Gordon And Mike's ICT Podcast
Perspectives on Technology and Education from Gordon F. Snyder, Jr. & Mike Qaissaunee
Introduction: We are here today with Springfield business owner Erica Walch. Erica has recently started Speak Easy Accent Modification in Springfield. Speak Easy teaches people how to change their accent so that clients, colleagues, strangers and even friends can better understand them.

1. What is Speakeasy?
The Speak Easy program teaches fluent English speakers how to recognize and produce the sounds of standard spoken American English. As people feel more confident in their spoken English, their business, professional, and social interactions become easier and more successful.
The Speak Easy program teaches fluent English speakers how to recognize and produce the sounds of standard spoken American English. As people feel more confident in their spoken English, their business, professional, and social interactions become easier and more successful.

2. How did you get started - what made you decide you wanted to do this?

3. How does this program work?
A: Speak Easy accent modification training teaches you how to recognize and produce the sounds of American English. You practice with an instructor in an individual or group setting once per week, and you practice at home for an hour a day.  At the end of the course, most people see at least a 50 percent change in their speech. Visit the method page for more detailed information about the program.

4. Will I lose my accent?
A: Everyone speaks with some sort of an accent, and there is no such thing as the ideal speaker of any language. Accent modification training teaches you how to change your speech. Your accent will change, and people will be better able to understand you.

5. Will I sound American?
A: Probably not. If this is your goal, it is something that you can work on, but it will take more than one 13-session course. However, most people who speak a second language have some traces of an accent even after lengthy study and practice.

6. I am 72 years old; will this really work for me?
A: Absolutely. Only people who have a hearing loss or a speech impediment would have difficulty retraining their accent. Any person who is a fluent speaker of English can learn to speak differently. If you have learned English, you can definitely learn a new way to speak it.

7. How much does the program cost?
A: The fee for the initial speech analysis is $150. The cost for the lessons ranges from $500 - $1650, depending on which course best fits your needs. Materials cost between $100 and $195, depending on the package you choose (cassettes or CDs).

8. Why did you choose Springfield as a location for your business?

9. I also wanted to congratulate you in you selection on the "Forty Under 40" that was recently announced by BusinessWest Magazine, the business journal for western Massachusetts.  The list recognizes the professional, civic, and community-oriented success of 40 young professionals working in the four counties of Western Mass. (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire). Nearly 100 nominations were received, with names submitted by fellow business owners, managers, and other professionals living or working in the BusinessWest readership area. Winners will be feted at a ceremony at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, in Holyoke on Thursday, June 21.

10. Links:
Linguists Weigh Costs and Benefits of Accents: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10554046 

New York Times, Accents on the Wrong Syl-LA-ble: http://speakeasyenglish.com/_Media/nytimes_june2007_article.pdf  

11. How can people contact you?
Erica Walsh
Speak Easy Accent Modification
Springfield, MA
(413) 747-1700
erica@speakeasyenglish.com

Direct download: Erica_Walch_Interview_FINAL.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:09pm EST