Please select from the frequently asked questions below
How will I know I'm improving?
With our training you will become an expert on your own pronunciation. An expert at hearing your pronunciation differences, understanding the positions of the mouth and how to correct them. If you rely on a teacher to point out your errors what will happen when your teacher isn’t there? You will make the errors and not realise! With our specialised audio and visual training you will monitor your speech and progress – an ESSENTIAL step in improving your pronunciation. We train you to hear differently. You will be able to identify the correct and incorrect pronunciation, being able to hear the difference in your own and others speech is the first step to becoming clear. You assess yourself. Using Star Check, at the end of every lesson you will compare your speech with a native speaker to check your progress and learning. Less repeating. You will notice a big difference in how often you repeat yourself, this will keep improving long after the course has finished. More confidence. 95% of people who complete the course tell us they have more confidence in their speech. Speech assessments: With this written report and audio feedback from a speech pathologist you have snapshot of your strong and weak points. You can contact us and purchase a second assessment on conclusion. We’re on call. Our Expert and Master students can arrange to speak to our Speech Pathologists on Skype or the phone for 15 minutes to work on a tricky sound. We are here to make sure you succeed and get the most from this course.
What happens after the course?
You will keep improving long after the courses are complete. Your understanding of the correct and incorrect pronunciation will enable you to keep improving long after the course. We provide you with the audio files after each lesson and these can be used years afterwards. The audio files reinforce what you have learned. Recently we met with a student using some of our founder’s first recordings, made nearly 10 years ago. If you run out of time during your course or you would like to re-access your material in the future you can buy an extension from our site.
Is this course as good as or better than face-to-face training?
We provided face-to-face training to people for 8 years. We now find that for many people online training is a better option and they are achieving even better results. Yes! Our online courses are an excellent way to learn English pronunciation. Keep reading to find out why. While a qualified Speech Therapist is a good option, face-to-face training is often not specialised enough, expensive, difficult to get to and difficult to find. Here are some benefits of our online training over face-to-face. You won’t rely on a teacher: You will improve more quickly and effectively because you won’t need to rely on a teacher to point out your problems. With our training we teach you to become an expert on your own pronunciation. We teach you to monitor your own progress. We do this with guided audio & visual training that focuses on making you aware and able to monitor your progress. If you rely on a teacher – what will happen when the teacher isn’t there? You will make errors and not realise! We teach you to be the teacher! Audio & Visual training: Many pronunciation tutors don’t provide audio and visual practice materials to their students. People often don’t get the repetition and the practice that they need to successfully improve their speaking. With our video and audio training you will get more than enough repetition and practice. We use words, sentences, interviews, jokes and conversations for practice. Our materials are tailored and of the highest quality. Repeat and Revise: People find that when they attend a face-to-face lesson on pronunciation they often can’t remember what they learnt the next day. With online training you can repeat and revise the training anytime you want at no extra cost. With the MP3 listen-and-repeat audio files you will improve and revise and continue to practice for as long as you want into the future. Flexible: You will self manage when you learn and how much your learn. You can learn in the middle of the day, or the middle of the night because your course is online 24/7. You can complete just the recommended 1 hour lesson per week or you can access our library of additional video and audio training for extra learning and improvement. Specialised, Tailored and Focused: Many courses offer general pronunciation training that’s not specific to your needs. We know what your errors will be because of the language you speak as your first language. With a Star Pronunciation course we show you exactly how to correct your errors. You won’t waste time on training that you don’t need to do! Affordable: Our training is excellent value. You have access to over 20 hours of audio and video training. The same training face to face would cost thousands. Did you know that research shows that people are getting better results with online training than attending classes. Recently, 67% of US academic leaders surveyed rated results for online training as the same or better than face-to-face. Some general information on the Pros and Cons of online training / elearning.
Does this course actually work?
96% of people who complete our course would recommend it to a friend. So yes it does. It also relies on you practicing. Practice is the most important part in the process of changing your speech. We need to teach your brain (memory) and muscles new ways of making speech sounds. This requires repetition and practice.
