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  • Ambassador
  • (10 reviews)
M
Miguel
« Perfect! Francesca is an excellent professional and I absolutely love her... More »
M
Miguel
« Perfect! Francesca is an excellent professional and I absolutely love her lessons. We’ve been working on my accent since April and I have to say I have already learnt a lot. I’m very happy and I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to soften their accent! Virginia »
£40/h
1st lesson free!
Profile and degree verified
Response Time 6h
Lessons offered by Francesca
  • Individual
  • In group
The lessons will be held
  • By webcam
Taught subjects
  • ESOL (English)
  • Oral expression - English
  • Written comprehension - English
  • Oral comprehension - English
  • Written expression - English
  • Accent Reduction-English
Levels
  • All Levels

Native English speaker and accent softening specialist with 6 years teaching experience. BA Hons Degree in Acting. Experienced in SELT exam preparation.

Methodology

I specialise in accent softening for those with a good level of English as a second language.

What to expect from an hours session:

• Having flagged individual sounds that need to be addressed, I will provide a lot of written material which will explain how to make the sounds and provide exercises for our class that you can also work on in your own time.
• During each session I will introduce some new sounds such as the “th” sound (ð for those who like IPA). We will spend time making sure the sound is pronounced correctly and practise it in the context of specific words and larger bodies of text. It’s then up to you to take it away and practice.
• Phonetic or IPA symbols will be used for my reference. However if this is something that interests you I can notate using phonetics.
• Often, where English is a second language, there is some work to be done on the pronunciation of spellings that signal multiple sounds, such as the letter “e”. This is the sort of thing we will focus on.
• I mainly work on sounds that cause the meanings of words to be confused, aiming for a clearer version of your own accent. For example “hit” and “heat” could easily be confused if the vowel sound is not pronounced correctly.
• Key to fluent speech is getting the right intonation and stress. The meaning of a word or sentence can be conveyed by intonation, so it is important to get it right. Even those with perfect English can convey the wrong meaning when they speak.
• Once you are comfortable, we will introduce some free speech as we try to work what you’ve learned into your natural speech. You can also bring your own text with specific terminology that relates to your profession.

What you get:
• Worksheets and live notes made during the session
• An individual vocal assessment
• Classes at your own pace

Ambassador

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

Experience

I trained in voice at a top drama school, The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where I obtained a BA in Acting. Having received three years of training in Received Pronunciation, I graduated with a keen interest in voice and dialect, going on to teach accent softening to those with English as a second language. I have taught people with many different dialects including Indian, Albanian, Greek, Polish, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, French and Italian. The methodology is the same, regardless of the dialect. Phonetically trained, I take a practical approach to teaching and learning dialects.

Currently, I am working towards an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and plan to research speech and auditory perception of speech in more detail. Already my studies have influenced my teaching as I discover more about the brain’s abilities and limitations in changing speech patterns. I must add that I am not a trained psychologist or therapist, despite the title of my postgraduate degree. My interest lies in scientific research.

As an actress I have been trained by many vocal coaches and have gone on to train others in how to speak confidently and assertively, be that for business or performance purposes.

Rates

Rate for online lessons : £40/h

Details

I offer 1 hour classes at £40 and a half an hour free consultation over Skype. In the introductory session we will form a study plan together and I can assess how best to use our time. I will send some material prior to this session and ask you to read it aloud so that I can assess which sounds need attention.

Lessons offered by Francesca
Individual
In group
The lessons will be held
webcam
Taught subjects
  • ESOL (English)
  • Oral expression - English
  • Written comprehension - English
  • Oral comprehension - English
  • Written expression - English
  • Accent Reduction-English
Levels
  • All Levels

Francesca's CV

2015 - Present

English Dialect Coach: See above for experience.

2019 – Present

Youth Teacher – Queens Theatre Hornchurch: Teaching ages 4-8 and 9-14 at the theatre’s Saturday class.

2017 - Present

Manager/Teacher: My own business, running drama classes for children and young people. The classes use drama techniques to boost confidence and enhance skills that are applicable to all areas of life and study. We use fun exercises that help young people to find their voice, stay focused and work together as a group. The classes are designed not only to enhance creativity and interpersonal skills, but are reported by parents to improve confidence and behaviour.

I also provide workshops for youth groups and schools, tailor made to suit the needs of a specific group. For example I recently ran some workshops for a young carers group in Barnet.

2015 – 2019

Workshop Facilitator - A Team Arts: Delivering education on key issues to schools and youth groups, including vulnerable students and those with Special Educational Needs.

Acting Work

As an actor I have performed in films and on TV for companies such as the BBC. I have also performed in theatres such as the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Birmingham Rep and Wales Millennium Centre. For a full list of my acting credits see (concealed information)

10 reviews on Francesca
  • 4.9/5

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

Perfect! Francesca is an excellent professional and I absolutely love her lessons. We’ve been working on my accent since April and I have to say I have already learnt a lot. I’m very happy and I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to soften their accent!
Virginia

L
Luis

Perfect! I've been having pronunciation lessons with Francesca for several months and it's been an amazing learning journey. She's lovely tutor and classes are great. She is always really focused in the lessons and takes notes of everything that doesn't sound right to be worked at a later time and she make sure that nothing is overlooked.

Francesca's response

Luis is a good student, he arrives on time and prepared. He works hard and is committed to the classes. A pleasure to teach.

W
William

Perfect! Highly recommend, Francesca very quickly identified issues within assessment and gave good written information and tuition to resolve. She is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.

I
Ikhtiar

Excellent! First of all, I am really thankful to Francesca, that within a very short time, she managed to prepared my friend for her B1 SELT exam. Few things I must say about her that, she is always well prepared for the lesson and understand the learner's need very well. I really appreciate her support and strongly recommended her as an English teacher.

