Cynthia Grover

To create an accent

Audience focus: Teachers of adult learners, Business English teachers, Academic English teachers, Teacher trainers, Freelance teachers


Many teachers of English avoid teaching pronunciation because they are not certain what pronunciation to teach and/or how to teach pronunciation.
This workshop attacks this problem head on by stating the problem, presenting a range of solutions, and demonstrating practical tools that will make teachers more interested in teaching pronunciation; this will help students to communicate better.
First, I discuss the questions a student or a teacher should ask to decide what sounds will comprise the accent to be created. Second, I propose methods for teaching the created (usually composite) accent. Third, I present an example of an implementation and demonstrate useful tools, including SpeechAce, Google Translate, LearningApps, and audio from textbooks on teaching English that use varied or composite accents.


Cynthia Grover is from Halifax, Canada, and works as a freelance ESL teacher, editor, and translator in Brussels, Belgium.
Her academic background is in phonetics. At the request of Belgian language schools, she has written lesson plans for teaching phonetics and prosody to students learning English. She has supervised Master’s theses on teaching English to speakers of other languages for the University of Edinburgh and has worked as a university lecturer in Linguistics in Canada and as a prosodist in Belgium, which included the task of making speech synthesized by computer sound more like natural human speech. She has published academic articles on using online games that contain synthetic speech to help decide what pronunciation to teach students.