Here are our best resources for learning dialects and accents:
Paul Meier is an outstanding dialect teacher located in the midwest. His book is worth every penny– and includes CDs. In addition to his book and downloads online, Paul worked on the website below. It’s a compilation of real people reading in most dialects you can think of. If you need real examples of dialects, use the following link:
IDEA website— IDEA International Dialects of English Archive
For dialect coaching in the Seattle area or by Skype:
Gin Hammond, Voice Specialist and co-founder of the Seattle Voice Institute is available for private coaching or to come and work with groups. Gin has coached at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It Repertory, Seattle Public Theatre, and for online games at Bungie and more. You can book Gin through this site. Just head to “Contact Us.”
Dialect Resource is the website of Gillian Lane-Plescia, another great resource for dialect coaching:
And for fun– and great training, check out Amy Walker. She’s amazing.
More on speech work:
Knight-Thompson Speechwork is a highly effective, skills-based approach to speech and accent training for actors that places emphasis on developing the speaker’s detailed awareness of—and deep engagement with—the precise physical actions which make up speech. By combining a rigorous investigation of those actions with playful, experiential exercises, this work moves quickly and effectively past the usual interference that can make speech work difficult for many students.The primary guiding principle is curious, attentive interrogation—interrogation of what we’re doing physically when we speak; interrogation of what physical habits we may bring to the act of speaking that inhibit free and flexible expression; interrogation of what it is that makes speech intelligible or unintelligible; thoughtful investigation of what any text, moment, or medium might require from the actor in terms of skilled speech; interrogation of what, precisely, makes up what we call an ‘accent’; interrogation of what it is that allows actors to most efficiently, skillfully, and accurately adopt different accents.