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Client Success Stories
& Testimonials

I’m a Biostatistical Engineer in the Life Sciences, and my native language is Mandarin Chinese. Although I am fluent in English, I realized I had an inability to communicate with clarity and ease…

Not only did others have difficulty understanding and hearing the messages I was trying to convey, but I lacked the ability to understand others when they spoke to me. Due to these misunderstandings, I lacked confidence when I spoke or when I had to present in front of people. Also, my performance appraisal consistently indicated the need for improved communication skills.

My company sponsored a nine week small group program with Accents International. Together with four of my co-workers, I participated in online sessions, which incorporated live visual cues in the pronunciation training. I also used audio cues to “tune my ear” for accurate pronunciations. Each week, I came to the session and also submitted multiple personal recordings for assessment and coaching. The practice assignments were self-paced and allowed me to work on my specific areas of difficulty. I improved my nasal consonant sounds and intonation, learned to eliminate extra vowel sounds, and began to recognize words with silent syllables.

After the training, I was able to self-correct mispronunciations. In fact, during my recent performance appraisal, there were comments on my remarkable communication skills improvements. I now have a better understanding of spoken messages due to correctly identifying pronunciations, and my speech improvements have enabled successful working relationships with other business groups.

As a professional in one of the world’s leading organizations for food manufacturing, my command of English was already pretty good when I got to the United States…

However, as I began to work here, I realized people couldn't understand me because of my pronunciation. I knew I didn’t need an ESL or other language class with grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing. What I did need was a pronunciation class.

I began training online one-on-one with an Accents International instructor, and I found that distance learning was a very effective way to learn. It was extremely interactive, and my instructor was always very “present” and accessible to me. I liked being able to practice by bringing up cultural questions with my instructor. For the last ten minutes of each class we just talked about my questions and I practiced in context. For instance, we discussed idioms, and I had questions about the way people talk and think in the US. My instructor understood where I was coming from because she’s traveled all over the world.

I knew the program was a success when I had a conversation with the VP of my company shortly after training ended. We were discussing critical approaches our company is taking and he commented on how much easier it was to understand me. He was really happy for me, and probably for himself as well! He wondered what I’d been doing to make such a noticeable change, and I knew it was thanks to the work I’d done with Accents International.

As Manager of Diversity Initiatives it is always inspiring to uncover new opportunities to improve the experience of people in the workplace…

Judy Ravin and her team helped GM identify not one, but two huge opportunities for workers. The first was her Accent Reduction program for non-native English speakers. After offering the course to dozens of employees on a first come first served basis, my telephone was ringing off the hook to inquire when GM would be offering additional classes. More than one employee called me personally to thank me for the opportunity. The training brought the previously ‘undiscussable’ issue of communication challenges into the discussion for both leaders and non-native English speakers and allowed people to realize pronunciation issues were often communication issues.

Additionally, and in alignment with a robust diversity initiative where everyone shares the challenges and works to eliminate them, the Building Bridges course opened up an entirely new dialogue. Employees who only spoke one language were able to examine their own responsibility and have an opportunity to understand accents of their non-native English speaking clients and peers. The training leveled the playing field and built relationships where there was previously discomfort with the most basic communication.

After offering both courses, employees continued to reach out for more classes. When finances precluded that, many, at their own expense, reached out to Judy to embrace the gift of her training programs to help themselves and GM be more effective and efficient. I can’t say enough about Judy’s attention to the customer and commitment to a high quality experience for learners. I highly recommend Accents International. Engaging in this learning is a powerful tool for employees and the business as well. A side benefit to a Diversity Strategy is that offering these courses opens a robust and important discussion for leaders on the business impact of diversity in the workplace, and Judy has statistics to show bottom line impact too!

My company manufactures products globally, and thus, I am part of a very diverse workforce. I had concerns before beginning the program, because I knew people had difficulty understanding me…

Yet, I worried I would not be able to make progress in such a short amount of time. Also, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to practice enough to make progress and then I would be unsuccessful.

During my program, I met online with my instructor once a week for three and a half months. Learning online was just right. It felt the same as going to class, and it was as effective as being onsite in a physical classroom. Yet, the flexibility of participating virtually was easier. I greatly enjoyed learning why I had difficulty with my English pronunciation and where my particular challenges came from. My gratitude goes to my instructor, who always made the material interesting for me.

I believe my program was a complete success. When I think back on my initial concerns, I realize I made an extraordinary amount of progress. Also, the practice was so structured that I was able to make progress everywhere I needed to. I know I will continue to improve because I self-assess after every conversation, meeting, or presentation. I go over in my head the words and sounds I stumbled on and then practice, practice, practice. During the conversations, I stop and re-start with the right pronunciation. I now have the tools to keep improving in my personal and professional life.

