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Brentford 
  • Ambassador
  • (16 reviews)
I
Irmina
« Perfect! Chris is just the best teacher, pleasure to interact with and just a... More »
I
Irmina
« Perfect! Chris is just the best teacher, pleasure to interact with and just a lovely person to get to know. I cannot recommend him enough as an accent tutor. He is incredibly patient with how tone deaf I am and always so kind and understanding. I have learned so much thanks to him and his knowledge is incredible. Thank you Chris! »
£40/h
Profile and degree verified
Response Time 1h
Lessons offered by Christopher
  • Individual
  • In group
The lessons will be held
  • at his home
  • at your home
  • By webcam
Taught subjects
  • Vocabulary - English
  • Oral expression - English
  • Accent Reduction-English
  • British English
Levels
  • All Levels

Accent Reduction and Dialect Coach in West London. Member of the IPA. Trained at KT Speechwork, UCL and LAMDA. I have 5 years experience improving clarity or modifying my client's accents.

Methodology

Hello! My name is Christopher Lakewood I trained on the BA Hons at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, at University College London and with KT Speechwork in LA. I work as an actor and tutor.


- Which subject(s) do you teach?

Accent Modification (also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening)
Dialect Coaching for Actors
Drama School Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition
LAMDA Exams (Acting, Public Speaking and Verse & Prose)
Vocal Coaching and Public Speaking




- Tell me about your qualifications.

KT Speechwork 'Experiencing Speech', 'Experiencing Accents' and 'Phonetics Intensive'
"SCEP" Summer Course in English Phonetics at University College London
Member of the International Phonetic Association
Accent and Phonetics teacher at London based part time drama school Empower School of Acting
Trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) on their BA Hons Professional Acting
BTEC National Diploma - Performing Arts- Acting - Triple Distinction
National Youth Theatre
English Literature - As Level - A Grade
10 GCSEs (5 A-A*'s)
PREMIER TEFL - Teaching English Online course


- How much do you charge?


Drama School Audition Preparation, Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition
- £35 an hour or £50 for an hour and a half

LAMDA Examinations (Acting, Public Speaking and Verse & Prose)
- £35 an hour or £50 for an hour and a half

Vocal Coaching and Public Speaking
- £40 an hour or £55 for an hour and a half

Dialect Coaching for Actors
- £40 an hour or £55 for an hour and a half

Accent Modification (also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening)
- £40 an hour or £55 for an hour and a half



- When are you available?

My availability is flexible. Please enquire.

- Which ages and levels do you teach?

Any. I have worked with pupils from 6-60 thus far. I have an Enhanced DBS Certificate.




- Where do you teach?

I usually work through skype or zoom and find these platforms very convenient for screen sharing and sending resources. For voice work I also have programs for recording and slowing down speech as well as programs for observing intonation and stress patterns - this allows us to listen and observe together in a lot of detail. In non-pandemic times I also work from my studio space which is close to Acton Town Station.





Coaching offered:


Accent Modification

Also known as Accent Reduction or Accent Softening I prefer the term 'Accent Modification' as it is not really possible to reduce or soften an accent - only to change it into another accent. How do you 'reduce' or 'soften' a speech sound - by iterating that speech sound more quietly? No we have to adjust it. All voices and accents are of equal value and to 'soften' or 'reduce' also implies that there is a prestige accent - a best way of speaking - which I think is a little problematic. Having said that we do want to aim for clear, intelligible speech with as little cause for confusion as possible.

Before our first session I will ask you a little about your language background, where you have spent considerable time and I will ask you to record a couple of passages of text for me - from this I will then create a breakdown of your accent.

