Phyllis Cohen is The Canadian Pronunciation Coach. She began her career with a degree in French from the University of Toronto, followed by a successful career as a performer, composer and singing coach. She starred as Edith Piaf, touring across Canada and performing in Los Angeles, California, where She won the Hollywood DramaLogue Critics’ Award for outstanding achievement in theatre.
She returned to Toronto, wrote music for theatre, films and radio, and taught singing for actors at York University. Yet despite a successful career in entertainment, She always felt something was missing.
She left the world of entertainment to work in a fully bilingual environment while returning to school to earn my certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of English as a Second Language (TESL). Working as an anglophone speaking French interacting daily with native French speakers while studying for my teaching credentials,she gained insight into the psychology and sensitivities of accent management.
As a TESL-certified instructor, she worked with the Ontario government, intergovernmental agencies, smaller companies and bigger corporations, such as IKEA and Yamaha, teaching English as a Second Language (and, in some cases, French as a Second Language) until shewas able to focus entirely on accent management for advanced speakers of ESL.
Studies in the last few years have shown that native English speakers perceive people with foreign accents to be less truthful, less competent, less employable and less able to influence. Is it any surprise that what happened to my tenant so many years ago continues to be a fact of life for many? Clearly, we need to change our perceptions and address our biases.
That’s where she felt her skills could be most useful. Helping people who miss out on opportunities because they are prejudged based on their accents.
Phyllis has weekly blog at https://canadianpronunciationcoach.wordpress.com/ with thoughts about English pronunciation, and a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeHmgBSva90&list=UUtLnMIqmYW9uRCi_Kx48AaQ, .My goal is, always, to help advanced speakers of English as a Second Language connect in a new way with colleagues, clients, customers, patients and kids.