I work for a global food manufacturer, and though I didn’t notice my own accent, people frequently asked me to repeat myself on the phone…

Because of this, I began my individual online program with Accents International. In the beginning, I was worried about the virtual classrooms, because I was unsure how effective it could be to learn online with an instructor. Yet, as the program continued, I realized my instructor, together with the learning materials and platform, worked together wonderfully. I began to see that I was making progress.

I loved the structure of the program, from the initial and final assessments that provided a metric of my progress, to the design of the weekly learning sessions. I’ve taken other language training in the past, and it was mostly based on memory. This program is different because it emphasizes practicality and teaches you how to use your skills in the right way.

I believe this program will help me in terms of my ability to engage people and allow them to understand my points and want to adopt them. I know the program was a success because when I DON’T use my new skills and am not mindful of my pronunciation, the OnStar system in my car can’t understand me. This is particularly true with numbers. But when I speak paying attention to the ways my instructor taught me, then OnStar understands me perfectly.

My company offers software solutions throughout the world, and I feel like I used to stand out because of my poor pronunciation…

I began doing a distance learning program with Accents International and believe this was a very effective way to learn. In fact, it was the missing piece to my training. I found myself preparing more for online training than in-person training. My instructor kept it fun and interesting while adjusting to me needs. She addressed each of my individual vocabulary words every week and encouraged me to practice. She also helped me to speak more slowly, which is very important for me. This allows me to pronounce each sound in every word. Also, the book and CD are great tools for helping me continue to practice on my own and take responsibility for my own learning.

I could communicate before, but this program took my English to the next level. I’m more confident, and that makes a HUGE difference. I no longer hold back, and speaking comes more naturally. The program also allowed me to open up to a different perspective on language. English used to just be something that I had to learn. But now I think it is a beautiful language. I like discovering its nuances. This course woke me up to having an interest in English, not just because I have to use it, but because now I love it. I feel totally different now.

I work for an international IT company and decided to do this training because I have a one-on-one meeting with my boss every two weeks…

I'm the only person based outside of the US, so I constantly ask my boss what I can improve. My boss said sometimes people don't understand me, or misunderstand me, because of my accent. This was my first experience with distance learning and it went great. I found it to be very ‘real’. I could concentrate well on what we were doing and didn’t have to focus on the technology. It was like I was with my instructor in the same room. She taught me how to listen when people ask me to repeat myself. I can now self-correct. I’m not asked anymore to repeat myself on the phone, which is important because I often have to discuss provisions in contract terms. I HAVE to speak clearly in order to do this. Now I know I have to consciously pronounce each sound, not take short cuts, think about my speech, and SLOW DOWN. I had to be aware of slowing down my rate of speech in English because my first language is spoken much faster. My instructor also taught me to pronounce the end of each word, which is very important in English.

I believe that I now have the tools I need to continue building my proficiency. It’s been one month and I continue to practice. My boss even gave me feedback and says he hears the improvement in my pronunciation. I believe that, due to the ‘deep’ study we did on individual sounds and pronunciation, I now feel the improvement in every aspect of my life, both personal and professional. Other accent reduction programs don’t have this kind of ‘deep’ guidance and teaching of pronunciation. It’s always secondary to conversation, grammar, and vocabulary.

Testimonials

WE’VE TRAINED THOUSANDS OF PROFESSIONALS

The following testimonials represent learner feedback we typically receive.

“It was the best language course I’ve ever had. It helped me to build confidence for everyday business discussions.”

- Participant from a Big 4 Financial Services Firm

“I didn’t know I had a problem… I couldn’t do an R or an L — not at all. Now I can make these sounds every time.”

– Microbiologist, Pharmaceutical Corporation

“I genuinely enjoyed this thoughtfully-designed English pronunciation program. This is by far the best English speaking training that I have ever had, and it totally transformed how I listen and speak each day, particularly at work when effective communication is the essence of what we do.”

– Senior Manager, Big 4 Financial Services Firm

“Now I can give my smartphone commands and it understands me the first time.”

– An Outpatient Healthcare Services Provider for a Large Private Hospital

“I am more easily understood, so overall it saves time and speaking becomes less stressful.”

– Physician at a Regional Hospital System

“Having better pronunciation makes you feel more confident and speaking comes more naturally. I could communicate before, but this took my English to the next level. I have so much more confidence. That makes a HUGE difference. It’s easier to jump in and contribute. I no longer hold back.”