We will talk about the phonology of your native language vs the English language and see how they differ. Many European languages don't include the 'th' sounds that we get in words like 'this' and 'thistle'. Therefore, lacking this sound, speakers of different languages will probably use the sound that feels closest to it that exists within their native language phonology when speaking English and so a speaker may substitute the 'th' sound for a 'd' and say 'this, though' and we hear 'Diss, Dough' This may cause some confusion and so these are sounds it is worth prioritizing so that we can eliminate any homophones - sounds with different spellings that are pronounced the same -

If a speaker doesn't have 'th' sounds in the phonology of their native language and they instead substitute this 'th' sound for a 'd' sound then the below words would become homophones of one another which would cause confusion.

Than, Dan
These, D's
This, Diss
There, Dare
Then, Den
Though, Dough
They, Day
They've, Dave
Those, Doze
Heather, Header,
Other, Udder
Worthy, Wordy



The same thing can happen with vowels. Some European languages don't have the /I/ sound which is the sound we have in words like Kit, Bit, Hid etc. and so when they come to speak English and come across a word that belongs to that lexical set then they will probably use the closest sound that they have to that from their phonology - quite often this is the /i/ sound which sounds like 'ee' so this means we can run into similar clarity issues in the below words

Ship, Sheep
Hid, Heed
Bin, Bean
Pill, Peel
Sin, Seen
Will, Wheel,
Hill, Heel,
Ill, Eel
Live, Leave
Grid, Greed
Grin, Green
Bit, Beat
- (in fact, for the actors out there, the Bit, Beat confusion is exactly why there is some confusion over acting practitioner Staislavski's terms for beats)



We’ll work through key sounds and I’ll help you to hear and create the difference between the vowel and consonants you habitually make and those of the accent we are softening towards. I’ll teach you how to make any new sounds and give you exercises for incorporating them into your everyday speech. Once we are happy with that depending on your priorities for the work we will either work to integrate all of these changes or if you would actually prefer to fully change your accent to for example Standard Southern British English or General American we will continue our work and even more narrowly look at the exact targets of vowels and consonants from the sample that we are working towards and try to get you as close to them as possible - this work would not be as much about intelligibility but would be going into the realms of accent acquisition.


I usually work through skype or zoom and find these platforms very convenient for screen sharing and sending resources, I also have programs for recording and slowing down speech as well as programs for observing intonation and stress patterns - this allows us to listen and observe together in a lot of detail.

My rate is £40 per hour and I offer a discounted rate of £55 for an hour and a half. I find that especially for the first few sessions this extra time is very valuable as there is usually a huge amount of content to get through in the first few sessions before we able to start integrating the work into your everyday speech and drilling vowel contrasts etc.

This isn't necessarily easy work and it doesn't all fall into place overnight, but with determination and diligent practice I can help you eliminate any clarity issues from your speech.





Public Speaking and Vocal Coaching:

Everyone can benefit from Public Speaking tuition, I have worked with CEOs, politicians, small business owners developing business pitches, beauty contestants and extensively with younger students in preparation for their public speaking LAMDA Examinations. ???

We work to develop more clarity, connection and confidence in your voice and speech. We talk about what the blocks and fears may be for you in public speaking, what might happen to your voice and body when you are under pressure and how we can prepare for and minimize that vocal and physical stress allowing for a greater sense of flow and economy in your speaking.


My rate is £40 an hour or I offer a reduced rate of £55 per hour and a half.







Dialect Coaching for Actors


We will examine the four 'P's' of our target accent:
Posture (as in Oral Posture or Vocal Tract Posture) - this is the resting place and physical tendencies of the accent
Prosody - this is the rhythm and pitch patterns of the accent
Pronunciation - these are the sounds that are used in this accent and how the lexical sets are distributed – we will compare these to your accent and I will give you tools for developing your skill and specificity in targeting any new sounds.
People - This is the cultural context of the accent.

I have done accent work with established actors and accent softening work with clients from all over the world. So far I have worked with Standard Southern British English, South East London, Estuary, Esssex, Received Pronunciation, Multicultural London English, North Yorkshire, Mancunian, Bristol, General American, New York, Alabamian, Georgian, Dublin, Northern Irish, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glaswegian Thai, Polish, Romanian, Hebrew, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Greek and Zimbabwean.

