Accent Modification Training Materials and
“Thank you so much for sending Medically Speaking Idioms. I was able to use it last Friday and it was not only a big help, but a big hit with the class.
Amazing how so many “fluent” speakers have never heard of “those sayings”. Thank you again!”
Mayra R. Creed, Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center, Interpreter Trainer, Language Services Manager, Newport News, VA.
I took a 1:1 Accent Modification training class from Ms Marjorie
Whittaker. It was a useful, efficient class. Therefore I would like
to provide my comments on this class and her training.
Thanks, C.D., Business Analysis Specialist from China
In reference to taking the professional communication
one-on-one training sessions provided by Marjorie Whittaker, this course has
helped me in improving my pronunciation, as my native language is Chinese.
It also provides me with tools (to use) in day-to-day communication along with
an emphasis on using proper Northern American English intonation. I was promoted
to a Senior Level Manager and this training has continued to help me in building
confidence in myself at work and personally.
Betty M, M.Eng., B.Eng., MBA, Senior Leadership Manager
"I just wanted to drop a note to say that the RULES books have been very well-received by our students! I enjoy using both RULES and Rules by the Sound to teach pronunciation, and the students enjoy having a book that addresses pronunciation issues in a manner that is relevant and practical. An added bonus, and one that I had not anticipated, was all of the new vocabulary and figures of speech these books include. Because my work is so specific to seminarians, this was an added educational and fun aspect; for example, in the compound noun section, I had to explain half-brother, step-sister, etc. These are words they'll need to know in the future ministry, but not ones that I would specifically teach. I will certainly order more student editions when the need arises."
Caroline S. Purcell, ESL Instructor, Mount St. Mary's University Seminary
"I have purchased Lynda Katz Wilner's and Marjorie Feinstein's Medically Speaking Rules book over and over again for my healthcare based clients. There are so many great exercises that are relevant to health care professionals--I appreciate most the sound-loaded paragraph readings which I use for not only sound production but intonation, rate of speech and American rhythm exercises. For trainers who are looking for materials to use with their medical clients, this is a great resource!"
Lynda Stucky, President, Clearly Speaking
“I found the Medically Speaking Idioms tutorial very educational for myself. It helped me to narrow a gap in essential parts of American speech – idiomatic expressions. It contains examples of real life dialogues with heavy usage of common idiomatic expressions that I found extremely useful. I learned most of them and I am going to start plugging them into my speech. I recommend them to all foreigners who want to make their speech sound more native. So, bite the bullet and start learning!”
SS, Software Engineer from Russia
"I just wanted to thank you for this great newsletter and especially the information about the effectiveness of using the storytelling training. It certainly reaffirms what I have already seen with my clients. Thank you again for the great resources you and Marjorie have developed!"
Jodi DeToffol MA, CCC-SLP, OneWorld Speech & Language Consulting
RULES BY THE SOUND was reviewed in the April edition of "As We Speak," the newsletter of TESOL's Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section.
"I am looking forward to using your pronunciation materials to help my international graduate students speak better. I was most impressed with your books…the content but also the delivery of the materials…very clear and easy to retrieve etc. Thank you again for such great pronunciation texts and CDs!"
Mary Wright, Coordinator of International Graduate Tutorials & Seminars, Bentley University English Department, Waltham, MA
"The reference materials and RULES (CD), especially RULES BY THE SOUND, were excellent tools. I used them to practice and correct the mistakes quickly. The sound loaded paragraphs give me opportunities to practice challenging sounds with linking, stressing, and to become aware of mistakes."
John Chang, Chief of Administrative Office Information and Technology Service, US Courts
"I learned about your products and your website when I did a book review of RULES for the magazine Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists. I recently used the program with a woman from Poland, and I now have a client from Puerto Rico. It’s a wonderful resource!"
Rhonda J. Banford, M.A.T., CCC-SLP
".....Lynda Katz Wilner's (and Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker's) reading materials and CDs (RULES), especially RULES BY THE SOUND, were excellent tools to practice, find and correct the mistakes quickly. The sound loaded paragraphs give me opportunities to practice challenging sounds with linking, stressing and thinking simultaneously, and polish my verbal communication and public speaking. "
Richard Fu, Ph.D., Physical Scientist, Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD
"I like that RULES BY THE SOUND has the practice for the sound system in a more natural application (sentence and paragraph form) with real life situations. You can then incorporate the rhythm of American English by discussing word stress, sentence stress and intonation while at the same time having a target rich environment for the troublesome sounds. All in all, a very nice addition to the resources I already have on my shelf."
