Everyone has a voice. And, depending on where you are from in the world, your voices will differ dramatically. Cockney or posh, American English or British English, Scouse or Brummie, there are a million and one ways in which we speak.
Yet, as sad as it might sound, one cannot escape the conclusion that, in the UK, some accents count more than others. An accent that is perceived as neutral – however far from neutral it might be – seems to be accepted more easily and respected more easily too. Meanwhile, among English speakers, one’s pronunciation is seen almost immediately as an identifier of pretty much anything: class, wealth, education.
In a context like this, you’d be easily forgiven for harbouring an anxiety about your spoken English, wherever it is you have come from in life. The British have an unfortunate and unhealthy fixation with the correct way to pronounce words – and what this might mean about you. Yet, sometimes, if you want to feel like you fit in, having some expert advice and accent training can be the best way to feel comfortable.
That’s why there has been a massive increase in elocution, speech training, and communication skills lessons in the UK over the last few years. People have caught onto the unhappy fact that, in some cases, your voice can tell so much about you.
If you would like to take up elocution lessons near you – or learn how to speak English with a British accent – then you’re in the right place. We have brought together some of the most effective elocution classes that are available online.
We hope you find it helpful. Remember, though, your voice is wonderful the way it is.
What is Elocution? And How do You Learn it Online?
So, briefly, what is elocution?
In its most neutral form, elocution can be defined as the study of expressive and clear speech, with definition and clarity of pronunciation and articulation. Alternatively, we can define it as the study of formal speaking, in all of speech’s forms – from pronunciation and grammar to style, tone, and register.
Meanwhile, elocution lessons often involve public speaking practice, accent reduction – or, more accurately, accent adoption, with the accent adopted being ‘received pronunciation’ – and phonetics.
All of these things are what make up elocution – and these are the things that you will be studying in any course that you take.
But this all begs the following question…
How Can You Learn Elocution Online?
It might seem like a strange thing to be able to take elocution classes with an English teacher online. However, these days, you can study pretty much any subject you would like online – even when those subjects require you to practise speaking aloud.
This obviously includes elocution: all of the different aspects of elocution – from intonation to pronouncing vowel sounds – can be now taught online.
In most cases, this happens over Skype. However, you might be surprised to hear that there are one-way elocution courses too that you can watch.
Let’s take a look at the different courses available to you online – and find you the best options for what you need. You can learn all you need to know about elocution too!
The Best Places to Find Elocution Lessons Online
Whilst the internet is a wonderful place for learning, it is also a great place in which to be led astray. When you are conducting your search for elocution lessons, be smart and be savvy. Don’t fall for offers that might be too good to be true – because, simply enough, they probably are.
Always when looking for training online, ask for proof of credentials and qualifications. Not all tutors are legit; even those who are lovely might just not be worth your time and money.
But with the warning out of the way, let’s take a look at the best places online that you can find elocution training.
Improve Your Elocution with Cambridgeshire Elocution.
Cambridgeshire Elocution is a very professional teaching outfit that has gone completely online recently. Based, as you could probably imagine, in Cambridgeshire, they offer elocution training for the native English speaker and non-native speakers too.
You will pay for an annual or monthly subscription to generic content: video lessons on speaking skills and the desired English accent, the phonetic chart and the correct tongue and lip placement for pronunciation.
With the packages, you’ll also have the opportunity to book Skype lessons with Charlotte, the designer of the course. She’ll help you with any specific issues or difficulties you are having, whilst pointing you in the right direction for future improvement.
Try the Pardon Me? App for Elocution Lessons Online.
It was only a matter of time before elocution lessons became available on the go. And, lo and behold, here it is, the first elocution app: Pardon Me?
Designed for people who are having to sit the IELTS speaking exam or for those who just struggle to make themselves understood, the Pardon Me? app works on the basis of imitation and repetition.
With all these new-fangled technological opportunities – from recording yourself to watching your own face in real time on your phone – elocution training has become easier. And that’s why the Pardon Me? app is such a winner.
Get in Touch with UK Speech Academy for Elocution and Accent Reduction Online.
The UK Speech Academy is another elocution training organisation that is slowly moving its operations online.
With tutors that claim to instil improvements in their students after just one session, and with a range of different training opportunities – from business or personal contexts to dealing with nerves and overcoming your accent – there’s a good chance that these are one of the better elocution trainers out there.
As their name suggests, they focus on training for speeches as much as for elocution per se. This means that, if you have an important presentation to be doing, this is the place to come.
Get in touch to book a session over Skype – and go from there.
Take Elocution Training with Positive Voice.
Positive Voice are another provider of elocution training, offering one-to-one lessons on Skype, a pre-recorded training course, or a combination of the two.
The digital course is made of forty videos, a training guide, and a hypnotherapy track – all of which comes to work in parallel with the one-to-one course facilitated by Francesca, the owner of Positive Voice. You’ll learn things from breathing rhythms and face muscles to English grammar, sentence structure, and the placement of stress in a sentence.
Francesca suggests taking the course intensively over nine months. Whilst this might be more than you would like to commit, to nail your English this is the amount of time you probably need.
Find an Elocution Tutor with Superprof.
Superprof is a platform that connects prospective students with tutors from all over the world. With over ten million tutors globally, there are plenty of elocution tutors to choose from – either online or in person.
Our platform is seriously easy to use. Search for the subject you want to learn, scroll through the tutors available, and click to get in touch. In the vast majority of cases, they’ll offer their first lesson free.
With Superprof, you’re completely flexible: find the tutor that suits you with the teaching style that suits you. It’s really easy.
Learn Elocution Early with Elocution Kids.
Elocution is not just for adults. In fact, historically speaking, it is pretty much exclusively for children and teens.
That’s why Elocution Kids is a welcome addition to the speech therapy landscape, as they offer elocution training and speech therapy online and in person across the south of England.
They offer LAMDA exams for children too – which are certifications of your ability to speak well, in public speaking and conversation.
Improve Your Pronunciation at British English Pronunciation.
British English Pronunciation is another course that is available online for people who want to improve their speaking.
This one consists of seventeen different lessons, with supplementary video and audio. You’ll cover everything you would expect with Anna Tyrie, the actress and voice coach.
Take an Elocution Class with Voice Training.
Finally, Voice Training offers a range of products – from videos and books to lessons and training events – on the topic of elocution and speech improvement.
They have worked with everyone from actors to business leaders, from children with speech impediments to speech therapists themselves. Whatever you want to get out of your speech training, Voice Training can help you out.