Why does your accent matter?

If your purpose of speaking English is no more than to make yourself understood in an international business setting or for socialisation, your foreign accent per se may not cause too much trouble as long as it is within the threshold of intelligibility. Nor will your speech sound offensive or make your interlocutor too uncomfortable if the sentences you utter during the conversation is satisfactorily grammatical with proper choice of words.
In acting or singing, however, your foreign accent can cause a lot of trouble. When it comes to stage performances or TV dramas, your pronunciation has to be clear and, more importantly, your accent is expected to be representative of the region where the character you play is supposed to come from, or of the genre the song you sing belongs to.

What I can offer as a phonetician

When it comes to learning a foreign language, it is always the case that what is given little attention by the native speaker is the hardest nut to crack for the foreign learner. This is also the case with pronunciation. For example, few native speakers of English don’t exactly know what is really going on in their mouths when they speak Englsih. They could not tell you precisely how the lips, tongue and jaw move to pronounce combinations of consonants and vowels.
Ideal accent correction can only be given by an expert in phonetics. As a phonetician with specialised knowledge of speech sounds and speech mechanisms, I can help you improve your pronunciation of English in a systematic way.

Received Pronunciation & General American

The pronunciation models on which my accent correction is based are Received Pronunciation (RP) or more broadly General British (GB), and General American (GA or GenAm). These two types of pronunciation have the highest intelligibility and are most widely taught to EFL learners throughout the world.


Born in Tokyo (1958)
Obtained an MA in Phonetics at University College, London (1988).
Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies, Kyorin University until March, 2009.
Currently teaching part-time at Kyorin University and Meiji University.

Academic activities
• Lifetime member of the International Phonetic Association.
• Member of the Phonetic Society of Japan.
• Member of the Japanese Association of Sociolinguistic Science.

Academic articles
• “Some remarks on the revised International Phonetic Alphabet: Focusing on consonants”, Kyorin University Review, Vol. 8, 1996.
• “Estuary English and the future of RP: From sociolinguistic and pedagogical viewpoints”, Kyorin University Review, Vol. 14, 2002.
• “No more as it used to sound?: A preliminary investigation into the Liverpool accent”, Kyorin University Review, Vol. 16, 2004.

I have also authored and coauthored some books and compiled some textbooks of English.

How to contact me

If you wish to improve your pronunciation, or if you would like to have further information about my service, please contact me at  <s-tanaka@hatsuon-kyosei.com>.