Why is this course better than a book with CD?
Good question. There are quite a few reasons. The main reason is that pronunciation books with CDs provide a good introduction to pronunciation. Our training is much more targeted, tailored and in depth. Our courses are not a brief over-view, they are full detailed, comprehensive pronunciation courses. Here are some more reasons why our courses are more beneficial than a book with CD or CDROM:  Pronunciation books with CDs teach every sound in English. They provide short exercises on each sound or area. For most learners this helps them understand what they are doing wrong but it doesn’t provide enough teaching, in depth explanation and visual instruction for the student to succeed in correcting it. Our training is in video so you can clearly see and understand your teachers mouth and the positions required.  We teach you to monitor your own progress. Books and CDs don’t cover teaching you to become aware of your own errors. As a result people find that they aren’t sure if they are improving or not! With our training we teach you to become an expert on your own pronunciation. We do this with guided audio & visual training that focuses on making you aware and able to monitor your progress.  To successfully change a sound a lot of practice and repetition is needed. The exercises in books with CDs are too short, so not enough practice is provided for the student to master their new sound in words and sentences.  With our training you will see real students. This is how we help you see and hear exactly what to do and what not to do. This is important because you need to learn to hear when you make a mistake and understand how to fix it! So, we show you real students making the errors that you are likely to make, to show you what’s right and what’s not right.  Our courses include over 20 bonus lessons that will help you with things that non-native speakers have difficulty with. For example, many non-native speakers don’t pronounce the words ‘walk’ and ‘work’ correctly. We have created these lessons from over 10 years of working with non-native speakers and helping with the things that they find difficult. Books don’t include this level of training.  At the end of every lesson you are invited to ask your teacher questions online. This enables us to give you individualised assistance while you take your course. It also helps us add to our training and improve it.  Our courses include 20 hours of audio and video training….. that’s a lot! Books with Cds usually provide 2 – 3 hours training material – at the most! Books with CDs are helpful, they are good as an introduction to pronunciation training and we recommend you use them for this purpose. They help to tune in your ‘ear’ and improve your awareness of your speech. Our course is more detailed and tailored to individual needs.
What improvement can I expect / when can I expect changes?
Students who complete the recommended practice can expect significant improvements in their pronunciation skills, confidence and listening skills. Within 1 month you should start to see small changes and your listening will adjust, within 2 months you will find you’re not repeating yourself as often, by the end of the course you will have corrected each of the areas someone from your language background finds challenging. You will keep improving months after the course is completed. A student Yumi, a Mandarin speaking student recently wrote to us saying “my native English speaking friends have all commented on how much my English pronunciation has improved because of the course.” 96% of students who completed our courses reported that their confidence when speaking English was ‘much improved’. Practicing is easy with our listen-and–repeat audio MP3 files. Put these on your phone or Ipod and practice anywhere, anytime. These recordings give you the repetition and practice that you need to successfully improve your speech. You can repeat any video lessons in your course and written notes are provided with each lesson so you can keep track of your learning and make your own notes. Each video lesson includes loads of guided practice on each area. You can also ask your teacher questions online – we will give you everything you need to succeed in improving your pronunciation! Practice is the most important part in the process of changing your speech. We need to teach your brain (memory) and muscles new ways of making speech sounds. This requires repetition and practice.
How can I practice when I'm away from my computer?
We will give you lots and lots of listen-and-repeat speech exercises to practice what you learn in your lessons. You can put these on your Ipod, phone, or computer to practice wherever you go! You will use the listen-and–repeat practice audio files for 15 minutes per day. This gives you the repetition and practice needed to successfully improve your speech. Each lesson includes a practice audio file for correcting what was covered in that lesson. The audio files include real interviews with people so you can improve your listening, vocabulary and language skills. The audio files will also help you correct your syllable stress (the rhythm) of your English in hundreds of important words and phrases.
Can I ask the teacher questions?
