- Hourly rate £50
- Response Time 2h
- Number of students 50+
1st lesson free!
Oxford and LAMDA graduate with 13 years tutoring experience. Online accent and voice coach helping you to find clarity and confidence in your voice, leaving your listeners content.
We host the best tutors. Quality of their profile, experience in their field. James will be happy to arrange your first Accent Reduction-English lesson.
About the lesson
My experience in actor training encouraged exploration. Working with voice can require a similar explorative effort, although specific methodology is catered for with the client's specific needs in mind.
Some clients will wish to modify just a few key sounds in the build up to the delivery of a particular speech in order to ensure intelligibility. Others prefer a wider study of potential phonetic adjustments that might increase clarity for any purpose, whether for their job, or for the building of confidence in communication with others.
Whatever the reason, I will always encourage the client to consider carefully what they are hoping achieve from our sessions so as to ensure that the 'uniqueness' of their voice is maintained alongside adjustments made during our sessions.
You will be shown relevant phonetic symbols as a marker for your reference, and will be given exercises to practise specific sounds outside of our sessions. These will be applied to appropriate texts, and, if you are comfortable in doing so, may be further applied to short, unrehearsed conversations in order to encourage natural flow in your delivery.
- Accent Reduction-English
- All Levels
I am a professional actor and accent coach who has a passion for helping people find a way to express themselves with confidence.
Having left Magdalen College, Oxford in 2008, I trained at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA), graduating in 2013. Alongside voice and accent coaching, I have continued to build my acting career in film and television.
My tutoring experience began in academia, developing into acting and voice tuition for actors and corporate clients alike. I run a company specialising in the sharing of creative skills, in which I lead vocal sessions with attendees to who have often had little to no experience. My latest project saw the development and production of a series of short films for a growing independent estate agents in London.
Perfect! I always look forward to lessons with James. His lessons are engaging, informative, give a full account of British sounds and actually help me to sound even more natural in my daily speech. James demonstrates the position of the tongue as well as provides a detailed illustration of how the mouth works and what actually happens in all aspects of sound production. I highly recommend!
Perfect! I would highly recommend James. He helped me greatly to improve my communication by providing targeted exercises and an action plan each week, which enabled me to reach my communication goals. Thank you so much James!
Perfect! James showed me and demonstrated the position of the tongue, opening his own mouth, and using his own tongue, and drawing me an illustration of the position of the tongue, it was very useful for me, i felt impressed.
Perfect! James has managed to make me step out of my comfort zone when aiming to reduce my accent. With sufficient eye for detail, repetition where needed, but also a good pace to get through every lesson. It is and has been a very learn full experience for me. I do feel that I continue to make improvements after every lesson. In the lessons there is enough time for a good laugh, which makes learning also enjoyable. James is open to preferences and suggestions on the methods to be used. He is also creative and looking for solutions when thinking of practice and exercises.
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My work with James was thoroughly successful in achieving my primary goal of improving on dexterity in speech. We worked through several parts of speech in detail, including breath support, jaw release and tongue dexterity. Isolating these aspects really helped me to understand how the voice works and can be adjusted, and gave me the tools to make improvements alone. I use the tools we worked on regularly in my work. I would highly recommend working with James if you have the opportunity.
James led myself and a number of others in vocal work in group sessions over a two year period. I was highly impressed with his knowledge and the variety of exercises he called upon to help develop our skills. James designed the nature of his workshops with the general needs of the group in mind, but ensured that each individual received notes specific to their needs. I particularly enjoyed the application of the work to text, which revealed how effective the exercises were when put into practice. I have no hesitation in recommending James.
I recently used James’ service to produce some promotional videos for my company and found his training and tips on presentation to be invaluable in terms of engaging an audience. I am now in a position to put these new skills into practice on a regular basis and have no doubt that my business will expand as a result. His fees are fantastic value for money and I do not hesitate to recommend his services.
