Today we’d like to introduce you to Derra Huxley.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I loved singing (actually still do) and became good at doing imitations of various accents and speech patterns that I heard. When I finally went to college and had to pick a major, speech pathology made the most sense since I enjoy working with individuals who need help with their speech production. I began working in the school system with children and found it very rewarding. Eventually, I took a seminar on Accent Reduction and realized that I had a true passion for this area.
Over 15 years ago, I developed my own practice, calling it Accent Reduction Now. I have worked with individuals from over 65 different countries who speak English as a second language, helping them to improve their production of Standard American speech. Many of my clients include Medical Professionals, Attorneys, Accountants, Teachers and Professors, College Students, Actors, Singers, Composers, Dancers, Models, Newscasters, and IT Professionals. I work with most clients on a one-to-one basis in person, but I also see some clients via Skype or Zoom when distance is an issue. I truly love meeting people from all over the world, learning about their cultures while teaching them to improve their English and learn about the American culture.
Although pronunciation is my main focus, I often help clients with any grammar issues they might have. Many people come to me sharing their frustration and/or embarrassment about their accents and feel that their accents are holding them back from a job or promotion they are trying to attain. Some clients are tired of being asked where they are from as soon as they open their mouths and would prefer to have people pay more attention to WHAT they are saying rather than HOW they are saying it.
I always like to let them know they should be proud of the fact that they speak two languages fluently, which is not that easy for most people. There are many benefits to improving one’s pronunciation of Standard American English. For actors, it can help them to be considered for a wider variety of roles and to feel more confident going on auditions. For physicians and other health care professionals, improving their pronunciation can help to eliminate misunderstandings with patients and colleagues. In an academic setting, teachers and professors can be more clearly understood to enhance the learning process. For attorneys, reducing an accent can help to provide better communication with clients and in the courtroom as well as phone conversations.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Once I established a website, it made my business more accessible to be found. Also, offering my services online to clients in cities, states, and countries far from the Los Angeles area has proven to be an excellent way for me to help so many more people that have the desire to improve their spoken English.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Accent Reduction Now story. Tell us more about the business.
What sets me apart is my experience as a licensed California speech pathologist, with both B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University Northridge in Communicative Disorders, as well as many years of doing articulation therapy with children and adults prior to specializing in Accent Reduction. I have also developed a large amount of my own materials that are extremely helpful to my clients.
I also feel that my love of music/singing enhances my ability to help my clients with learning the musicality and intonation patterns of English.
My strong interest in languages from around the world may also play a part in my ability to understand why certain sounds are difficult for a non-native speaker of English to pronounce. I feel that I have much empathy for people trying to learn and improve their English when it is a language that has so many exceptions and contradictions in spelling and pronunciation.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel very fortunate that I have found a profession that I am very good at and truly enjoy. I am so happy to meet so many people from around the globe and to help make a difference in their lives. I really don’t see myself ever retiring!
- Address: Sherman Oaks, CA
- Website: www.AccentReductionNow.com
- Phone: 818-385-1716
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @Accent_Reduction_Now
- Facebook: Accent Reduction Now
- Twitter: @AccentModLA
- Yelp: Accent Reduction Now or Derra Huxley