Yes, we love questions! In every lesson you will be invited to write directly to the accent teacher to ask questions about your pronunciation or pronunciation in general. Alternatively Expert and Masters students can call us anytime. We are here to make sure you get the most from our courses. Your questions help us improve our training for future students!
Will this training improve my listening skills?
Yes. This training helps people understand native speakers more easily. Our lessons include ear training exercises that help you learn to hear and say sounds and stress patterns (the rhythm / music of English). By the end of the course you will be very good at hearing subtle aspects of speech and pronunciation like pitch changes of the voice, vowel length and consonant sound quality. You will understand exactly what native speakers do with sounds and the pitch of their voice when they speak English. You will be a pronunciation expert and you will be able to hear the important differences between your pronunciation and a native speakers. All of our students find that their listening skills improve with this training.
What makes my English clear or unclear?
Research shows that the stress and rhythm of your English has the biggest impact on how clear you are. It is the most important area to improve to reduce your accent and be more easily understood. Most people learning English find making the correct syllable stress challenging. You will cover making stress and rhythm in detail in your Star Pronunciation lessons and correct your stress and rhythm in hundreds of important words and phrases.
I really want to improve. What do I need to do?
To improve your pronunciation and spoken English you need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! We give you everything you need. You need to do as much listening and speaking practice as you can with the materials provided.
Will the course help me correct my ‘th’ sound?
Yes of course. ‘th’ is a sound that most non-native speakers find difficult. It’s one of the most common sounds in English so it makes a big difference to your accent if you pronounce it correctly or not. In your Star Pronunciation course you will correct the areas that have the biggest affect on speech clarity and accent to make your speech clearer and more like a native speaker.
What teaching method does the teacher use?
We help you become aware of your English pronunciation problems. Then we provide step-by-step training to improve them. You will see and copy your teacher in the video as she guides you through making each sound correctly. At the end of each lesson you have lots of guided revision and practice to help you succeed in using the new sound or speech pattern correctly.
Will my employer pay for Star Pronunciation training?
Many employers understand that developing your ability to communicate effectively will improve your job performance. A course to improve your spoken English skills will be a solid investment in your future with the company. As a result, many employers will fund Star Pronunciation Training for their staff. We recommend talking to your employer about possible funding for the course. You can use our Information For Employers page to introduce them to Star Pronunciation training.
About Pronunciation and Accent
What is accent?
Everyone speaks with an accent. In today’s world people constantly move from state to state and from country to country. One thing that people take with them is their accent. The way we move our mouths when we pronounce words give us an accent. Non-native speakers of English have a ‘foreign accent’. A ‘foreign’ accent is different to that of a native English speaker who will have a native English accent like an American accent, British accent, Australian accent, Scottish accent or Canadian accent. Accent is affected by: – sounds (vowels and consonants) – stress and intonation (the pitch of the voice used within words and across sentences). Sometimes a person’s accent can result in communication difficulties. People with a strong accent may be asked frequently to repeat themselves. This can be very frustrating! When someone’s accent causes communication difficulties they can choose to see a professional trainer to improve their English pronunciation so they can deliver their message clearly, effectively and with confidence.
What is the difference between accent reduction, accent modification, and accent neutralisation?
These three terms are used to describe accent training for non-native English speakers. They all aim to teach people a standard pronunciation that’s easily understood by native speakers.
Is it too late to change my speech?
It’s never too late to change your speech! Some of our clients have been in English speaking countries for over 30 years and have made excellent improvement to their speech. However it is true to say that the sooner you start the better. The longer you use the same speech patterns, the more difficult they are to change. It’s never too late or too early to start! Start improving now.
Is English pronunciation training the same as Presentation Skills Training?
No. Presentation skills training usually focuses on body language for presenting, structuring a presentation, how best to engage your audience, projecting your voice and eye-contact, handling nervousness etc. English Pronunciation training focuses on speaking clearly. The training is all about how we move our mouths to pronounce English sounds correctly. The focus is on articulation. If someone has unclear speech it can be a problem for them when presenting to a group. It can make a person lack confidence and feel nervous. If people listening to a presentation need to concentrate to understand the presenter’s accent they become tired more quickly or may miss some of what has been said. People often engage in English Pronunciation Training to improve their presentation skills through clearer speech.