“I was listening to the recordings of my Initial Assessment and Final Assessment… it’s like two different people speaking.”

“This course has been a breakthrough in my career development.”

“The best in the field. Period.”

“Nevertheless, howsoever well designed a program might be, it can never be a success without an excellent instructor. You have made all the difference to this program through your impeccable delivery. Your excellence and command over the subject made it extremely easy for me to learn and correct my mistakes. You created a very collegial and collaborative classroom environment, where everyone contributed and learned from each other’s successes and mistakes likewise.”

– Participant from a Big 4 Financial Services Firm

“There are vowel sounds that I have been struggling with for years and she is the first instructor that can come up with personalized, effective methods of correcting them.”

– Participant from a Big 4 Financial Services Firm

“I have surely come a long way since start of the program. There is still some road remaining to be travelled, but I believe I have all the tools necessary to make further progress. Also, I would highly appreciate your guidance and suggestions that will help me make further progress.”

“As I said in our last class this is one of the very few programs that I never wanted to end! It has been an immense pleasure working with you and I hope our paths shall cross again.”

– Participant from a DiversityInc. Top 50 Company

“This training was not only for improving my accent and making it understandable for others, but it was to eliminate/minimize the inferiority complex I had, before this course.

I must appreciate that you are extremely knowledgeable on the subject (I remember you demonstrating different accents and I could hear the difference and the way I was sounding before). I must also say that you are a thorough professional, even after the long duration of the course you kept us motivated all the time and managed the session timings impeccably and gave equal opportunity to all of us.

Thanks once again for everything.”

“I undergo a lot of technical trainings as part of my professional development. In most cases, I end up not using those skills at work and forget those in a month’s time. But this language training is a life skill that is going to be useful for the rest of my life. I wish I had taken this course earlier.”

– Participant from a Big 4 Financial Services Firm

“I would like to personally let you know how much I appreciate the help from my trainer. She is very knowledgeable about this subject and did an excellent job of tailoring the training to address individual’s particular challenges. She is very professional and was able to answer all of my questions during the training. She is also very pleasant and has a great caring personality. As a result I am feeling much more confident in my communication.”

– Participant from a Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company

“I was also very much impressed with her continued help after the training sessions were over. I approached her recently asking whether she would have time to help me with pronunciation of some words, and she was more than willing to give me very helpful feedback.”

“Thanks for a GREAT class. As I told my wife, this is definitely the most useful class I’ve ever taken since we moved to the States. Will definitely recommend you and your company to other people.”

– Participant from a Fortune 100 Company

“It has been a pleasure for me as well to learn and improve a critical life skill. Along with the improvement already made through past 15 weeks, the course allowed me to learn the skills needed to keep developing the pronunciation for the rest of my life.”

– Participant from a Global Professional Services Company

“Thank you very much for everything! You are awesome! This course has changed my life! Before, I couldn’t hear my own errors and occasionally people would ask me to repeat what I said. Now, my pronunciation is spot on and it has given (me) a new level of confidence!”

– Participant from a Fortune 500 Consultancy Firm

“Accents International is the gold standard in English pronunciation training, from learning outcomes to customer service.”

– Accents International Reseller, Diversity & Inclusion

“I used to dread talking on the phone. I was always trying to find ways to write; if I write then the person can read it. Talking on the phone was so awful, but now I have a telephone conversation and nobody asks me to repeat myself. It’s really exciting!”

“Must have for international students. Period.”

“The best executive skills workshop that I’ve attended! This will change the way I speak.”

– MBA Candidate, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“The best in the field.”

“The course is just what I need to help me interview effectively.”

“No more ‘what?…what did you say?’”

– MBA Candidate, Cornell University, Johnson School of Business

“I believe you heard this from each and every one of your students, but you really help not only with the accent but you boost the self assurance of each of the persons that is lucky enough of be on your training. I did enjoy the experience not only for the improvement on the way I communicate but also for the professionalism and concern you put into the task of helping me. It is (normal for me) to keep the upmost respect for the teachers I had during my learning years. You sure have a special place among them due to your dedication and for the tremendous impact your teaching has had in my career.”

– Participant from a Leading Technology Company

“I’ll have outstanding recordings as I’ve been buried with work and meetings for the last 3 wks. I’ll work on this over the weekend. It has indeed become highly beneficial and I will be raising its awareness within our HR organization and technical staff as a ‘must-do’ activity. I believe that all non-native speakers will come out of it with measurable improvement in their ability to be more comprehensible.”

– Participant from a Non-Profit R&D Corporation (5 stars)

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