Jeremy Coffman, Acting in English Teacher in Paris
- Can you tell us about your professional background before starting to teach at Cours Florent in Paris?
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University (USA), I came to France in 2006. I was an Assistant of English for three years in public schools in Île-de-France, and in 2009 I began teaching English privately in Paris.
For nearly 20 years I’ve been working professionally in a variety of jobs in theatre and film, including acting, singing, dancing, music direction, choreography, stage management, improvisational theatre, musical arrangement, theatrical direction, production management, short and feature-length films, documentary voice-overs, and voice acting.
In 2011, I began coaching diction and working with actors and business professionals on accent reduction and accent acquisition, the initial goal being to develop clear, distinguishable (and distinguished) speech, in order that they may be understood easily by the audience at the theatre, in the cinema, or in the conference room.
- What inspired you to teach at Cours Florent?
I saw an opportunity to give non-native English-speaking actors something many of them want and perhaps need: an understanding of how to speak English clearly and, if desired, acquire any accent that may be needed for a particular role.
- What do you in particular work on with your students?
I work mainly on accent reduction and accent acquisition. This includes studying the anatomy and physiology of speech and the manipulation of the speech muscles and articulators, the sounds of the language and their variations by region, class, age, situation, intention, etc., and methods of training the ear and the articulators in order to hear and reproduce the particular sounds necessary for the desired manner of speaking. This multifaceted approach allows students not just to learn how to do one particular accent by simply trying to imitate the speech of one particular person, but to develop the tools which will allow them to study and emulate any accent they might need or wish to use.