Webinar 18: What is MLE?

Questions about this or any webinar? Contact KTS Webinar Series organizers Jeff Parker and Julie Foh at ktswebinars@gmail.com. Please join us Monday, December 10th, at 4pm (EST) for our 18th Knight-Thompson Speechwork webinar! “What is MLE?” will be an hour-long online discussion of the Multicultural London English accent, or “MLE,” possibly pronounced [ˈɛmɪˌli̽]. The discussion will kick off with a facilitated conversation among linguist Paul Kerswill, coaches Mary Howland and Linda Nicholls-Gidley, and New York actor Noah Anderson about the linguistic features and development of MLE, and how it is taught, learned, and used as an accent for actors. The conversation […]

Webinar 17: Finding Character Through an Exploration of Oral Posture

Questions about this or any webinar? Contact KTS Webinar Series organizers Jeff Parker and Julie Foh at ktswebinars@gmail.com. Please join us Monday, November 12th, at 4pm (EST) for our 17th Knight-Thompson Speechwork webinar! KTS Certified Teacher Kathryn L. Johnston will host “Finding Character Through an Exploration of Oral Posture.” This webinar will be a physical exploration of oral posture – one of KTS’s fundamental concepts – in a way that is fun and engaging. Exploring oral posture as a way to find vocal characterization can be used to introduce or solidify the names and actions of the muscles of articulation and […]

How Many Accents?

From Jeremy: In the last two posts, we (the editors) introduced ourselves and let you eavesdrop on one of our conversations. But enough about us! We’d like to hear from you. The big question I’m wrestling with today is: In a college accents course, how many accents should be covered, and which ones? Here’s a little more background… At the end of last term, I asked the students enrolled in my accents class what about the course was useful and what needed work. Everyone agreed that oral posture was a revelation and super-useful. Many were frustrated by the phonetics– as […]

Vocal Tract Posture and Four-Year-Olds

A version of this post was previously published in The VASTA Voice. Getting the vocal tract posture of a language or an accent right is a crucial part of successful accent acquisition. Vocal tract posture (also called oral posture), is the particular patterning of muscular engagement, release, and positioning characteristic of individuals and groups of speakers. It is, if you will, the ‘home base’ for an accent, and can be thought of as the position to which the vocal tract returns when at rest, or when preparing to speak or resume speaking. Phoneticians call it articulatory basis, or basis of […]

Accent Coach Apologizes for Offending an Entire People! Read all about it!

In 2011 I was approached by an online “how-to” site to do a series of 2-5 minute “teaser” accent videos. The sort where you learn a few key features of an accent and you’re on your way. Great for the actor who has an audition in a few hours and needs a little something to point them in the right direction. The company asked me to make a list of all the accents I could do in a one-day recording session. They said, “You know, like 30 or 40.” O.      K.   Eager to please, I made as […]