My rates are £40 per hour or I offer a reduced rate of £55 for an hour and a half.





Drama School Audition Preparation and Acting Tuition


Previous students of mine auditioning for drama school have secured places at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (a school which regularly sees upwards of 5000 auditionees a year), The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the National Youth Theatre. Recently I coached a young actor for her casting and General American accent for a series regular in Ridley Scott's new drama series for TNT and she has now been confirmed for that role.

I regularly work alongside screen tutors at the Met Film School (based at Ealing Studios) and at London Film School to help student directors find a language to work with actors. I have also been on the interview panel at LAMDA drama school auditions. As an actor I have worked for BBC1, BBC3, Netflix, Amazon and at Trafalgar Studios. 'Secret Chamber' directed by BAFTA winning director Jonas Grimas recently won its second film festival award. 'Instrument of War' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime


I tailor my approach to each client's needs and strengths but we will typically work to understand, personalise and inhabit each character that we look at and utilise an acting process that works for them borrowing from the works of Uta Hagan, Laban, Stanislavski, Mesiner and Grotowski.


My rate is £35 an hour or I offer a reduced rate of £50 per hour and a half.



LAMDA Examinations Coach:

LAMDA Examinations are a fantastic way of developing various creative skills. They offer a wide range of examinations and at higher grades some of them count as UCAS points so there are many benefits to them. You can see a full list of their examinations here: (concealed information)

I have also worked for LAMDA Examinations in an administrative capacity and so have a good understanding of the syllabus and mark schemes. Many students of mine have achieved Distinctions in their Public Speaking, Verse and Prose and Acting examinations.

I aim to make this work as accessible and fun as possible whilst also pushing the student to fulfil their potential.



My rate is £35 an hour or I offer a reduced rate of £50 per hour and a half.






- Do you have a personal message for students?

I am committed to tailoring my approach to your learning needs. I aim to make our sessions an interesting and enjoyable experience but I expect a level of concentration and effort from your part too.

I look forward to working with you!

Ambassador

One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualifications verified and response guaranteed. Christopher will plan your first lesson with care.

Experience

- What kind of experience do you have?


I have 5 years of experience in drama, public speaking, accent modification and voice tutelage.

I have coached established actors and modified accents of clients from all over the world. So far I have worked with Standard Southern British English, South East London, Estuary, Esssex, Received Pronunciation, Multicultural London English, North Yorkshire, Mancunian, Bristol, General American, New York, Alabamian, Georgian, Dublin, Northern Irish, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glaswegian Thai, Polish, Romanian, Hebrew, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Greek and Zimbabwean.

I teach accents and phonetics at the part time London based drama school Empower School of Acting.

I have completed courses with LA based KT Speechwork - 'Experiencing Speech', 'Experiencing Accents' and 'Phonetics Intensive'. You can read more about this company here: (concealed information)
They are known as "The dialect coaches’ coach".


I am a member of the International Phonetic Association.


I have completed the prestigious "SCEP" Summer Course in English Phonetics at University College London which focused on the following areas of English phonetics:

phonemic system (vowels and consonants)
segmental analysis (allophonic processes)
word stress
weakening and coarticulation processes
sentence stress (accent, tones)
intonation and meaning
teaching english pronunciation
features of connected speech
recent and current changes in standard southern british english


I have worked with clients on developing more clarity, confidence and connection in their voices.

I have coached professionals new to public speaking in preparation for formal speeches and business pitches. I have also worked extensively with younger students on their public speaking LAMDA Examinations.

I have worked with students preparing for LAMDA Examinations for Acting, Verse & Prose and Public Speaking in grades ranging from Entry Level to Grade 7.

I have also worked for LAMDA Examinations in an administrative capacity and have been on the interview panel for LAMDA auditions at the drama school.