Francesca's response

Ikhtiar recommended me to a friend who I have been tutoring B1 English. It's going very well and I'm thankful to him for setting it up.

J
Jemal

Perfect! Francesca is an excellent tutor. She responded quickly to my emails and was always on time for each lesson. Her approach of teaching is flexible and based on the person. She approached every lesson prepared with learning materials to help me progress quicker and answered all of my questions. I would highly recommend.

Francesca's response

Jemal is a brilliant student and I enjoyed our first lesson.

5 recommendations

B
Benedict

Francesca is both reliable and inspirational. She has single handedly set up a theatre training academy in East London that strives to give children from lower income backgrounds the same access to the arts as their more privileged counterparts. Francesca approaches each lesson with a great deal of intelligence, creativity and passion and I would have no hesitation in recommending her to students studying at any level.

Mark

Francesca is a fantastic tutor. She responded quickly to my emails and was always on time for each lesson. She was extremely knowledgeable and provided lots of learning material to help me progress quicker than I had imagined. Highly recommended.

V
Victoria

Francesca is a fantastic acting teacher and I couldn’t recommend her enough. She instantly makes you feel at ease and is really supportive.

V
Valerie

I know parents of children who have received acting lessons from Francesca. They praise her enthusiasm, innovative style and sensitivity to the particular needs of their children. I have observed her lessons and noticed children developing confidence to explore their talents in a safe, structured environment. Francesca is reliable and trustworthy, with several years experience of working with children and young people.

J
Jessica

Francesca is an excellent tutor, full of enthusiasm and expertise, and takes a very inclusive approach. She quickly builds positive, supportive relationships with her students.

Interview with Francesca

QUESTION 01 | 08
Do you speak this language fluently because of your origins or because a teacher inspired you to learn?
Francesca — English is my native language, though I studied dialects and accents when I trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. A third of my degree was focused on voice work and I learned not only how to speak clearly but discovered the biological mechanisms that produce speech and how to maneuver them in order to create the desired pronunciation. I trained in R.P. or "Received Pronunciation" which is the neutral English accent. Beyond getting A* grades in English language and literature at school, I went on to study modern and classical text in depth during my degree.
QUESTION 02 | 08
Can you name a living, historical or fictional character that you think is the emblematic representative of the language's culture?
Francesca — Shakespeare - I love Shakespeare's plays and poetry and think it's brilliant that his work is still taught in British schools.
QUESTION 03 | 08
Is there a typical word, phrase, tradition or behaviour in the language that you particularly like?
Francesca — It wasn't until I started teaching English and accent softening, that I realised we Brits use the word "pop" in a variety of colloquial ways. I've had a few students report that they've been in work places where phrases such as "pop it on my desk" or "I need to pop upstairs" have been used. Now I think about it, it is a strange use of the word, which more traditionally refers to a small explosion!
QUESTION 04 | 08
Why does speaking this language matter to you?
Francesca — I live in London where a diverse range of languages are spoken and I'm impressed the multitudes of people who speak English as a second language. It's important to celebrate language as it's how we communicate, make friends, express our feelings and it's important to the working world.
QUESTION 05 | 08
What is the main difficulty in learning this language and what can help the process of learning?
Francesca — English has lots of rules which are helpful to the learner, but in some respects it's also lawless which is less than helpful. Where "oo" is pronounced one way for the word "foot", it's pronounced another for the word "food". Words like this have identical or similar sounding consonants and the pronunciation of "oo" is therefore really important, to avoid confusion in meaning. In addition to this, there are some sounds that are unfamiliar to some languages, such as the voiced "th". I've worked with a lot of clients on the "th" sound.

Another difficulty with the English language can be the different tenses. This one is important for those preparing for B1 SELT exams.
QUESTION 06 | 08
Provide a valuable anecdote related to your language learning or your days at school.
Francesca — English is my native language so I don't have an anecdote about learning it. However I did once work for the English Speaking Theatre in Hamburg. We'd often have school trips watch the show, "The Importance of Being Earnest". They came because they were studying English as a second language, and often very good at it! There were lots of phrases or words that were specific to era and style of the play such as "shilly-shally," which means to act indecisively. This particular word would always warrant laughter from the audience - it became such a trigger for laughter that we'd have to fight to keep a straight face on stage.
QUESTION 07 | 08
How has travel or a specific trip helped you to increase your skill and knowledge of the language?
Francesca — Living in London and working alongside people with English as a second language has helped me to understand how the language is learned and viewed from the perspective of the learner.
QUESTION 08 | 08
What makes you a Superprof in language?
Francesca — I like to jump straight into teaching at the start of the class. This sounds like a given, but it would be all too easy to warm into it, losing a good five minutes of the session. The lesson time is precious and I'd rather spend it constructively than spend time booking in a next class or any practicalities. This may mean that organisation happens over email.

I put a lot of time into planning lessons and have built up a lot of resources to aid classes. Specifically, I have found ways to teach individual sounds that can throw those who want to work on accent and pronunciation. For most sounds, I have a word document which lists the different spelling variants, the possible pitfalls and the mechanics of how to make the sounds. I provide practice methods and materials, such as sentences that use a specific vowel or consonant frequently. I also allow people to record my voice if it is helpful.

For SELT exams, recording my voice has aided students as they try to use conjunctions and get into a rhythm of natural speech. By B1 level, sentence structure should not be stunted and listening to someone speak about the specific points of a student's chosen topic can be of use. Listening to the radio or television can help, but nothing can replace a one-to-one session in which students' individual topics are addressed.

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