ACCENT & PRONUNCIATION TRAINING RESOURCES

As a teacher, finding quality resources for your accent and pronunciation training toolkit can be challenging, so I'm sharing my top picks of products and services that have positively impacted my business. 

From time-saving software to effective materials for your students, these curated options will take your practice to the next level.

These are products and services that I currently use or have researched and tested before adding them to this list.  

Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you purchase using these links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I only recommend resources that I have personally used in my own business, that I love, and that I feel are truly worth the money.

Need a more personalized action plan for teaching or finding students?  Set up a private consulting session!

LEARN MORE

TEACHER TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

The Accent Channel Method Teacher Training Program

This one-of-a-kind online program is not only dedicated to teaching techniques but also to building your own successful accent training business.

You'll gain practical experience in developing programs while having access to over 300 downloadable audio lessons, session activities, and practice sheets to share with your students.

Plus, you'll get personalized support from an active community of teachers who have been exactly where you are. You'll get support and guidance as you develop your teaching and marketing skills.

There is a full course devoted completely to marketing your services and setting up a predictable selling system so you'll see consistent new enrollments and sales.

Everything you need to find students, start teaching, and build a new stream of revenue. 

This is the program that I developed, so maybe I'm a little biased?  So, click here to see what my students have to say about the program!

Compton/ILP PESL

If you are looking to learn how to do a formal, structured assessment, and gain knowledge on all the sounds of the IPA, this course will give you all of that.

Where I felt it was lacking was the marketing aspect and didn't really offer many practical tips for implementing an accent training program.  I learned a lot, but didn't know how to use what I learned.  There was also not much discussion about stress, rhythm, and intonation, which I feel, is one of the most important concepts of accent work.

But if you are already working with students and want to deepen your knowledge of accents and English pronunciation, this course will teach you  much that you didn't know.

LDS and Associates/ Lorna Sikorski, SLP

I have not taken this training, but I included it here because I have spoken to many Speech-Pathologists that I trust, who say it is a great program with wonderful information and very practical homework assignments.  So, I feel that you should know about it as an option.

 

BOOKS

Here's How To Do Accent Modification:  A Manual For Speech-Language Pathologists by Robert McKinney, MA, CCC-SLP

In my opinion, this is the best, modern text on the subject.  This book covers everything from how to structure assessments and sessions to being culturally aware when working with accent training and the importance of counseling and advocacy when working with non-native speakers.

It also has some of the best exercises that I've seen for addressing intonation.  Worksheets and audio files are available for download on the companion website.

American Accent Training by Ann Cook

A great book packed with effective exercises to use with your students, including lots of exercises that target stress and intonation.  This book also has a useful and well-researched section on the sound substitutions of many common accents.

Speak With Distinction by Edith Skinner

This book is old school. And the accent that is encouraged as the goal accent is really out of date. No one speaks this way any more. BUT, it’s still a great book with wonderful information and practical exercises. And it’s a classic. Every Accent Instructor should own this book.

Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen: Deluxe Edition (with streaming audio) by Paul Meier

My go-to resource for learning to teach different dialects of English.  I work with many actors, but I also use dialects as training exercises for ESL students.  Learn more about why it's effective here:  https://www.theaccentchannel.com/blog/howtoteachdialects

The Story of English by  Robert McCrum, Robert Macneil, William Cran

This was the first book that I read when I started teaching accents and dialects, recommended to me by my boss at the time who had been teaching for many years.  If you are interested in learning how many of the most recognizable accents and dialects of English developed throughout history, you will love this book.

 

VOICE IMPROVEMENT BOOKS

The Voice Book by Kate DeVore

Very practical book with easy-to-follow exercises to use with your students.  Easy to read and user friendly.  Highly recommended, especially if you are new to the area of voice improvement.

Freeing the Natural Voice by Kristin Linklater

Beware.  This book is really wordy and very focused on actors BUT it is a classic text by one of the most groundbreaking and world-renowned teachers of voice production.  Learn more about Linklater here:  https://www.linklatervoice.com/

 

BOOKS ON PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS

Communicate Up the Corporate Ladder by Jayne Latz, MA, CCC-SLP

From Amazon:  The goal of this book is to build clarity, confidence, and careers. Helpful tips and exercises will teach you how to improve the quality of your speech, navigate complicated professional situations, and build confidence in your business communication skills.