Roberta Stanwood, M.A., CCC/SLP, Director, Accent Training Resources, Houston, TX
TESTIMONIAL for RULES BY THE SOUND, © 2009
"Lynda and Marjorie must be mind readers! What a great tool we now have in “Rules by the Sound”! They have put into one convenient resource much of what I have struggled to create over the years for my clients. What a great time saver and transitional tool to get carryover into spontaneous speech!
The sound loaded paragraphs allow opportunity to practice challenging sounds with intensity while addressing the musical cadence, linking and stress rules simultaneously. Although my clients’ first look at the problem sound paragraphs in panic, as if they are a first day skier atop a Black Diamond run at a ski hill, they quickly settle in and build much confidence by the end of the page!
Thanks for saving me endless hours, Lynda and Marjorie!
“REST IN PEACE” tattered “40,000 Selected Words” book!"
Anne Maki, MS/CEO, Clear Speech Specialists, Inc., Wichita, Kansas
Marjorie has a sensitive, unique and proven approach to help you modify your accent. Even though I have learned and been successful practicing British English as a second language for more than a decade, when it came to experiencing the American workplace, I kept being misunderstood. I became disappointed that my English speaking skills were not doing justice to my written command of the idiom. Luckily, I came across Marjorie's refined and timely course offering and I am now impressed to witness that within a month of intense practice, she has tactfully increased my English speaking fluency and provided me with the linguistic tools to balance this out! RULES by the Sound stories are an interactive and effective method that will help you integrate American English words and sentences stress patterns. I am also grateful that Marjorie catered to my specific business communication needs. I have regained my initial confidence and thus highly recommend you work with Marjorie for she is respectful, dedicated and a great motivator.
- M. L., French speaker
"I have been working with Marjorie for a year and it has been one great experience. She is a wonderful accent coach and has helped me tremendously to understand the nuances of the English language. She dissects the differences of my intonation with every word and sentence and points out to me patiently and consistently. With her method I have been able to sound more professional and less monotonous.
Marjorie is extremely meticulous and if you are thriving for excellence in your second language she is the one. She and her partner created this amazing book for medical professionals addressing every issue one can run into during practicing medicine.
Well, hands down. She is unique and outstanding in what she does."
E.S., M.D. from Turkey
"We regularly use Lynda Katz Wilner and Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker's materials with our clients in the medical field -- they are brilliantly designed, and easy to use."
Anne Golden, Director, The Intercultural Communication Group, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
I have been living in the Unites States for twelve years, and working as a litigation consultant for the last five years. Reducing my accent has been an objective of mine for a really long time, but I have always felt that that is something really hard to do on my own—it is difficult to distinguish and reproduce sounds that do not exist in one’s native language. This is why Marjorie’s help throughout this whole process was invaluable.
Marjorie helped me identify the sounds that posed the biggest challenges for me and taught me how to move my jaw, lips and tongue to produce each sound. We worked with American Speech Sounds and Marjorie’s own book, RULES, practicing each problem sound in a variety of words and sentences. Marjorie even wrote paragraphs heavy on particular sounds for additional practice. English has its own rhythm, stress patterns and intonation and Marjorie helped me modify that part of my speech so my accent would sound less foreign.
Marjorie has a great personality and makes learning fun and easy. I would highly recommend her program to anybody who wants to modify their accent.
S.T., Ph.D., M.B.A., Bulgaria
I just started using RULES and I really like it! It has been particularly useful with my French clients because they tend to have a great deal of difficulty using proper word and sentence level stress and RULES has a lot of practice stimuli for that type of challenge. I have also found the “linking” chapter particularly helpful. Overall, the program is GREAT and I thank you so much for writing it!
Wendy Wiberg, M.A., ENGLISH ONSITE
"Lynda Katz Wilner has co-authored with Marjorie Whittaker, manuals that clarify the rules of pronunciation and usage for individuals whose native language is not American English. One version is specific to the medical community, while the other has more general application. The titles are aptly named: RULES. The American English pronunciation system is woefully difficult to master in terms of sound production and intonation, but these authors have managed to cogently describe some of our nuances. They give numerous and creative examples to help both the trainer working with her clients, and the trainee who is developing her skills."
Carole Kornsweig, Accent & Speech Solutions
“I am appreciating the work you and Marjorie have done more and more. As a novice trainer, it is nice having such practical resources. I use both RULES programs, and find them easy to follow. My clients are also pleased as they are able to learn and use the skills immediately, thus helping them to more fully recognize the value of my services. Thank you.”
