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Accent Advisor Review Summary

Accent Advisor pays experienced teachers from the US and Canada $15-25 an hour to improve adult learners’ American accents. You must have a degree or certification, be willing to work 15+ hours a week, and be knowledgeable about vocal mechanics to pass the rigorous interview process.

Pay (per hour):$15-25
Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?US, Canada
TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?No*
Degree / diploma required?No*
Adult / child students?Adults
Class size:1
Minimum hours (per week):15
*either, or a vocal-related certification

Accent Advisor Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Positive reports from employees
  • Only need a degree OR teaching/vocal certification (not both)
  • No penalties for being late, taking time off, last minute cancelations, technical difficulties, etc.
  • Prep and evaluation time is paid for

Cons:

  • Only North American Native Speakers can apply
  • Must pass three tough interviews
  • Need to have a confident grasp of vocal mechanics (not suitable for a lot of ESL teachers)
  • Very selective in who they hire
  • Must be able to commit to a minimum of 15 hours a week
  • Have to stay active and maintain student interest/enrolments to retain classes

Is Accent Advisor Legit?

Accent Advisor is a legitimate company focused on helping people speak with a neutral American accent. Their learners are primarily adult expatriates living in the USA, though they do work with students elsewhere in the world. The company’s headquarters are in New York, and they have over 90 tutors (as of April 2021).

How Much Does Accent Advisor Pay?

The Accent Advisor salary starts at $15 per hour. This rate increases by $1 for every 500 hours that are taught until it caps out at $25.

Unlike many online teaching companies, prep and evaluation time is paid for, nor are there any penalties for being late, taking time off, last-minute cancelations or technical difficulties. Teachers also receive full pay for any student no shows or late cancelations.

Accent Advisor payments are made via PayPal at the start of every month (upon submitting an invoice).

Accent Advisor Hours

Accent Advisor peak hours are 7am-midnight (Eastern Standard Time), but classes are available 24/7.

Accent Advisor teachers must be willing to work a minimum of 15 hours a week (maximum of 40 hours) and maintain a consistent weekly schedule for regular students, which they can choose (students open their available time slots for teachers to select them as opposed to vice versa).

Accent Advisor classes last 25 minutes.

Accent Advisor Requirements

The Accent Advisor teacher requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a North American (USA/Canada) Native Speaker
  • Ability to teach the standard American accent and have clear speech without a strong regional accent
  • At least two years of Accent, ESL or Pronunciation teaching experience
  • Possess at least one of the following:
    • Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics/English
    • TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate
    • Vocal-related degree/certification
  • Able to utilize Skype video calls over a stable internet connection with a minimum upload speed of 5 Mbps (you can test your internet speed here)
  • Minimum of 15 hours a week commitment

Advantageous but not essential is an:

  • Ability to mimic and understand the mechanics of foreign accents (Russian, Chinese, Indian, etc.)
  • Ability to speak another language in addition to English

Accent Advisor Application Process

The Accent Advisor hiring process can take around 4 weeks, but is quite arduous involving 3 tricky interviews, and the company is very selective as to which candidates they wish to progress.

You can apply for Accent Advisor jobs via the Accent Advisor careers page. Once you click on the ‘Apply Now’ button at the bottom of the page, you will register your name, email address and password, before filling in an online application form with the following information:

  • Self-introduction
  • Education level
  • Relevant experience (years)
  • Nationality
  • Currently residing in (State)
  • Fluent in (languages)
  • Teaching certificate
  • Online or face-to-face (teaching)
  • Grew up in (State)
  • Residence for taxes (State)
  • Replicate other accents?
  • How many hours per week are you available to work?
  • How did you hear about Accent Advisor?
  • Upload resume
  • Upload teaching certificate

You will then be asked to record yourself reading a prescribed text, such as this:

Accent Advisor Interview

After submitting your Accent Advisor application, you must pass three separate interviews, each around 30 minutes long. All interviewers will ask you briefly about your background. The first includes an internet speed test and mock session. The second interview is another mock session with the head teacher, and then the final one is more about the company and how you will fit in there.

These are some Accent Advisor interview questions that previous candidates have been asked:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • How many hours would you like to work?
  • Do you already have another job?
  • What are your long-term plans?
  • What is your teaching style?
  • Why are some letters pronounced differently depending on their placement?
  • How can you say [insert example] properly?
  • How would you help this student say the word ‘wrong’ with 100% American English?

