Aiko is an American English pronunciation coach based in Hawaii. She has been teaching American English accents to clients in the US, Canada, Australia, Korea, and Japan. Her clients include actors, singer, company executives, business owners, and expatriates mostly in the US.
She mainly teaches "real" pronunciation which is actually spoken in the US, as opposed to textbook pronunciation. She focuses on practicality and effectiveness. Her material includes American rhythm, breathing, intonation, stress, reduction and linking as well as vowels and consonants.
She speaks English as a second language as she moved to the US at the age of 23. She understands English learners' struggles very well since she has gone through the same moments.
She did not realize that learning pronunciation basics was important until her 6th year in the US. A native speaker told her "Your pronunciation of bank is unique" and finally she realized that she was pronouncing "bunk" to say "bank" without knowing. From her 6th year in the US, she started taking accent reduction lessons. She became interested in sounds. She majored in linguistics at UCLA, learned phonetics, phonology, intonation and language acquisition as well as syntax and semantics. She collaborated with a professor at Chapman University in a research and she analyzed massive voice data using ToBI (Tone and Break Indices - intonation analysis). She also took singing lessons to understand breathing.
From her experience, she is able to visualize how the tongue is moving simply by listening and is able to give specific instructions in her lessons.
She enjoys singing, handbells, and piano in various music groups on Oahu. She is learning German pronunciation, Australian and British English accents. She is also a Toastmaster and enjoys practicing public speaking and leadership. She is currently an area director in District 49.