1. Who will assist me in Accent Modification and English Pronunciation training?
All sessions will be delivered by a certified practicing speech pathologist with extensive experience in accent modification and English pronunciation training. Read more about our Chief Speech Pathologist here.
2. If I reduce my accent will it affect my first language?
No! Sounds of your first language will remain distinct from any new language that you study.
3. Do I need a referral from my General Practitioner to receive English Pronunciation training?
No referral is required to start any of our English pronunciation training programs.
4. Can I receive private health care rebates for English Pronunciation training with a speech pathologist?
Most Private Health funds stipulate that they do not cover accent reduction, elocution or English pronunciation training. Speech Pathology is covered by Private Health funds for diagnosable medical disorders and communication disorders such as stuttering, voice disorders and neurological impairments. Technically, an accent is not a communication disorder.
5. Can I receive Medicare cover for English Pronunciation training with a speech pathologist?
Medicare rebates are not available for accent reduction training services. Voice Science is registered as a Medicare provider but you will only be eligible for Medicare rebates if you are referred to us via your General Practitioner under a Chronic Disease Management Plan. Medicare rebates are only eligible if you have been diagnosed with a speech, communication or swallowing disorder that has persisted, or is likely to persist, for at least 6 months. Read more about this program here.
6. Is it possible for my company or employer to cover payment of my English Pronunciation training?
Many employers assist in the payment of accent reduction training at Voice Science in order to develop their staff to better meet Key Performance Indicators, particularly in the areas of communication. Voice Science partners with companies to strengthen communication skills for their employees career success. We are able to provide information to your employer or recruiter about what types of accent and communication training we can implement to assist you in your career.
7. I really want to use Voice Science for my English pronunciation training but I don’t live in Melbourne. What can I do?
Voice Science assists clients all over Australia and globally to enhance their English communication. We provide accent reduction training that is individual and just as detailed as our in house accent reduction training programs through our web conferencing portal. See more information here.
8. If I sign up for an English Pronunciation Training Program at Voice Science, how long will it take for me to notice changes and progress in my communication?
Adjusting speech behaviours and patterns of speaking is a process. How long it takes for you to notice change in your accent or general communication depends on a few factors:
1) The degree of distance your current accent is from your final accent target (Standard Australian Accent, Neutral International Accent, General American Accent, Standard British accent).
2) Whether you create clear sounds in your first language. Some clients may present with a speech disorder or distortions in their first language. For these clients it can take more time for sounds to stabilise for their alternate languages.
3) Practice. One of the key predictors of speech change is how effectively and frequently you practice your accent and communication goals. At Voice Science, we will support you in developing a clear understanding of how to practice. This is one of our key interests for any client who commences training at Voice Science, especially since research evidence supports the impact of regular, drill based practice on speech change outcomes. We will create individual practice goals with you that are strategic.
9. I am worried about how to incorporate daily speech practice so that I can achieve my communication goals. How will I know how to practice?
We will write goals to improve your practice approach. Everyone comes from a different scholastic background. For most adults, the idea of daily practice can be very foreign. Sarah tries to share her knowledge about practice theory that she has obtained as a professional classical musician with all clients in order to support their engagement with a practice schedule. It can take some time to develop motivation and routine with practice. This is something that we encourage you to discuss openly and frankly with your speech pathologist so we can assist you to incorporate speech and communication practice into your daily routine.
10. Do you provide group English Pronunciation training sessions at Voice Science?
No. For accent to adjust it is important that each client receives training that is targeted to their current accent features and also communication needs. This is the reason why we do not offer group based accent training as every person will have different communication needs and accent traces. Your speech pathologist will require you to provide key information to be used throughout your treatment to develop goals that support your communication needs. This might involve the submission of work specific vocabulary, description of typical communication activities that you engage in, the provision of conference papers that you need to present etc. Providing this information will allow us to integrate and simulate real life communication tasks into your training so that we can address your sounds of English in words that you actually use. By focusing on individual 1-1 sessions we ensure our training is client centred, evidence-based and success driven.
11. Do I need to practice with audio samples? Does listening to the target accent help me create it?
In the early stages of training at Voice Science it is critical that a scientific method is applied to advance your learning. Listening to target sounds will not assist you in acquiring your target sounds so we do not allocate any audio material at the start of training. Home practice between your sessions will be designed with the core goal of you actively and carefully producing your target sounds. You will be instructed in the process of how to create your sound and monitor it’s accuracy as you produce it. Research shows that when a new sound is stabilised it is not beneficial for the participant to listen as it is easy to encounter a perception error. You will be more successful if you are shown how to produce a sound with the correct mechanics and actually sit and produce it rather than listen to it!
12. When are English Pronunciation Training sessions available at Voice Science?
We provide accent reduction training at Voice Science via our Collins St Clinic during business hours from Tuesdays to Fridays between 10am – 5pm AEST. OPlease note that sessions booked after 5pm on weeknights will incur an after hours surcharge of 20%.
13. How often should I attend training sessions at Voice Science?
Clients are generally recommended to opt for weekly or fortnightly sessions to ensure treatment goals are stabilised.
14. How many sessions do I need?
The initial diagnostic assessment will investigate and rate your current accent against your future target. This assessment protocol will identify your production of all the sounds required for the accent of English that you wish to master. The speech pathologist will record and analyse the accent features phonetically and determine the degree of variance between your current speech patterns and your overall goal. This information is then used to forecast the number of sessions required to address your communication needs. Your current accent will be rated as Mild, Moderate or Pronounced against your overall accent target.
Read more about our accent reduction packages for corporate professionals here.
Read more about our accent reduction services for Medical Professionals here.
Read more about our PTE Academic Speaking Training services here.