847-436-3740 sharyn@clearlysaid.net

Why I do this

This program helped me not to be afraid of my accent. Sharyn provided great materials and personal support. I improved my speech and am now a confident English speaker. I learned that the more I practiced what I learned, the more I improved.

D.Z., Realtor, Russia

I live in a diverse community and so often I see people who are

  • embarrassed to speak in public,
  • anxious about making telephone calls,
  • turned down for jobs they’re well-qualified for,
  • and who are generally misunderstood on a daily basis.

I decided to apply my background as a speech-language pathologist to help accented English speakers perfect their ability to speak clearly and confidently in English.

 

When people finish my training they tell me they feel relieved, as they no longer see those blank stares that tell them they’re not connecting with their listeners.

And my greatest joy is to hear my clients say they feel good when speaking English because they can express exactly what they want to say and know they’re completely understood.

I live in a diverse community and so often I see people who are

  • embarrassed to speak in public,
  • anxious about making telephone calls,
  • turned down for jobs they’re well-qualified for,
  • and who are generally misunderstood on a daily basis.

I decided to apply my background as a speech-language pathologist to help accented English speakers perfect their ability to speak clearly and confidently in English.

 

When people finish my training they tell me they feel relieved, as they no longer see those blank stares that tell them they’re not connecting with their listeners.

And my greatest joy is to hear my clients say they feel good when speaking English because they can express exactly what they want to say and know they’re completely understood.

This program helped me not to be afraid of my accent. Sharyn provided great materials and personal support. I improved my speech and am now a confident English speaker. I learned that the more I practiced what I learned, the more I improved.

D.Z., Realtor, Russia

My background and my immigrant grandparents

My earliest memories of immigrants and the power of communication has to do with my grandparents. What I experienced those many years ago led me to the work I do today.

My father’s parents came to this country unable to speak English and settled here in a community of people from their own background. They spoke very little English and did not communicate with people outside of their neighborhood. Although they loved their children and grandchildren, we were never able to know each other as well as if we had been able to speak the same language.

My mother’s mother came to the United States when she was 10 and learned to speak English fluently, so she adapted easily to life in this country. She actively participated in all kinds of social events and activities in this country. From her, I learned to have the courage to speak up for myself, feel confident in my abilities, and create meaningful work for myself.

All of my grandparents were loving and generous. But the difference between these relationships was based on one significant factor:

their ability to verbally communicate with me.

I started with speech disorders

In high school, I volunteered to work with children with special needs who had difficulty expressing themselves and I helped them improve their verbal communication. The work we did together:

  • expanded their worlds,
  • enabled them to work in groups with other children,
  • helped them communicate their feelings,
  • and allowed them to feel better about their own abilities.

I offered them the tools to express themselves.

I went on to specialize in speech-language pathology. I studied:

  • how children develop language,
  • how humans physically produce and recognize the sounds of verbal speech,
  • and how our innate drive to form meaningful relationships connects us.

I graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders and worked for several years with children and adults who exhibited a wide range of communication challenges.

Sharyn is a great teacher. She is kind, patient and skilled. The facial and diaphragmatic exercises helped so much with my pronunciation. The precise word production and voice projection exercises were very beneficial, too. I had such a difficult time with certain consonants that I now can pronounce. My intonation has improved, too. I express myself more effectively and confidently in English after working with Sharyn.

P.C., Physician, Thailand

…and then I became a trainer for accented speakers

I am very glad I participated in the accent modification training program. I learned how to speak using the American dialect and understand the American accent. I improved a lot, especially in my work, but also in my personal life. I recommend this program to everyone who wants to succeed in life in the United States. Though our work was last year, I still feel confident and comfortable with the changes in my speech.

Z.A., Project Supervisor, Iraq

At that time, I observed the adults around me who, like my paternal grandparents, weren’t fluent in spoken English and were struggling.

They had learned English from other accented speakers back in their home countries.

They believed they could communicate and when they arrived here, they were devastated when no one could understand them. They felt unwelcomed by people whose own relatives had been immigrants.

These new immigrants were educated, intelligent, creative, and motivated to succeed in their professions.

They came here seeking better lives for themselves and their families but instead found disappointment, exclusion, and lack of opportunity.

I completed specialized training in accent modification, achieved certification, and created a customized training program for non-native English speakers.

Now I train intelligent, dynamic, motivated, creative, and fully capable adults who never had the opportunity to learn to speak English proficiently.

At that time, I observed the adults around me who, like my paternal grandparents, weren’t fluent in spoken English and were struggling.

They had learned English from other accented speakers back in their home countries.

They believed they could communicate and when they arrived here, they were devastated when no one could understand them. They felt unwelcomed by people whose own relatives had been immigrants.

These new immigrants were educated, intelligent, creative, and motivated to succeed in their professions.

They came here seeking better lives for themselves and their families but instead found disappointment, exclusion, and lack of opportunity.

I completed specialized training in accent modification, achieved certification, and created a customized training program for non-native English speakers.

Now I train intelligent, dynamic, motivated, creative, and fully capable adults who never had the opportunity to learn to speak English proficiently.

I am very glad I participated in the accent modification training program. I learned how to speak using the American dialect and understand the American accent. I improved a lot, especially in my work, but also in my personal life. I recommend this program to everyone who wants to succeed in life in the United States. Though our work was last year, I still feel confident and comfortable with the changes in my speech.

Z.A., Project Supervisor, Iraq

Credentials

  • Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) awarded by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Licensure authorized by Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA) in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northern Illinois University

Affiliations

  • Preferred Accent Trainer, Level 2, LDS and Associates
  • Member, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Member, Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA)
  • Executive Board Member and Programming Committee Chair, North Suburban Speech and Language Association (NSSLA)

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