I have not read this book yet but it was highly recommended by a few SLPs in my teacher training program.  I've ordered a copy and will update with my thoughts after I've read it!

 

 

MATERIALS FOR SESSIONS AND HOMEWORK

 

WordVault 

The WordVault app is one of my favorite free resources for accent training. You can easily generate word lists and sentences for all sounds in all positions. Find it in the App store.

Monologue Database:  Daily Actor

 I often use scripts and monologues with my students.  This website is great because you can find monologues that your students are familiar with.  Keeps the session fun and interesting.

Edge Studios Free Voiceover Script Library

 Thousands of free scripts.  These are great for working on rhythm and intonation.

KTS Speechwork Sample Elicitation Passages

These phonetically balanced reading passages can be used for your assessments, practice during sessions, or as a way to track progress.  Very modern and conversational and free to download and use

WEBSITES

 

IDEA:  International Dialects Of English Archives

This is a Paul Meier project (obviously I'm a fan!) and one of the best resources for Accent Instructors.  It's a completely free database of about 1500 samples of accents and dialects organized by region.  Each sample has a full transcription, background information about the speaker, and notes from accent and dialect professionals. 

I really love the fact that these speech samples are real people, from real places, speaking conversationally, not actors or people on YouTube demonstrating different accents.

So incredibly useful.  Even if you don't plan to teach accents and dialects (other than the Standard American Accent) this is great ear training and practice for identifying the sound phonemic inventories of different accents.

Sounds American YouTube Channel

Simple, informative videos, many with animation of mouth placements for the sounds of speech.

Baruch College

Another free resource with animations, videos, and audio exercises to practice all the sounds of English.

Dynamic Dialects  

This website that includes many different accents and dialects of English.  There is a useful map feature to navigate through the different accents.

Dictionary of American Regional English  

Great free resource for session materials and ideas for free content. Lots of info here so block off some time to click around and see what they offer

PODCASTS

 

Paul Meier’s monthly podcast, In A Manner Of Speaking,  is incredible.  

There is a new podcast monthly, so it’s not an overwhelming amount of information, but so much of it is SO USEFUL. Although the topics focus more on dialects than accent modification, there are lots of great lessons to be learned about listening and correcting, code switching, how accents develop and the psychological factors behind the way we speak.

I listen each month and always find tidbits to use in my sessions. I also get great ideas for my free lessons for my blog and my YouTube channel.

WEBSITE/BLOG/EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER

 

Deciding on technology and software for my website, blog, and email marketing was REALLY overwhelming for me when I started my business.  So many choices, such a learning curve (unless you pay someone else to do it), and no free time to implement it all!

But with some good advice from paid experts, and a bit of trial and error, I’ve found some really great options that are a good fit for us as solopreneurs with small coaching businesses.

Below are my best recommendations based on my experiences and the experiences of the teachers in my program.  The decision that you make should be based on where you are in your business and also what products/services you plan to offer in the future. 

Best for SEO:  Bluehost + MailChimp or ConvertKit

With Bluehost, you'll get your web domain (the web address) and then Bluehost links with WordPress which will be your website and blog.  The cost is minimal…around $20.00 for the year, but with this option, you'll still need an email service provider.

For that, I recommend MailChimp or ConvertKit.  Both are free to start but you will probably need to upgrade to a paid plan as your business/email list grows because these services will require that you switch to a paid plan once your email list reaches a certain number of subscribers.

Best If You Are Just Getting Started:  Wix

If you are just starting your business, totally overwhelmed, want to get everything up and running as quickly as possible, then I would recommend Wix.  Wix is a wonderful option for those who are NOT particularly tech savvy.

You can get your domain through Wix and design your website in minutes.  It's more expensive overall, but everything you need is included or easily integrated.  The setup is simple, and you’ll have everything in one place.   Wix uses a drag and drop design process for your website pages with very nice-looking templates, so even if you are not a visual person, they make it very easy.

Best If You Offer (or plan to offer) Online Courses or Digital Products (which you should!):  Kajabi

I have been using Kajabi for 8+ years and honestly, I don't know how I would run my accent training business without it.  I'm able to handle all the tech aspects of my business myself, without having to hire a web developer, a programmer, or other tech professionals to help.

