Speech Athletes is committed to inspiring and training gifted professionals who are speakers of English as a Foreign Language (EFLs) to raise their oral presentation and communication skills to the level of their professional competency. Presentation and pronunciation make a powerful impact in professional and personal interactions: Research confirms that - even more than grammar - clear, accurate pronunciation determines whether the listener successfully understands the speaker. Non-verbal cues of posture and expression can also either enhance or detract from effective communication. We are here to guide and spur our dedicated professional clients the rest of the way to success. Many EFLs simply give up attempting to better their pronunciation after discouraging efforts. We at Speech Athletes know and believe that these challenges can be met, when committed clients meet skillful instruction. In addition, the process is enjoyable and exciting, when a dedicated client and executive trainer meet and exceed any previous expectations.
Susanne Katchko: Master Trainer, Speech Athletes
Susanne Katchko has been teaching ESL and Accent Reduction for over twenty years, helping her students achieve outstanding results. She holds a B.A. in English from Simmons College and speaks five languages fluently (French, Spanish, English, Hebrew and Yiddish). She is a graduate of the Uriel Weinreich Yiddish Intensive of Summer 2009 and the Yiddish League Teacher Training Course of Summer 2016. A trained actor and musician, her presentation skills and acute perception of aural nuances uniquely qualify her to significantly improve the oral presentation skills of her clients.
After a diagnostic Oral Pre-Test, we create a plan of study to achieve concrete results. Our studies cover phonemes (vowels and consonants), rhythm, stress and intonation. Using personalized and standardized approaches, our textbook, recordings and other materials, students engage in “minimal differences” exercises to hear the distinction between their pronunciation and American-English pronunciation. Grammar study is integrated into the course. The learning environment is supportive, positive and encouraging. With extensive experience in linguistics and music, we are able to detect fine nuances in sound, enhancing the effectiveness of coaching sessions. The most effective approach by far is one-to-one lessons. These provide the environment of comfort and confidence needed for optimal student progress.