By most accounts, the Accent Advisor interview process is relatively difficult with a low success rate, and many of the unfavorable perspectives circulated about the company seem shaped by having had a poor interview. This is reflected on the Accent Advisor Glassdoor page, where of the 7 people who shared their interview experience, only one listed it as having been positive, with one neutral and all the others negative.

Before the first interview you will receive an email indicating the skills they want you to focus on, including a selection of YouTube videos on the pronunciation of R, Flap T, NG, etc. However, a common complaint is that people are deliberately asked questions not covered by the preparation email, so you really have to know your subject and be comfortable thinking on your feet. For example:

“She then brought up the example of kitten sounding not like kit-ten. The answer was to explain flap t. But I think this is where I answered a wrong question I guess, she asked so if kitten is pronounced kidden, then why is attack pronounced attack and not with flap t? So I didn’t really know the answer, and I was trying to figure it out by saying attack out loud a bit and said this is what I think it may be, but I don’t want to give you any incorrect information… The lady then stops the role as a student and says, oh it’s fine that you don’t know that, I didn’t send it to you to study, so don’t worry. But so? I didn’t get the job.”

The mock part of the interview(s) involves the interviewer saying various words/statements in a foreign accent before you coach them in the correct American English pronunciation. A common question posed is How would you help this student say the word ‘wrong’ with 100% American English? This is how one candidate responded:

“So for the demo, she faked a thick accent and pronounced her wrong as Wuhrrr(rolling the R)onGUH. It was a bit exaggerated. But nonetheless, we went through all the steps together, and I did what I thought was an… easy to follow and optimistic way of working through her pronunciation? I worked on correcting the r sound, the guh sound not being so exaggerated, ng, etc. The only thing I think (?) I may have missed I guess is not using the exact wording of saying that the stress/inflection of the word is not at the G. I just explained trying to make the g sound more like ng. She didn’t ask me to show the ng sound in the mouth.”

Here is another interviewee’s recollection of this question:

“…during the student role play part of the interview the word I had to correct was ‘wrong.’ The interviewer was pronouncing the ‘r’ as a rolled Spanish ‘r’ to which of course I corrected her. Then she was pronouncing the ‘ng’ as a strong ‘g’ sound. Afterwards, she asked me why the ‘t’ sound in ‘attack’ is different from the ‘t’ sound in ‘water’.”

Even if you pass the interviews and are hired, you must be able to start immediately or the offer may be withdrawn, as this candidate reported on Reddit:

Working for Accent Advisor

It is important to stress that Accent Advisor is not like most ESL jobs. Its students are already fluent in English and primarily want to reduce and neutralize their foreign accent. You will have to be conscious of your mouth movements and be able to explain the muscle mechanics behind pronunciation (e.g. tongue on alveolar ridge, soft palette, voiced/unvoiced, etc.).

Accent Advisor classes last 25 minutes and are conducted one-on-one through Skype.

Teaching materials are provided and are good quality, but they also encourage teachers to supplement these with their own resources.

The company prioritizes student retention, grading teachers on whether a learner stays with them or not. Teachers who struggle to maintain interest have been known to have their students reassigned without warning.

Accent Advisor Job Reviews

Many teachers are put off by the critical Accent Advisor reviews one reads on some Reddit threads. However, these primarily share negative interview experiences from teachers who were not hired by the company.

This is in contrast to a more rosy picture painted on the Accent Advisor Glassdoor page by those who have worked there. These Accent Advisor employee reviews give the company an average rating of 4.2 out of 5, with 72% willing to recommend them to a friend. While this comes from just 8 reviews (at the time of writing), they are predominantly positive, with the majority awarding a maximum score of 5 stars. They portray the impression of a very professional company, at odds with the unprofessionalism of its interviewers called out on Reddit:

This is one of the few negative Accent Advisor teacher reviews to be found here, primarily concerning the issue of student transfers:

There are currently no Accent Advisor Indeed reviews.

Conclusion – Is Accent Advisor Worth It?

Accent Advisor is not a job for just any ESL teacher. You really need to be confident in your knowledge of the mechanics behind speech and American English pronunciation, and be comfortable communicating this ad hoc. If not, you will likely have a bad interview experience, as others have reported, in what is a rigorous and highly-selective process. However, if you possess this expertise and enjoy that more-technical type of teaching, then those who get hired talk positively about the professionalism of the company and its students.

You can apply for Accent Advisor jobs via the Accent Advisor careers page.

Other non-China companies can be found here.

To help update this review or share your experiences, please use the contact form.


Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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