I love and use Kajabi for everything in my business, and it is very user friendly, all-in-one, drag and drop design, email marketing, landing pages, opt-in forms and pages, podcasting, a coaching portal to use with your students, checkout pages, the ability to accept credit cards or PayPal, a private community (similar to a Facebook group) and more!  Everything is already there, all integrated and ready to go!  Everything you need to run and grow an online teaching business for one price. 

However, Kajabi is more expensive because it also includes the ability to create and sell online courses.  If you don't plan to offer online courses, it won't be worth the extra expense, and you should stick with one of the above options.  If you think you will want to offer some kind of digital product in the future, you will save yourself time and effort by getting everything into Kajabi now. 

Having (and paying for) a Kajabi account is also motivating, because it makes the process of creating and selling an online course/digital product so simple.  It’s very easy to set up your course and start making money immediately.  But again, if online courses/digital products are NOT a part of your plan, it's not worth the extra cost. 

So many possibilities and so simple to use even for someone like me with absolutely no tech or software background.  I just love it.

If you want to try it out for yourself, use this link to get a free 30-day trial.

If you are unsure if Kajabi is a good fit for your business, I'm happy to discuss.  Just send me an email.  It is definitely a big investment, so I can offer my opinion if you want some feedback on your specific goals for your business.

NOTE:  If you start with Wix or Bluehost, it's very easy to transition over to Kajabi later, and their support team will help you, so this is not a life altering decision.  You can easily change your mind as your business grows. 

WAYS TO ACCEPT PAYMENT

 

You need to get paid!! I recommend Stripe to accept payments by credit card but there are many other options. PayPal is also a secure, simple option. Keep in mind that PayPal and all credit card processors do take a small percentage of each transaction, so keep this in mind when deciding on what to charge for your sessions.

International Money Transfers:  Wise https://wise.com/us/

 

MEETING PLATFORMS 

 

I use  Zoom and I love it for a lot of reasons: it’s secure, it’s easy to use, and you only need the free plan to start.

OTHER OPTIONS: 

https://gethealthie.com/

https://www.coachaccountable.com/

Both of these options have video messaging features so would be a great way for students to upload videos for your feedback between sessions, if that's something you want to do.  

You can also share all practice materials without having to email which would save so much time. You can use them to schedule but also to get e-signatures on any intake forms or agreements AND it looks like you can use them to create mini-courses with videos lessons so would be a way to create a low dollar entry offer.

I have not used either myself but they've been recommended by teachers in my program and I have spent some time researching and they look like great options.  Both have free trials so would be worth it to check them out. 

Many Speech Pathologists use and love a platform called Simple Practice.  I have no experience with it myself, but trust the opinions I have heard so may be worth checking out:  

https://www.simplepractice.com/

SCHEDULING SOFTWARE

 

Your online booking system can serve as your website, sales page, offer your free discovery call or free assessment, provide information about your services, let your students book, cancel, or reschedule sessions, collect payment, send automatic reminders to your students, and automatically request testimonials in follow up emails.

Most online booking systems will integrate with: Zoom, Google Meet, Google Calendar, PayPal, Venmo, and Stripe to offer many automated tasks to save you time and overwhelm.  

If you want to use these automations, I recommend that you have these accounts set up and ready to go with all passwords handy when you set up your account.

My current recommendations are: 

Calendly:  https://calendly.com/

Acuity:  https://www.acuityscheduling.com/

Calendly is very inexpensive and has all the features you’ll need.  However, it's missing the feature that allows you to easily offer packages of sessions. 

Although you are able to let students book multiple sessions at once so you can offer packages, the system doesn’t keep track of how many sessions have been used.  You’ll need to do that manually.  Here is the workaround for this that Calendly suggests (taken from their website):

First, you’ll want to set up one event to cover the price of, let’s say, 10 classes for $900. You can then clone that event, remove the payment option, and set it to a secret event. This will hide the event from your main booking page, so users can’t book you for free! Then, you can include the link in the confirmation page of the 6 classes event, so when invitees book that one, they receive the link to book their other 5 with you without paying again. You can also use the redirect feature to send invitees to another event type after booking the first, or to send them to a website of your choice - such as an explanation of packages you provide. 