I've been living in an English speaking country for a long time. Why is English pronunciation still difficult?
There are a few reasons why changing your accent is difficult. The first reason is because you spoke mostly in your first language for more than the first 10 years of your life. This means that when you speak, your mouth automatically moves in the way it does for your first language. Trying to change this is challenging. Learning the correct pronunciation in English is further complicated by the fact that there are over 20 vowels in English and also because you cannot tell by looking at a word how to pronounce it. Here’s an example. The letters ‘ough’ make different sounds in each of the following words: ‘enough’ ‘bought’ ‘cough’ ‘rough’ ‘through’ ‘although’ ‘thorough’ ‘drought’. Confusing hey! Did you know that ‘muscles’ and ‘mussels’ are pronounced in exactly the same way? Yes – all very confusing! This doesn’t happen in most other languages where you can know the exact pronunciation just by looking at the spelling of a word. A Star Pronunciation course teaches you new, more correct ways to move your mouth to pronounce the sounds and speech patterns of English. At first, these may feel strange and unnatural. Through guided, step by step instruction and practice you will be able to successfully use the new sounds when you speak. Making your English clearer and more like a native speaker.
Why do I need accent / English pronunciation training?
A strong accent can cause a number of communication issues, particularly in the workplace. Your customers, patients or co-workers may misunderstand you or may have to concentrate hard to understand your speech. This can cause problems, especially on the phone, in meetings or in places with background noise. If people have difficulty understanding you it can negatively affect your chances of getting a job. Many jobs require good communication skills and at the top of the list is spoken English. Having unclear speech can also affect your chance of getting the promotion that you want. Many people find that they are stuck in a technical position rather than managerial because of their spoken English skills. To perform at your best in the workplace, you need to communicate easily and effectively with other people. English Pronunciation training can help you achieve this. Included in your course is tips for job interviews, job interview preparation and practice job interview questions. Completing our training will also help you understand English speakers more easily, because you’ll have a better understanding of pronunciation and how it works.
How is accent training different from ESL?
ESL classes are general and focus on all aspects of English. ESL classes teach students of all levels of language proficiency, from beginners to advanced. Our accent training focuses on the pronunciation and rhythm of English. It’s for people who have English as a second language but have a high level of English. Most of our students live or study in an English speaking country. Their English is at intermediate to advanced level. This course is not for beginners of English.
What type of English accent will I learn?
People often ask me which type of English accent will I learn with a Star Pronunciation Course. It is important to remember that because English is your 2nd language, you will always have a ‘foreign’ accent. In other words, if your first language is Mandarin, you will always speak English with a Chinese accent. If your first language is Russian, you will always speak English with a Russian accent. Of course, you can reduce that foreign accent to make your English more clear and more like a native speaker, but you will always have a slight accent. Our students want to be clearer and to reduce their foreign accent. Our courses teach English that is clear and relevant to UK English, Australian English and American English. All of the pronunciation areas covered in the course are appropriate for all types of English. Your teachers have a very mild Australian accent, which to many non-native English speakers sounds British. This course will help you to be clearer and sound more like a native speaker. See more on which accent should I learn here.
What are interesting articles on Accent & Pronunciation Training?
Here are some interesting articles on Accent Training around the world. Accent Modification Training in America. Business – The New York Times. American Medical News – Doctors benefiting from Accent Modification Doctors seek classes to improve their speech. The Age. Article on Melbourne International Students and English Proficiency. Importance of Good Communication Skills for Employability. Accent Training in Business for Professionals and Students. Youtube Video- English Pronunciation Training for Priests in America. Accents and the Brain
I am looking for a Speech Pathologist but not for accent
To find an Australian Speech Pathologist that works in areas other than accent visit Speech Pathology Australia