Monday, March 21, 2016

A New Video About Garage Sales, and Some Ideas to Help You Improve Your Speech

Hi everyone!  This is David Berlin.   This video is about garage sales in America--a common feature of American culture.   A garage sale is when someone gathers their used goods, things that they've used but aren't using anymore, but that still have life in them, and they put them on blankets on their lawn or card tables in their driveway, and they sell them.

My students often want to understand "street English"--American English as its spoken everyday, informal English.  One of the best ways to do that is to watch old American sitcoms.   Sitcoms like "Friends" or "The Office" or "Seinfeld" are great for that...of course, if you have some trouble understanding the English that's being spoken on the sitcoms, or you can't make out the words, I'm here to help!  Give me a call at (732) 807-5424 or hit me up on Skype at and I will be happy to sit with you and watch TV and TEACH you at the same time.  I've done exactly that with other students, and its a great way to learn real world English, as its spoken on the streets every day.

And of course, don't forget to check out my ESL/Accent Reduction YouTube channel or my American Idiom of the Day Twitter Feed.  Or, if you're ready to schedule a consult or a first lesson, first check out my ESL/Accent Reduction Training Website for information on rates, scheduling, and so on.  I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Is Almost Here! (But For One Last Snowstorm!)

Well, spring is almost here, although we are supposed to get one last snowstorm.  But who knows, right?   Well, I love to teach, and I love to teach in the evenings, and I love to teach in the evenings via Skype.   I can help you reduce your accent to make you more understandable to Americans, to get that promotion or deal with those clients.   Typically, I do some diagnostic testing during a consult to see where you are and where you want to go.   Then we work together, starting by changing your intonation--the "musical pitch" of your speech--the rising and falling in pitch of your voice--to be more like that of an American.  

At the same time, we work on the rhythm of your English, so you get your stresses--your emphasis--in the right places.  From there I teach you to *stretch* out your vowels so everything comes out with a nice flow.  Then we work on specific problem sounds like the /sh/ sound vs the /s/ sound or the different kinds of /th/ sounds.

Essentially, the training method I use is repetitive drills with constructive criticism and correction.   I demonstrate a sound, and we go through the drills.  You make the sound, and I offer correction and criticism--in very literal terms, such as "put your tongue here" or "drop your jaw".   When the lesson is over, I give you recordings and handouts to practice with between lessons.   You do your homework and come back for the next lesson where we review.  The practice-feedback-practice loop helps you to gradually improve as well as to understand what you're doing wrong and how to do it right.

Sound interesting?  Check out my ESL/Accent Reduction YouTube Channel for some free tips on how to reduce your accent, as well as some cultural tips that may help you do better in America.  Also check out my American Idiom of the Day Twitter Feed for some great info on American idioms and expressions and slang and information and examples on how to use them.

Finally, if you're ready to take the plunge (to "take the plunge" means to take the action you've thought about taking) check out my ESL/Accent Reduction website for more information about me and how to reach me.  Also, feel free to download some of the FREE ESL/accent reduction podcasts on the right  hand side of this blog.

Remember, I can't call you, you have to call me.  Give me a call today.