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Communication Matters   
Reconsider Your Limiting Beliefs   

    April 2016                   
Issue 91           
In This Issue
Tell us your story.
Our Programs
We Help Our Clients To Believe and Achieve
TELL US YOUR STORYFeatured Article
Business  Woman Lecturing

If you are a foreign born professional, we would like to hear from you. We are very interested in the story of how you have created a successful and prosperous life in the United States.

We would be happy to feature your story in a future issue.

Accent Modification Programs Work if YOU work! 

Basic Level:
Compton P-ESL: Online Version

Medically Speaking

Regional Dialects:
Speak Standard, Too!

MEEC (Mastering Effective English Communication)

We will help you believe AND achieve!
Go to our Archive Home Page to read more fascinating newsletters.

practice of Judith L. Bergman, a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in foreign accent and regional dialect modification and related communication skills. I offer customized, individual tutorials to corporate-sponsored and self-enrolled individuals who speak English fluently but with moderate to severe accents that create challenges and frustrations in the workplace. 
  This newsletter first appeared as Issue #36  in January 2011 with the title, "Your Beliefs: A Launching Pad or a Prison" and the testimonials were from clients being seen at that time. Since then, we have added a structured program to help clients "carry-over" their improved pronunciation skills to regular, more natural conversation. We call this an "Awareness and Self-Correction Carryover" program and feel it adds a missing element to an already excellent tutorial.
   The other REALLY BIG change in our basic PESL (Pronouncing English As A Second Language) Accent Modification Program from the Institute of Language and Phonology, is that it has replaced the CD ROM version with an online practice format.  I still see clients individually every other week, usually for 13 sessions after an initial comprehensive evaluation. However, they record their daily practice using a lifetime online subscription and their practice is sent to me the next day in a cumulative record. I am committed to reviewing their recordings daily when at all possible and I usually RECORD my feedback in a short two to seven minute sound file so that they can listen and adjust and tweak their pronunciation of their target words and sentences each day.  This way I can also demonstrate additional features not explicitly covered in the PESL including forward linking, intonation, American "T" variations etc. Clients then can begin to move from unintelligible to "listener friendly" speech and some, though not all, can then approach Standard English. Also, I have become very strict about the one hour a day five days a week practice requirement and both my clients and I log their practice.  I do not accept all who apply, keep my small caseload limited to two new client evaluations per month and now have appointments booked through June! 
Does Accent Modification Really Work? What Do You Believe?
Happy Asian Sisters
  Do you believe that adults are too old to modify their accented English?
Many of our clients have young children who were born in the U.S. and who are perfectly bi-lingual. As infants they were immersed in their parents' native language and then starting in Day Care or Preschool they effortlessly absorbed English with no accent. This becomes "evidence" to support this belief.
   In January 2011 I conducted a telephone consultation with a woman who is in the probationary (trial) period of a new job which requires her to interview and give instructions to participants in clinical trials. She had a severe accent. She stated that her husband doesn't believe that accent modification works, and given that belief, he certainly would not support her paying our fees for individual instruction.
   She will probably not be hired for this job after the probationary period unless she finds some other training program.  She and her husband need to consider other evidence. Right now they are both "fenced in" or imprisoned by their limiting beliefs about modifying accents.
 We Help Our Clients To Believe and Achieve

Ms. Bergman and Japanese ClientIn 2011 I asked several of my clients, some of whom were only half way through the 13-session, six month Compton P-ESL Accent Modification program, to respond to the belief that adults are too old to change their speech patterns. All of these clients below started out with very, very severe accents. The second one is a software tester who basically spoke as little as possible at work. ALL of these individuals practiced at least one hour a day, five days a week and many exceeded that minimum requirement. ALL learned to be patient with this process of "motor learning" which, like playing the piano or skating, takes a lot of time and practice at any age.

"My work  requires that I be on the phone 80% of the time with customers. Before I started taking these classes, my job performance was an issue because of my accent.  I have had clients hang up just by hearing my accent. I myself really couldn't imagine toning down my accent.  Fortunately our HR director contacted Triangle Speech and my company not only paid for my training but allows me to spend 60 minutes at work in a small room practicing my lessons with the CD-ROM and my digital recordings of the exact words I need to say clearly when I speak to customers.
  "Half-way through the training, I can definitely see an improvement based on my interaction with customers on the phone and also from very positive feedback from my Quality Assurance supervisor who listened in on my customer service calls." 
[W.E. age 39  from Nigeria: native language Ikwerre]
    "I have completed just 8 sessions and already feel much better when I speak. I have already noticed that people at work have stopped asking me to repeat questions or sentences. They are understanding me much better and I have much less stress. This is excellent knowledge that I can use every day and get better and better." 
[L.M. age 44 from Russia: Russian.]

   "All my feedback is absolutely positive. Your evaluation was very important and I think you definitely figured out the accent I have. The program you set up was very helpful. My post test showed that I had more than a 70% accent reduction."  [X.F. Ph.D. age 35 from China: Mandarin Chinese. A biochemist.]

   "In the beginning Ms. Bergman believed in me more than I believed in myself. I had no idea that I could produce sounds like "th" that are not in my native tongue. The three P's are: practice, practice and practice. I had an extremely good experience giving a toast at my son's wedding and my younger son  complimented me on my improved pronunciation!"  [N. Ph.D., age 50, Turkey: Turkish]

   "As I moved up the ladder in the corporate world, I felt the need to reduce my accent. I am happy to say that after 9 sessions out of the 13 scheduled, my improved pronunciation has already greatly helped me to communicate effectively with my colleagues and business partners. This has not only benefited me professionally but personally with my children who do not share my accent." [R.D. age 34, India: Bengali, Hindi]  


   We invite you to click on Triangle Speech Services  to visit our informative website.    We want to help you and know that we can if you are truly ready to do the work. Accent modification works if YOU work and we are strongly committed to working closely WITH you.
  We can schedule phone consults and Information Sessions through June but can't enroll new clients until August. (We are taking a much needed out of state vacation in July!)
  Managers, forward this newsletter to your international "stars" who might be interested in this professional training opportunity.    We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Judith L. Bergman M.A. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist and Corporate Speech Trainer
Founder & Director of Triangle Speech Services