communication Coach”, to name a few.
CORSPAN creates a community of SLPs that are individual business/practice owners who provide services to individuals and organizations related to Accent Modification/Pronunciation Training, Presentation/Public Speaking Skills, Interview/Business Meeting Communication Training, Voice Projection/Vocal Aesthetics, Cross-Cultural Communication Training, Executive Presence/Leadership Communication Training, and more.
CORSPAN’s mission is to provide networking, support, and resources to its Members. Some ways in which CORSPAN executes its mission include: regularly providing small group networking opportunities, providing ongoing professional development webinars that are related to corporate SLP service delivery and/or best business practices and are eligible for ASHA CEUs, peer-mentoring, providing written marketing/educational resources for Members to use within their own practice, providing social media exposure for Members via social media shares of Members’ posts and via our business directory listing and Member Spotlight program, and by promoting corporate speech/communication services to businesses/global community organizations and increasing awareness of the value & unique expertise of Corporate SLPs, while aiding in establishing a global referral base for CORSPAN Members.
If you would like more information, or to join CORSPAN, please visit CORSPAN.org and/or follow CORSPAN on social media.
Online Speech Services
Adrienne started her SLP career in public and charter schools before transitioning to her career as a full-time telepractice SLP. She worked as a manager for over seven years, where she was responsible for hiring, training, and supervising a department of speech-language pathologists who all provided services via telepractice. As a manager, she organized professional development programs, established best practices in issues related to telepractice, and ensured compliance with national and state licensing regulations.
Adrienne decided to go back to school to earn her MBA in Business Administration, and started Online Speech Services in 2018. Online Speech Services specializes in online speech therapy, accent modification, and public speaking coaching. In addition to providing direct services to clients in her telepractice business, Adrienne also offers individual and group training and consulting to help others add telepractice to their service delivery offerings. Since obtaining her MBA, Adrienne has also helped other SLPs start their own telepractice business. She has trained hundreds of speech-language pathologists in appropriate telepractice service delivery through her online courses and live webinars. She has presented at the annual American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention and served on the ASHA Convention Telepractice Topic Committee for two years.
Adrienne’s blog, Telepractice Tools, provides information, resources, and materials for speech-language pathologists who need support incorporating telepractice into their service delivery. For more information, visit www.telepracticetools.com. You can also reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s How to Do Accent Modification:
A Manual for Speech-Language Pathologists
Bob McKinney has authorized us to offer a discount code for the book: AP2013
As global connections in our digital world accelerate, effective communication between native and non-native speakers of English has become ever more critical, leading to increased demand for accent modification services, especially when delivered over the internet. I wrote Here’s How to Do Accent Modification: A Manual for Speech-Language Pathologists to give readers a solid foundation to get started in the field, but most of the content should benefit veterans as well. It is aimed primarily at speech-language pathologists (SLPs), but it also provides a fresh perspective to teachers of English to speakers of other languages, and voice and speech trainers. There is an emphasis on practical tips, techniques, and examples, and the companion website features additional resources, such as editable worksheets, sound files, and video clips.
At the heart of the book is the understanding that accents are normal and natural, representing the wonderful linguistic diversity of our species. Unfortunately, when non-native speakers have not achieved the degree of intelligibility and naturalness required for effective communication in their target language, they may face significant barriers to personal and professional success. When clients reach out for help in overcoming these hurdles, they often turn to professionals, and SLPs are well-equipped for the task. The key is to understand that although graduate training and clinical expertise provide SLPs with a strong background, it is their ethical obligation to attain the additional skills and knowledge necessary to produce results with this unique clientele. Fortunately, this goal is well within reach, and the hope is that this book will play a role in the future success of many practitioners and their clients.
My personal journey has unfolded in the opposite direction of most SLPs working in accent modification. I had earned an M.A. in Russian Studies and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) before I became an SLP. In my 26-year career teaching English to non-native speakers, I worked in six countries with clients from over 80 nations, and this experience has informed my work at San Diego State University’s Accent and Communication Training (ACT) program, where I have had the pleasure of supervising many outstanding graduate clinicians. My personal connection to accent comes from my experiences as a native speaker of English and non-native speaker of Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. In the nearly 10 years of my adult life spent living abroad and communicating in other languages, I have had a glimpse of the challenges and emotions that often go hand-in-hand with sounding different. Accents and languages are a part of my home as well; my wife, who is also a practicing SLP, is a native speaker of Hungarian, and my son is a bilingual speaker of Hungarian and English. A love of languages, accents, and cultures brought me to this field, and if it brought you here as well, I know you will be rewarded by working with this amazing group of clients.
Additionally, Bob McKinney has created a course on SpeechPathology.com: Back to Basics: Accent Modification:
Instructors, please contact Barb Christensen at Barb@SpeechAdvantage.com for information regarding use of the Accent Freedom materials with your own clients.
Accent Freedom (www.AccentFreedom.com) is an in-depth accent reduction software system developed by Speech Advantage designed to improve American English pronunciation through self-study or instructor-led training. Barbara Christensen, a corporate trainer with a background in speech/language pathology and over 30 years of experience, is the owner of Speech Advantage and the author of the Accent Freedom training materials.
Released in 2013, Accent Freedom has been used by clients worldwide through self-study or with instructors. Many speech professionals utilize this software with their own clients as the materials are extensive, user friendly, and stored all in one place (for both the client as well as instructor.) Pre and post assessment materials are also available if the instructor chooses to use them. Each instructor has their own page on the website to house their client materials. Lessons can be customized for each clients’ specific needs. Accent Freedom works extremely well with online clients where the screen is shared so the instructor and client can work together on the lessons.
Instructors can choose from the approximately 333 lessons in the Accent Freedom software to customize lessons plans for their clients. There are lessons for pitch and stress (intonation), specific consonants and vowels, linking, rate, final sounds, voicing and many supplemental lessons. Over 5,000 audios are embedded in the lessons. There is also a recording feature on the site so a student can record to compare their production to the instructor’s production. If the student has signed up for instructor-led training, the student can upload their recorded audios to their personal instructor for feedback on homework activities. Instructors can then comment directly on the website regarding the students’ progress.
If a student chooses the self-study route, their lessons will be language specific. This is to direct the student to pertinent lessons that are typically difficult for people with that language background (e.g., native Spanish speakers would have a different group of lessons than native Mandarin speakers.) This saves them much time and frustration trying to figure out what lessons they should be focusing upon. New accent reduction trainers may find it beneficial to use these language specific pre-determined lessons with their clients.
For more information about Accent Freedom, please visit www.AccentFreedom.com.
By now you have a good idea of what you need to do, and how to go about doing it.
If you take one thing away from this post, I encourage you to remember that this is a marathon. The rewards will come, but you have to keep pushing and working!
In the immortal words of Dory the Fish “Just Keep Swimming!”
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