Acuity is a better choice for offering packages of sessions, because it does all the work for you, but it’s much more expensive, almost 3 times the price of Calendly.  

You’ll need to check out both options (both offer free trials) and decide what is best for you at this point in your business.


MIRANDA (It’s a free time zone adjustment app)

 

If you don't use a scheduling software, then you definitely need Miranda!

Miranda allows you to search for time zones based on the city name.  And it includes smaller cities too (I haven’t found one yet that it didn’t know.) The app easily converts your time zone to your student's time zone.

Miranda is only available on smartphones so you can find it in the app store.

And while we are on the subject of time zones, here is a hot tip: You should ALWAYS be in charge of doing the time zone adjustment when scheduling, not your student.

Don’t let it be their responsibility. Don't let schedule confusion ruin the relationship between you and your students.  Always do scheduling in the student's time zone. That way, there is no confusion.  And if you do mess up, there is no awkward blaming.  You take the blame.  It’s your fault.  Yes, you'll lose a session and the session payment, but you'll keep your student and your good reputation. 

FUN THINGS TO IMPROVE YOUR SESSIONS

 

LOOM

https://www.loom.com/

With Loom you can record your screen and instantly get a link to share with anyone.  I use it to communicate with my students between sessions.  Faster and more effective than sending an email or writing a recap.


HEADSET

Yes.  I wear a headset for all my sessions.  Not super-fashionable, I know, but it is so much easier to hear my students and for them to hear me.  Also great for eliminating any background noise (like crying babies!) if you work from home.

Logitech h390 Headset With Noise Cancelling Microphone

It's not the most attractive option.  There are headsets that won't mess up your hair.  They go around the back of your head and not over your entire ear but this model is COMFORTABLE for all-day wear.  And the sound clarity is great.


MICROPHONE

UPDATE:  After 12 years, I decided to upgrade my Blue Snowball for the Rode NT-USB+.  Below you will find details for both so you can decide between a higher or lower cost option.

Lower Priced Option:  For 12 years, I used the Blue Snowball microphone + Garage Band on my Mac to record all the audio for my online lessons, as well as the audio files that I create for my students to practice.  It's simple to use and has great quality sound.

However, the Blue Snowball is an older microphone and is not compatible with tablets or smartphones, and that's why I decided to upgrade.

Blue Snowball USB Microphone (Brushed Aluminum)

Higher Priced Option:  Rode NT-USB+ 

I upgraded to this mic after 12 years.  Why?  The sound quality is a bit better and the Rode is compatible with a smartphone, (in addition to computers and tablets) which is a feature that was missing from my old Blue Snowball.  

It's easy to use, plug and play right out of the box, and also includes a detachable pop filter and desktop stand for an all-in-one desktop studio solution.

R√ėDE NT-USB+ Professional-Grade USB Condenser Microphone


WEBCAM

The Logitech c920 webcam is inexpensive and has such a great picture!  I use it for sessions and to record video lessons.  Even on days when I have had no sleep and look terrible, somehow, this camera makes me look good.  My only complaint is that the focus is a bit slow, so if you are moving around a lot (or if you move your hands a lot when you speak like I tend to do) the picture goes fuzzy and then takes a moment to clear.  But speech sessions and video lessons don't require much movement so this works perfectly.  

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam

MARKETING

 
AI WRITING SOFTWARE

Jasper AI

Holy Cow!  Jasper is blowing my mind!!!

Free to use at first, but need to upgrade to a paid plan after 10,000 words.

It's like Chat GPT but much more user friendly.  I started using it to improve the SEO for some of my blog posts, but then started playing around with it for everything from lesson outlines to social media posts to Facebook Ads and it is incredible.  And I'm a great writer!!!!  But this software just makes all my writing even better and gives me ideas that I would never have dreamed of.

HOWEVER...do NOT rely solely on Jasper's (or an AI writer) words and facts.  At least not at this time.  AI writers are only going to get better and better, but right now, they make a ton of mistakes, the facts aren't always correct, and the writing style is awkward.  You must take what Jasper generates and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN!!!!

