Val Kulkov

In my work, I promote a system of computer modelling used by pharmaceutical companies and so I interact with clients in the US and worldwide. In general, I am completely comfortable interacting with others in English. But occasionally I have felt that people react to me as an outsider and this has caused a bit of discomfort to me. I felt, if I could turn my accent on and off, I would be able to control this reaction. This motivated me to take accent reduction training with Heather Chetwynd. During the training, I was very impressed by Heather’s attention to detail, her incredible patience as a teacher and her musical ear which helped her recognize the very tiny things that influence accent. This was something that had been impossible for me to do – to recognize the slight variations in lip movements, tongue position and tension which imprinted my linguistic background on my English.

I began to become aware of what I was doing and learn how to adjust it. Heather gave me the knowledge and materials I needed to continue perfecting my speech and produce sounds the way North Americans do. I found this process of discovery very intriguing, stimulating and entirely enjoyable. I would recommend anyone interested in perfecting their accent to consider taking a few lessons – they’ll be surprised by how much they learn about themselves and how they sound.