Betty R. Walton, M.A. CCC-SLP, President and CEO, CLEAR SPEECH NOW
"If you have English second language learners on your caseload who can speak the language but have difficulty making themselves understood, consider RULES: Rules for Using Linguistic Elements of Speech. Authors Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker, MS, CCC-SLP, and Lynda Katz Wilner, MS, CCC-SLP, have written a complete program to teach the idiosyncratic rules of American English." Click to read entire review (PDF).
Reviewed by Rhonda J. Banford, MAT, CCC-SLP
"I practice (it) EVERY DAY! I am working on it even harder than my school study. I really love it and thanks for your brilliant teaching and the excellent book – RULES.
I think that taking your class might be the best decision I have made during my time in the U.S."
E. Lin, Exchange Graduate Student, Brandeis University (from National Chengchi University, Taiwan)
"…I am having continued success with RULES. My higher level clients really appreciate the complexity and authenticity of the exercises. (Me too!)"
Jill Kaufman, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech for Success
"As a foreign actor working in the US, my accent has helped me to stand out among other actors, but, as you may have guessed, it has been an obstacle most of the time. I've been speaking English for many years now, have learnt about grammar and syntax rules, but didn't know anything about pronunciation rules. I struggled for years to reduce my accent and find an accent reduction program that would work for me - this one does: it's simple, well structured, the rules are easy to follow and it’s easy to apply in my everyday activities. And so encouraging! Plus, Marjorie taught me a very valuable lesson: I don't necessarily need to reduce my accent and in a sense, lose a part of who I am, instead, I can add a standard American accent to my repertoire and turn it on when needed. So without further ado, to all of you foreigners out there, it is possible, with the RULES program, to achieve your goals."
Katarina Morhacova, M.F.A., Actor from the Czech Republic
"I really love using RULES! It's been perfect for this group and so easy to use. The extra practice materials and activities with the trainer's version are very helpful."
Ruth Leeb, SLP, Skokie, IL
"My clients who work in the healthcare field have made significant positive changes in their ability to be understood as a result of practicing with Medically Speaking and Medically Speaking RULES. The exercises are specifically designed for professionals working in the medical community. Issues that have a major impact on patient / care provider communication are addressed, positively affecting patients’ quality of healthcare."
Shelly Wallace, Associate Director, Xavier University Leadership Center, Intercultural Communication Group
"For ESL trainers who provide services to corporate multinationals, RULES is an excellent speech and pronunciation resource. Advanced level English language learners will appreciate its spiral binding and overall professional appearance as well as its thorough information on and practical application of rules for stress, intonation, and pronunciation. The accompanying CDs and power point slides add additional instructional material and practice for both auditory and visual learners.
If you have struggled, as I have, to find pronunciation texts, supplementary materials, and self-study resources appropriate for individuals in a corporate, scientific, or technical setting, consider RULES. You will like what you see and hear!"
Judy West, Principal, English That Works, Inc.
"I took private lessons with Marjorie and they were very helpful in improving my accent and pronunciation. The course workbook written by Marjorie and her colleague, Lynda Katz Wilner, is excellent in terms of contents and explaining the rules with examples. The practice exercises in the workbook are very effective. The course provided me with all I needed to know to improve my accent and it was customized for my individual needs. I am impressed with the instructor's depth of expertise in speech pathology. It was a worthwhile investment for me!!"
V.S., Director, Merchant Asset Management from India
"I'd like to express my excitement about your training
materials! I have used RULES, Medically Speaking,
and Medically Speaking RULES with several clients and have
been very impressed with the results. One of my clients recently
completed Medically Speaking successfully and insisted on
purchasing Medically Speaking RULES to further enhance her
speaking skills. Your programs are the best I've seen for improvement
in word stress and intonation patterns with relevant, challenging
vocabulary and helpful grammar activities.
Sandra Wroblewski, Accent Aware, Wheaton, IL
"I think Medically Speaking RULES is awesome. It is so comprehensive, and addresses all of the issues that cause nonnative English speakers trouble. It doesn't matter what your language background is – it all applies. Issues that are not obvious when you begin training are highlighted and then it becomes so apparent why you haven't been understandable when using English in your personal and professional life."