But it is a huge time-saver and has definitely helped with my teaching and my marketing.  You MUST give this a try. 

 

VIDEO CREATION

If you are starting from scratch, you can set up your studio for $500 or less.  If you already have a microphone and editing software on your computer, you can do it for even less.

Below you will find some of my recommendations for equipment, software, etc to create your lessons.  

IMPORTANT:  I always record audio AND video separately so if something goes wrong with either, I have a back-up and can still create a lesson.


VIDEO CAMERA  

I sometimes just use my iPhone (I have the 11 but used previous models in the past and all worked well)

Up until January 2023, I used the Logitech c920 webcam .  I still think it is a great camera for the price.  It is simple to use right out of the box and has such a great picture!  I use it for sessions and to record video lessons.  Even on days when I have had no sleep and look terrible, somehow, this camera makes me look good. 

My only complaint is that the focus is a bit slow, so if you are moving around a lot (or if you move your hands a lot when you speak like I tend to do) the picture goes fuzzy and then takes a moment to clear.  But speech sessions and video lessons don't require much movement so this works perfectly.  

Here's the link:  Logitech c920:  https://amzn.to/3puuhg4

This is a newer version:  Logitech 920x:  https://amzn.to/3NQagtL

It’s a little more expensive, but still gets great reviews and it’s been updated to have a better auto-focus and the option remove, replace, and blur your background (fewer excuses to not film today!)

If you're ready to upgrade: Lumina https://amzn.to/3przvcx

I recently upgraded to a new camera, just because I wanted to try one.  It has this awesome feature where it can follow you around a room!  Cool feature, but I don’t really use it, so maybe not worth the extra cost, but the picture is great and it has lots of options to zoom in, out, up and down, so easy to perfectly frame your shot using the app that comes with it.  With other webcams, you have to actually stand up and move the camera with your hand.  The camera itself looks pretty cool too.


TRIPOD

Amazon Basics 60 inch Tripod:  https://amzn.to/3g2rQbL

BUT

I actually like this 51 inch selfie stick better than my tripod:  https://amzn.to/3ZO2B3M

It's lighter, more portable, and easier to set up and take down than my tripod.  It also has a bluetooth remote that you can use to control the camera on your phone when you're filming.  

Just be mindful that the max height is 51 inches, which works if you are sitting at a desk or on a chair or something.  If you prefer to stand when filming, this will be way too short.


MICROPHONE

I use the Blue Snowball microphone + Garage Band on my Mac to record all the audio for my online lessons, as well as the audio files that I create for my students to practice.  Great quality sound.

Blue Snowball USB Microphone (Brushed Aluminum)

Here's a slight better and slightly more expensive version called the Blue Yeti:  https://amzn.to/3NOvybl

Lavaliere Microphone:  These are the little microphones that clip onto your shirt.  I don't love a lavaliere mic because it feels restrictive to me.  You might love it.  There are also a wireless versions that many people use and love.  

If you decide to use a lavaliere mic, be sure that it is compatible with your camera, iPhone, iPad, or computer (whatever you are using to record audio.  It has to plug into something, so be sure to purchase any adapters that you may need.)

Note:  Rode is also a very good brand of microphone, though I haven't used these personally.


LIGHTS

I use the Diva Ring Light (you will need a stand to go with it but the stand is included if you use the link below.)  It's a little more expensive than others you might find but I have used mine pretty frequently for the last five years and it's still shining bright!

Diva Ring Light Set: https://amzn.to/2JfeJYK

Umbrella lights with stands:  I also currently use the umbrella lighting set below to create a 3 point lighting set-up, but I am thinking of upgrading to LED lightboxes.  I'll keep you posted but for now, here's the link:   https://amzn.to/2JlXaWS

You can learn the 3 Point Lighting set-up in this article from Wistia.  They have lots of great, free resources for video creation.


EDITING

Video Editing:   Kapwing It's the best.  Check it out for free, learn how to use it, and then go for it.  It is worth every penny.

Audio Recording and editing Software:  Garage Band (free on Mac).  Audacity is a another great free choice for both Mac and PC users.  

Adobe Podcast:  Truly magical  AI tool for cleaning and enhancing the sound of your voice in any audio clip.  And it’s FREE to use!

