I have been in Canada for 13 years. For the first ten, I never thought of improving my English since, in my opinion, my skill was adequate for daily use in Canada. Three years ago, a new supervisor complained about my English and insisted I make some improvements. His comments made me aware that I still had difficulties in English, especially with clarity. I took some college English classes and, in 2007, began to study with Voice to Word Consulting.
During the tutorials, I learned how to pronounce the vowels and consonants used by native Canadians, how to stress syllables and words, and various types of intonation. Most importantly, the training showed me my weaknesses — which vowels and consonants I had problems with and the cause of these problems. I found out that tongue position, lip shape and inadequate breath control all affect the quality of the sound. I realized that my problems were not only related to accent – which I then considered to be only the individual sounds — but also to the laziness of my tongue and mouth during speech.
A regular English or ESL teacher is like a family doctor who can only understand and address general problems.
In contrast, Heather Chetwynd is a specialist in English pronunciation. She knows what your problems are and understands the cause. For example, she pinpointed my weakness in distinguishing ‘L’ from ‘N,’ helped me to hear it and taught me how to pronounce these sounds clearly through a variety of explanations, examples and exercises. Now I more confidently pronounce any words with these two letters.
Heather is a very patient teacher, always willing to listen to her students. She is conscientious and does not let you go until you can successfully pronounce the words or sentences. I do not hesitate to recommend Heather as an English trainer, especially for anyone wishing to refine relatively advanced English skills and make significant improvements in a short time.