I regularly work alongside screen tutors at the Met Film School (based at Ealing Studios) and at London Film School to help student directors find a language to work with actors.

I have led workshops at "Monday Club" on various subjects from Grotowski to Clown.

As an actor I have worked for BBC1, BBC3, Netflix, Amazon and at Trafalgar Studios. 'Secret Chamber' directed by BAFTA winning director Jonas Grimas recently won its second film festival award. 'Instrument of War' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime

Rates

Rate for online lessons : £40/h
Lessons offered by Christopher
Individual
In group
The lessons will be held
at his home
at your home
webcam
Taught subjects
  • Vocabulary - English
  • Oral expression - English
  • Accent Reduction-English
  • British English
Levels
  • All Levels

Christopher's CV

• BA Hons Professional Acting - LAMDA
• Spotlight

16 reviews on Christopher
  • 5/5

All our ratings are collected by us and are given in confidence, they correspond to a real experience.
I
Irmina

Perfect! Chris is just the best teacher, pleasure to interact with and just a lovely person to get to know. I cannot recommend him enough as an accent tutor. He is incredibly patient with how tone deaf I am and always so kind and understanding. I have learned so much thanks to him and his knowledge is incredible. Thank you Chris!

15 recommendations

P
Polo

I have had three sessions with Chris and I am really enjoying it. He is very professional and has a lot of knowledge and patience. I definitely enjoy working with him and I recommend Chris 100%.

D
Dima

Having done several session for accent reduction with Chris, I can confidently recommend him as a great tutor. Not only is he knowledgeable about the subject overall, but he is also familiar with the issues facing speakers from different language background. Together with an approachable and engaging manner of teaching, I can highly recommend Chris to anyone wishing to reduce their accent.

A
Andrey

Chris is brilliant! He probably knows everything about accents in general, not just RP. That makes him a perfect tutor, as he knows exactly how to explain mistakes and correct them with right exercises.

A
Andrew

Chris is incredibly warm and relaxing to be around, as well as being knowledgeable in all things voice. His approach to vocal training make him a pleasure to learn with and he will always go the extra mile to help and finds way and tips to improve your voice. I’ve appreciated his ability to bring out the best of my voice and the correct pronunciation of words. I absolutely recommend Chris! You’ll find a great teacher and a friend.

N
Nadezda

Chris is an amazing teacher, always punctual, always prepared, but most importantly he is very professional and very knowledgeable. My accent improved tremendously with Chris!

N
Nadia

Christopher helped me tremendously to improve my accent. He is a very professional accent couch with a deep knowledge on pronunciation of different languages, and, on top of that, he knows linguistics and phonetics too. I really enjoyed the lessons and I hope to continue in the near future.

S
Seylan

I have worked with Chris on RP, General American, New York and Southern American accents for acting jobs and have found him to be a terrific tutor - helpful, encouraging, clear and friendly. I'd highly recommend getting in touch with him for accent work.
Seylan Baxter, actress (Dr Who, Macbeth, Outlander etc)

I
Irmina

Chris has a great understanding of phonetics. He also has loads of experience in working with students of various backgrounds. I've only had several classes with him but I can already see I've significantly improved my understanding of vowels and consonants and am also more conscious of various sounds of the English language. I wholeheartedly recommend Chris as an excellent accent tutor.

U
Ujwala

Chris has been absolutely great with my son. We initially started with Chris while trying to complete skills section of DofE but went further to complete Grade 5 Public Speaking certification through LAMDA.

We found Chris to be a very patient, articulate, open-minded, experienced, and intelligent person. His critique is always constructive which has benefited my son very much. I am hoping that he will be helping my son through the future levels of Public Speaking.

C
Cindy

Chris is great tutor , my son found his confidence in public speaking after he met Chris, he passed his Grade 5 level after 2 months tutoring, that’s really amazing! Now he wants to challenge to grade 7, he feels he can do it under Chris’ helps, I really want to say thank you and recommended Chris to everyone!

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