R.H., MD/Ph.D. candidate
"I purchased Medically Speaking, the Medical Speaking Inventory, and RULES at the Seattle TESOL Conference. I am writing to let you know how fantastic I think your programs are. I had been using a variety of different textbooks, but your program is far superior to all of them. I was formerly the Director of English Programs at a prestigious language school and have since quit to pursue my dreams of opening up an Accent Reduction Centre in Vancouver. Thanks for such a great product."
Jennifer Yun, Director of Learning and Development, L2Accent Reduction Centre, Vancouver
"I learned about RULES from a professional speech chat room. I have a private practice and recently designed a course for international students at a local college. I am very impressed with your materials and am looking forward to incorporating them into my classes this fall. I appreciate all of your hard work to produce such high caliber materials."
Shelley Jones, M.S. CCC-SLP, Director, Northwest Speech Center, McMinnville, OR
"I heard so many wonderful things about the RULES that I had to buy it. It's a fantastic resource, an indispensable tool for anyone who works with accented clients. It targets areas that have never been covered before in a way that's practical, clear and concise."
Judy Cavallo, Director of New York Speech Solutions
RULES is an extremely comprehensive book that I now use with all of my clients who speak English as their second language. Frequently, clients are looking for specific rules to apply to their English pronunciation and now I have a collective resource for them. The information is well organized and the exercises are practical. Several of my clients have even bought this book for their own personal libraries. Nice job, Marjorie and Lynda!
Barbara Christensen, President, Speech Advantage, LLC, Madison, WI
"If you teach American English pronunciation and have only one resource, this is it! RULES reflects a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by non-native speakers and pairs that with the most practical content I have seen in my twenty + years of accent improvement training. It's a must for anyone teaching American English pronunciation!"
Nancy Hiser, Director/Founder, SpeechCom
"RULES is the book that I have been waiting for! Finally, Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker and Lynda Katz Wilner have given us a compilation of valuable, and necessary, information for use with accent modification clients. The explanations are clear and concise, the materials for training and practice are extensive, and the information is comprehensive. I use RULES constantly to teach my students and to train my clients."
Marjorie North, M.A., CCC–SLP, Director of Speech and Language Clinical Services, Northeastern University
"The Rules for Linguistic Elements of Speech (RULES) written by Marjorie Whittaker and Lynda Katz Wilner is a powerful resource for anyone who works with clients in foreign accent modification. I have had the workbook for 2 months, and it has already become an indispensable addition to the training materials that I use frequently. Professionals in the field of communication training will benefit tremendously from the information and exercises in this valuable resource."
Deborah B. Boswell, President, Professional Speech Services of Alabama, P.C.
"I recently purchased RULES as a result of someone in the CORSPAN (Corporate Speech Pathology Network) group recommending it. I have been INCREDIBLY pleased with the book and now consider it a "Bible." I find it very helpful for teaching many of the grammatical rules. It is a really a "gift" for our corporate libraries."
Jayne Latz, Speech Consultant, Corporate Speech Solutions
"The RULES system was just great. It was very clear and helped my accent step by step. The section about speaking on the telephone was practical and I could use it immediately for my work. It has made a big difference in how people see my business. I sound more professional and I am so happy. Also, because it is helping me analyze my own English language, it is helping me understand what others say also. I am so much more confident in both my expression and comprehension of the English language. Thank you so much for RULES!"
Y.M., B.S., pharmacology, Educator from Japan
"We finished our intensive program at the end of July. RULES worked out very well for the Pronunciation class I taught. It was the first pronunciation text I had used that presented rules which actually worked when put to the test with random language samples, and the abundance of examples and targeted exercises meant that I never had to supplement from other sources (also a first). Without lists like those in RULES, it is very hard for students to produce appropriate samples to practice points."
Eitan Geft, Soka University of America English Language Program, Aliso Viejo, CA
"Within RULES, 23 critical and frequently misused grammatical, semantic, and syntactic rules of American English are addressed. Feinstein-Whittaker and Wilner have provided excellent activities to evaluate and target these idiosyncratic rules with three main areas of instruction: stress and intonation rules, pronunciation rules, and grammar rules."
Elizabeth Roberts, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CORSPAN Treasurer, Professional Image Consultant Speech Services
"Although titled 'Rules', Feinstein-Whittaker and Katz Wilner's book offers many exercises that teachers can use in designing learning activities. These include setting a monthly schedule, making appointments, ordering from a menu, and a particularly authentic context, speaking on the telephone. In all, a treasure trove of valuable exercises is presented to the ESL teacher, who can either use these as-is, or design them into his or her classroom activities."
Charles Duquette, Adjunct Professor of TESOL, Northern Virginia Community College