Since the beginning of my career, more than twenty years ago, online individual accent correction classes have always accounted for a good third of my teaching. They are not only of interest to students living or travelling abroad but also to all those who cannot make it to my office for a face-to-face lesson due to scheduling reasons.
From a pedagogical point of view, but also on a human level, the value of my distance lessons is that they are essentially identical to face-to-face sessions, even if the latter can offer a more convivial atmosphere.
The instant messaging function in Skype or Zoom is the equivalent to the notes I make when doing a face-to-face lesson. With both traditional and online methods of teaching, after each session the student receives my audio recording of these notes which are produced using a high-quality microphone. In addition, a complete set of written notes are also sent in a PDF format.
The increase in the number of online phonetics courses I have been doing in 2020 has made me more aware of the reasons for their high level of both efficiency and satisfaction and also the level of progress they can provide.
The education of the ear is an essential part of my programme, and our own ears are constantly trained throughout the session. The fact that we are equipped with headphones provides a greater listening accuracy, which is vital for the quality of the student's rendition of the word or phrase that I am saying and that I am asking them to repeat.
Another very interesting aspect of a pronunciation and diction course via video-link is that the student can concentrate on the face of the tutor and observe each articulation in order to be able to reproduce it correctly and, likewise, the teacher can also observe each movement of the student's mouth in detail.
Finally, thanks to the use of technology, the online accent reduction course gives a feeling of closeness, without limiting the content of the programme, including the singing section.