"Interestingly enough, being able to pronounce correctly helps improve my listening skills..."
I’m from Japan and have taken Janet’s lessons for two years. I used to have a thick accent, but thanks to Janet’s lessons, I have no problem with communicating in English, even on the phone. I can feel my improvement, and my life has gotten a lot easier. Interestingly enough, being able to pronounce correctly helps improve my listening skills. Accent reduction needs professional help. Janet has a talent and passion to fix the problem. Lots of English teachers may be able to show you how to pronounce, but can’t put a finger on why and how you pronounce incorrectly. Janet is really good at analyzing your speech patterns and giving you instructions that are understandable and plausible. Her lessons are a must-have for those who wish to enjoy speaking English.
– Shino Toyoda
"I have studied with Janet since October 2006, and I am happy with the progress..."
I am a software engineer. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995. I have lived in the United States for 17 years. About a year ago, I started pursuing education in the area of intellectual property law and it seemed to me that unlike computer engineering that area is much more homogeneous (fewer immigrants, fewer people with accents, all mostly white, etc.). It seemed to me that I would be more comfortable without my accent.
About a year ago, I did somewhat extensive research. I completed a highly rated CD course (it did nothing for me except show me that there are more sounds than I realized ), but I still did not know how to make them correctly and became confused. I then called several accent schools in San Diego. They all wanted lots of money upfront, signing contracts, and really could not tell me how they were going to help me other than saying it will be quick. The actual speech therapists I spoke to could not even place my accent (not a hard task at the time). I personally met with one pathologist, but none of them left a good impression at all. Some promised losing accent in 6 sessions (totally ridiculous!) for just $1,200! Yes, it’s quick… quick for them to make money, and perhaps for me to have a good feeling about having done (or paid) a lot about my accent. I have experience with music education — just as you can’t learn how to sing or play an instrument in 6 easy sessions, no matter how high the price is, you can’t learn to produce sounds correctly in 6 sessions. It takes time.
I have studied with Janet since October 2006, and I am happy with the progress. There was little progress at first as it seemed that we would spend the whole lesson on one sound or sometimes even one word(!) but in somehow that sound would get noticeably better a few weeks later in all other words, too. My ears would “open up” too. I begin to hear that sound and distinguish it in native speakers speech. Janet picks a sound (word) that stands out the most in my speech and then starts working on it. A week or two later, that sounds improves in almost all words that contain it. Somehow it just works. I was a bit frustrated with my progress at first, but now I know that Janet knows what she is doing and I am confident that progress is there. I record myself on tape during our sessions and the difference is tremendous.
Janet, is a very intelligent, educated and open-minded person and very easy to communicate with for a person of a European background. I mean her sense of humor, life attitude and everything… She is very reliable and professional about her job, but personable and friendly at the same time. However, if you are looking for a modern office in a high-rise of glass and steel, Janet’s teaching quarters are nothing like that. She teaches out of her small home. It’s better for me, because it helps to save on the overhead costs.