Remember:  Always record audio AND video separately so if something goes wrong, you have a back-up.  Seriously, don't forget to do this!


I use PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides for text based videos. You can create a presentation and export as a quick time movie or export your slides as images and use a video editing software to sync the slides with your audio.

Backdrop ideas:  

  • A blank wall in your home (this is what I do.¬† It's painted light gray)
  • Use Zoom to record and blur the background or choose a photo to use as a background.¬† This is what I usually do now.¬† Finding the perfect background was just another excuse to procrastinate so now I have no excuses!¬† PRO TIP:¬† If you use a virtual background, be sure to wear clothing that is in contrast to the background color to cut down on the weird blur effect that comes with virtual backgrounds.¬† I did a video where I used a grey background and I was wearing silver earrings.¬† The earrings would magically disappear and reappear depending on how my head was positioned.¬† It was a little distracting, but I took my own advice and used the video anyway.¬† Our video quality does not need to be perfect!¬† don't use perfection as an excuse to procrastinate.¬† You can see my earring mistake here.
  • A pop up background.¬† I use one by Savage, but this brand is cheaper but still good quality.¬† If you choose a collapsable background,, buy the largest one and definitely get the stand that goes with it.¬† Here is a link to one option but there are other colors/styles, so if you don't like what you find on Amazon, go to the Savage website:¬† https://amzn.to/3T7Meh1
  • You could also get a set up a bigger background¬†setup but DON'T use muslin (too wrinkly):¬†¬†https://amzn.to/3o9TdDr¬† ¬†If you choose this option, you'll need to purchase a big roll of paper.¬† Savage also makes the paper and has tons of other colors and patterns:¬†¬†https://amzn.to/3fP1EB0

I also recommend setting up a Udemy course and submitting a test video. You do not need to publish the course to do this. Their feedback was extremely helpful for me when I was just starting to create videos.

They offer a free course to instructors on how to create quality videos (it includes suggestions for equipment) and also have a Facebook group for Udemy instructors who discuss the best materials for video creation.

You could use Udemy to start a library of videos for your students for free, and possibly sell to other students. You won’t make a ton of money on Udemy because they take a big cut of your earnings, but it is a great place to start, learn, and get better with videos until you are ready for something bigger.

Wistia also has some great resources for learning about recording and editing video.

Amazon has all of this equipment but B and H Camera in NYC is a great resource for purchasing if you are new to video creation and need some personal attention and recommendations. Their prices are usually similar to Amazon's and if you call or chat, they are very helpful with helping you select the right products for your skill level.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 
RECORDING WIDGET

Speakpipe is a great way to communicate with your students between sessions. You can easily create a link to add the SpeakPipe Voice Recorder to a page on your website.

Students can leave voice messages and you are notified by email when they do. You can listen to the message and respond without any extra downloads or other recording equipment. 

I have also used SpeakPipe as way to offer an Accent Assessment on my website without having to meet in realtime. Potential students read a script, record and send through SpeakPipe. I listen and respond with my findings. This is a great way to attract potential students.

Recordings are limited to 5 minutes or 10 minutes max, depending on which plan you choose.  5 minutes is a little short but 10 minutes is definitely enough. 

Check it out at https://www.speakpipe.com


DESIGN TOOLS

Paletton

I don't worry much about design, but sometimes, I need good ideas for color palettes for my social media images, web pages, and the layout of my online courses.  

Paletton is very easy to use and will help you find palettes that you like.  I often use it to find complementary colors that will make a button or other important info stand out on a web page.

Pexels: 

A website that offers royalty-free images that are safe to use for your website landing pages and other marketing material:  https://www.pexels.com/

Hex Code (color) generator:  https://imagecolorpicker.com/en


Throat Coat Tea

When you have to speak all day long, this tea is a lifesaver. It is so soothing when your throat is irritated and loosens up any mucus (sorry, but mucus can be an issue when you speak all day!) so your voice sounds strong and clear.

I usually have at least 2 cups a day when I am teaching. And somehow it is naturally sweet so you don’t need to add sugar. You have to try it to believe it.

A few of the above links are affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you purchase using these links, but I ONLY recommend resources that I have personally used in my own business, that I love, and that I feel are truly worth the money.