About Us

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Speech Athletes Oral Presentation Coaching

Our Mission 


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.


Methodology


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.  



Testimonials

  

Susanne provided a pronunciation and speech session to a group of non-native English speakers at Columbia Law School. Her class was very well received and the students were grateful to be a part of this class. Susanne’s teaching methods were clear and she provided a safe space for everyone to practice their pronunciation without judgment. I would recommend Susanne to those who wish to improve their English pronunciation.

              Master of Law

              APALSA LLM Representative

              Columbia Law School


Susanne is an outstanding accent reduction coach. We are so pleased with the improvement she has helped bring about in our son's accent. We engaged her services to help him improve his spoken English accent. Our son is a native Spanish speaker who came to the U.S. as a teenager. His English proficiency is quite good, however, his strong foreign accent has been an impediment to his career advancement.


Thanks to Susanne's motivating lessons, our son is on his way to a Gold Medal in both pronunciation and fluency in English. 


I am a language professional myself (applied linguistics). In observing several of her lessons with our son (via internet), I have seen first hand how powerful her teaching is. She is incredibly supportive, knowledgeable, and intuitive in her field. She consistently chooses the next pronunciation issue to address and finds creative and compelling ways to engage and inspire our young man.


Thanks to Susanne's expertise in her field and to her upbeat supportive approach, our son's pronunciation and intonation are much improved. This investment in our son will certainly help him in his career.


In conclusion, let me say again that I highly recommend Susanne Katchko as a coach for accent reduction.


-- A.A., ESL Teacher, Great Neck, NY Public Schools



结识Susanne是一件极其幸运的机缘巧合。作为一名在纽约工作的管理咨询顾问,我经常为自己的英语而烦恼 : 虽然我可以把语义尽职尽责地表达出来,与我的同事相比,我的英语总是少了一份地道和优美。而沟通恰恰是一个咨询顾问的基本功。


一次在哥伦比亚大学门前的偶遇,让我第一次了解到了Susanne 的“去除口音”课程 (Accent Reduction)。在每次一个小时的课程里,我会和 Susanne一对一在一个隔音的教室对话,纠正特定的音节和口音习惯。她不仅帮我点出我多年来都没有意识到的偏差,而且还像声乐老师一样一点一点纠正我的发音 (我后来毫不惊奇地发现她真的有过专业的声乐经历,对声音极其敏感)。而通过针对性的课后作业,我可以着重练习正确发音 – 仅仅两个月的时间,我的同事对我的进步直言不讳。我真的非常自豪,所以真心希望看到这里的你们,也可以抓住机会,在美语口语上精益求精!


具体联系信息:Susanne Katchko 美语口音教练,为意欲提高和完善英语水平的职场人士、白领、企业高管、学生等提供一对一的私教课程。有意向者请联系


-- Y.C., Management Consultant


Her care in class preparation, ... creativity and detailed responses to students' work are impressive and extraordinary.


-- S.L.C., Corporate Execut

Pronunciation Workshop - Mandarin

Full Session - Hosted by Vicky Chen with Leo, Mandarin-Speaker

Leo & Susanne: Mandarin-to-American Accent

Mandarin-Speaking Artist , Leo Liu, improves his pronunciation of "L" and long "O."  It's exacting work, but Leo is a fantastic student and makes measurable progress!



Eli & Susanne: Israeli-to-American Accent

MOSTLY IN ENGLISH, WITH A LITTLE HEBREW (subtitles on the way, technology allowing):  Instruction begins at 4 minutes (post-introductions):  


In this 31-minute session, LA-based, Israeli-born Dad and actor (his self-description - love that!), Eli Revivo, works on "r" and long "e" ("reading") and short "i" ("finish"). With precision and focus on both their parts, Eli and Speech Athletes Master Trainer Susanne Katchko see amazing progress!