Voicetown is a systematic approach to teaching the American English accent to international people whose first language is not English.
Dr. Nina Rasmusson has been teaching American English and accent reduction to refugees, immigrants, university students and people in business for over twelve years. She worked directly with George E. Holland, developer of VoiceTown, to learn the program and successfully work with a variety of individuals eager to improve their language skills. Nina was a middle school and high school teacher for twenty-two years and an education administrator for fourteen years. During that time, she began her work with VoiceTown. She is currently teaching English as a Second Language with a variety of students from around the world. Nina has had extensive training in developing authentic and innovative classroom activities and assessments as well as in the application of brain research to classroom practice. She has a bachelor’s degree in Education, a master’s degree in Educational Administration, a specialist’s degree in Teaching and Learning and a doctorate in Education Leadership.
George E. Holland, developer of VoiceTown, began his career as an electrical engineer. He served in the United States Navy for four years and was educated at North Dakota State University. He spent his entire career as a scientist with the Ames Laboratory, Ames, Iowa. He was a member of the Ames Laboratory Instrumentation Group that provided state of the art electronic equipment for the other Ames Laboratory scientists. George developed an interest in working with speech, helping hearing-impaired persons to speak. He was the Principle Inventor of a speech analyzer, designed to help with speech, that was awarded one of the top 100 inventions in the world in 1984. His interest and knowledge in speech grew which led him to develop the VoiceTown Program, a symbolic notation using simple symbols and terms and special teaching techniques. The VoiceTown program incorporates technical engineering knowledge pertaining to the characteristics of the waveforms of sound and speech, a thorough understanding of the physical process of producing speech sounds and articulation, and experience in teaching physical processes and developing motor skills.