Karen Van Hook, Ph.D.

Accent and Voice Coaching
For both Native Speakers and
Speakers of English as a Foreign Language

Yes, you can.

You can change your accent. If you speak English as a foreign language, you already know the pronunciation isn’t easy. The good news is that no matter how long you’ve been speaking English, you can learn more native-like pronunciation. You can learn to pronounce even the most difficult sounds of American English correctly. And you can learn to use more of the rhythm and “music” of the native sound, including the voice qualities, if you want.

If you’re a native speaker of British or Australian English and you want a convincing American accent, you can learn to change the way you use your throat, to capture the American voice qualities. And if you’re a native speaker of North American English and you just want to make a change in your sound—to sound louder, deeper, more confident, etc.—that’s usually do-able as well.

What are your goals?

Do you want to sound much more fluent and native-like? Maybe you’re an advanced speaker—everyone understands you without a problem, but you’d like to sound more fluent, natural and confident. Or maybe you still have people asking you to repeat yourself—you’d like everyone to understand you easily.

Or maybe you’re a British actor trying to make it in American television. Whatever your background and whatever level you’re at, you can acquire a more native-like American accent and learn new voice qualities, if that is your goal. The idea of “Chosen Voice” is that it’s not one-size-fits-all: different people want different things for their voices. You choose what goals you want to reach.

Learning a New Accent is Like Driving On the Other Side of the Road

When you learn a new accent, you learn new muscle habits: new ways of moving the tongue and jaw and lips, and even the muscles in the throat. But the new habits don’t become automatic right away. Speaking with our first accent is automatic. Naturally, we want the new accent to feel effortless—and it can. But we need to give the new accent a chance to get “rooted” in our muscle memory.

The first time I went to the UK, I thought that driving on the left side of the road should feel just like driving at home—except “mirror image”. But the first day of driving on the left was a nightmare. I hit a curb and burst a tire.

read more

Online Workshops for Japanese Speakers

I’m now doing online intensive workshops for small groups of native Japanese speakers. Information in Japanese is available at this link.  Information in English continues below.


read more

Schedule a Free Consultation Now

Schedule a free half-hour meeting online or in my office. We will evaluate your pronunciation and talk about your goals. No obligation.

read more