James is a highly dedicated teacher. We built a rapport quickly, which made sessions enjoyable and engaging. In our sessions, he was attentive to detail, and took into account my past experience (or lack of) in his field in order to generate a bespoke approach towards my needs. James helped me to feel confident in communicating my thoughts intelligibly with my clients. He intuitively knew how to resolve challenges I faced when dealing with technical aspects of phonetics. I would highly recommend him and have indeed recommended him to others.
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- 5h: £250
- 10h: £500
Find out more about James
Do you speak this language fluently because of your origins or because a teacher inspired you to learn?
I grew up in London, and have therefore spoken English for my entire life. My dad inspired me to enjoy the use of words, and I followed in his footsteps as an actor, using words to tell stories. At drama school, I honed my interest in accents, and I've always been fascinated by other cultures, having read Archaeology and Anthropology before training as an actor. I have subsequently formalised my training in the specialism of accent and dialect work as a teacher.
Can you name a living, historical or fictional character that you think is the emblematic representative of the language's culture?
No, and I would not attempt to. The reason for this is that the work I do is based on the principles of inclusivity and acceptance of all accents. To name one emblematic representative would not be useful within the context of my work. Rather, I would choose to embrace the eclectic cultures and sounds we hear across the U.K.
Is there a typical word, phrase, tradition or behavior in the language that you particularly like?
I like how the 'glottal stop' appears as a silent contributor to many words across many accents. It's not just within the accent of cockney in which we replace a 't' with a glottal sound: e.g. 'Betty bought a bit of butter'. It's use is far more complex, and takes great attention to detail in order to identify the sound within many accents.
Why does speaking this language matter to you?
As speaking any language matters to anyone. Any language allows for communication of complex thoughts and ideas, or needs and wants. Every language has its own character, which makes them unique and special. This is the same with any accent. If I transpose this question to considering accents rather than languages, speaking R.P. matters no more and no less to me than speaking any other accent. They all have a story to tell.
What is the main difficulty in learning this language and what can help the process of learning?
Transposing the word 'language' to 'accent' once again, if a speaker has not been exposed to a great deal of R.P., it can be difficult to identify which word belongs to which lexical set. Lexical sets offer guidelines for how to pronounce words with similar spelling, although sometimes an intuitive understanding helps to separate splits between similarly spelt words. E.g. the word 'goat' does not share the same two vowel sounds (diphthongs) as the word 'goal' in a modern R.P. accent. Even native speakers of modern R.P. might not be aware of the difference until it is demonstrated and explained.
Provide a valuable anecdote related to your language learning or your days at school.
Perhaps an interesting observation, rather than anecdote, is the concept of trying to 'pass' as a native speaker of any accent. While this is the goal of many actors who are delivering scripted lines, there is often a sense of confusion as to the degree of effort one gives to certain non-English words when speaking in every day life.
The word 'croissant', for example, might offer a conundrum to English speakers: should we completely change our oral posture and remove the 'r' sound, finishing the word with a nasalised /ɔ/, or do we keep the 'r' and the 'n', perhaps just losing the 't'? The sudden transition from R.P. tendencies to French can be difficult to manoeuvre, and were certainly tricky for me as a child desperate not to insult the sounds of the French language.
How has travel or a specific trip helped you to increase your skill and knowledge of the language?
I am not a language teacher, but as an accent coach, any travel is helpful to immerse one's self in the sounds of another language. When visiting Cork in Ireland as a child, a man in reception at our hotel mentioned that our car was waiting for us outside. I had understood everything he had said up to this moment, but suddenly, I could only conclude that he had arranged some 'care' for us, and it had just arrived. This was eye opening for me, allowing me, for the first time, to acknowledge the complexity and beauty in the variety of sounds that come together to form different accents.
What makes you a Superprof in accents?
I like to listen carefully. Being able to listen allows you to recreate sounds with more precision.
As a trained actor, working with accents is a part of my work. However, beyond this, I have trained further with Knight-Thompson Speechwork, accent specialists who delve deep into the workings of the International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA), but also offer a method for the creation of a full, rounded picture of any accent.