Benefits of Group Coaching For Accent And Pronunciation Training

Jun 15, 2022

In this lesson, I’m talking about how to teach accents and pronunciation in groups.



I know some of you out there are SLPs who do private sessions but there are also ESL or ELL teachers, actors, acting coaches, voice coaches, and others who teach accents and dialects to groups of students, so I just wanted to give you some tips for teaching to groups.

If possible, I prefer to limit an accent or pronunciation training group to about 4-6 people, but larger groups can absolutely work. It’s just more work for you as the instructor because you have to be hyper-aware and in super correction mode, so catching mistakes with the target sounds/goals that every student is making is a lot of work, but it can be done.

I personally prefer one-on-one sessions but there are actually some big advantages to group work. Some of them are:

  • More social interaction and support between students
  • More cost effective for students and more lucrative for you
  • Groups are more attractive to corporations. Many corporations want you to do group work because they have more than one employee who needs your services
  • Group students actually get more ear training and usually become better at self-correction in conversation than students in private sessions because they get the practice of listening to the other students in the class. We all hear other people’s mistakes much more easily than we hear our own, especially at first.

So there can be some big benefits to working with larger groups.

Always remember and always remind your students that immediate self-correction is what creates permanent change.

This is why working with a real-live speech coach or an accent instructor gets results so much more quickly than just practicing by your own with an app or using random lessons online.

Having someone else, preferably a training speech or accent coach that will listen and point out mistakes so the student can go back and immediately correct them is so important to speech training and you want to make sure that students in a group get this feedback as well. Some ideas:

  • Have them pair up and practice together using practice sheets and correct each other
  • Give them a topic, have each pair coach each other and make notes for you
  • Try to give each student at least a little bit of personal attention and a few corrections

Final thought: In a group setting, the challenge is really on you, as the instructor, to get conversations going, to give everyone a chance to speak, to everyone a little personal feedback, and to help your students learn to self-correct in real conversations because at the end of the day, that is what creates permanent change and speech improvement.

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