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News Letter... Hello 2014!


Wow! It has shamefully been a while since I last posted here. My only excuse is that life for myself and Perfect English Speech has been extremely busy. Projects, clients and travel. The best thing about my job is I can work no matter where I am in the word... thanks to the internet, and I am always meeting people who feel their communication, skills and in particular their English pronunciation, could be improved upon. It seems to be the one area of language instruction where so many education programs fail or simply can not allow adequate time for. So this year when experiencing the wonders of the Inca Trail in Peru, I found myself helping our guide improve his vocabulary and pronunciation at 4215 meters!




On the acting front I have been fortunate to appear in a few more films since 2010 including CYBERSTALKER, with Mischa Barton, THE TIMBER, filmed on location in the snow covered mountains on Transylvania, and most recently the Disney big budget MALEFICENT, starring Angelina Jolie. I also got to voice the role of a new assassin in ASSASSIN'S CREED IV: THE BLACK FLAG.


Perfect English Speech continues to grow in so many areas. I have been back to the University of Toronto and York University, and we are now developing a project to train teachers, so that they in turn can better assist their students. We are offering a full range of programs including, pronunciation, presentation and business communication, and our Interview Skills Program is fast becoming our most popular training option.


My private clients are truly international, and as I share in their goals and challenges, they enrich my life every day. Next stop 2014! 




News Letter.... The Year In Review 2010!


It was an interesting and varied year for Perfect English Speech. On-Line training programs using both audio and video conferencing, as well as telephone interview training, enabled us to continue broadening our client base to many new parts of the globe. In 2010 it was a pleasure to welcome new clients in Chicago, Dubai, Cairo and Vietnam!


2010 also saw the introduction of our highly successful Monthly Seminars at our downtown Toronto location. These are held once a month on a Monday or Friday morning, and give clients the opportunity to compare experiences and learn from each others strengths.


For myself, I hit the ground running at the beginning of the year as the second series of CHUGGINGTON, for which I am one of the writers, got into full swing. In May I was excited to be asked to play the Dean of the University of Chicago, in Dennis Lee's forthcoming feature film JESUS HENRY CHRIST, produced by Julia Roberts. It was a real treat to share scenes with Toni Collette and Michael Sheen, and hopefully the film will prove as funny and entertaining as the original script.




During the summer I was invited back to the University of Toronto to work with the over-seas English students at New College. This is becoming somewhat of an annual event and I feel privileged each time I am invited to return. I always learn as much from the students collective experience as they do from mine.


Another highlight of 2011 came when I sold a treatment for a horror film to Perfect Features, a British production company. The film will be called SOUL TRADER and I travelled to the UK in the autumn to complete the first draft. I also narrated a film called BABELDOM, played a guest role in the forth coming series TATI`S HOTEL, and voiced 9 different characters for BBC Radio 4`s drama production of the Edna Ferber classic, SHOW BOAT.




While in the UK I was pleased to be invited to work with a group of law students from China helping them improve their English communication skills. One of the best aspects of my career is I get to meet and work with clients from a variety of professions, Doctors, Nurses, Bankers, Insurance Brokers, IT Industries, Retail, Travel, Lawyers, Actors, as well as Television and Radio hosts. As PES programs are custom designed this variety insures we keep improving and developing our training methods. I look forward to the year ahead and the challenges it will bring!


 
 

 
News Letter..... The Year In Review: 2009!
 

2009 was another year of challenges as Perfect English Speech, with the initial assistance of some very patient clients, went global and I began teaching online!  This has been a very exciting step for me and I am now working with clients in Sydney, Rio, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, Beijing, Milan…

 

It’s been fascinating to me just how effective the one-on-one training is proving over the Internet.  Perhaps it’s something to do with the attention required when using videoconferencing.  There are fewer distractions.  Clients seem more focused and prepared working from their own space.  I have also introduced phone sessions for my advanced clients.  The topics are chosen ahead of time and the purpose is to engage in debate.  We focus strictly on conversation and phrasing rather than repetition of exercises or reciting text.  These sessions are proving very popular and provide clients the opportunity to put into practice the skills they have learned.

 

Good news came early in 2009 when CHUGGINGTON, the animated series I had been writing scripts for, was launched in Canada (Treehouse Network) and the USA (Disney Channel).  Due to it’s success in the UK, the BBC has commissioned a second series.  An episode of mine is actually being recorded as I write! 


In March the television movie DIVERTED, in which I played a featured role premiered on the CBC. 

The film was a fictional account of the passenger planes that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11. I am pleased to report the film rated highly and quickly prompted a repeat showing. 



Sadly as is the way with the film world there can be disappointments.  The character I played in the feature film AMELIA was cut from the final release.  Films take on a life of their own with many cooks involved.  The chance of some or all of your performance hitting the cutting room floor is always great, and it rarely has anything to do with the actors involved.  In this case I was in good company.  In fact ten principal characters disappeared from the final print.  That is some comfort….. some.
 
On a brighter note following the success of The Lowdown: Improve Your Speech American English, my publishers Creative Content and Macmillan Publications, released my latest audio download, The Lowdown: Improve Your Speech American English for Chinese Speakers .  The downloads I have written and recorded are primarily aimed at those who have a working knowledge of the English language, but although each may have a target audience, they make a very useful tool for anyone who wants to continue to improve their clarity of speech.  Regardless of the accent you ultimately favour, they teach you how sounds are formed in relation to English, and that is the basis for clear speech in any language. There will be more from Creative Content and me in 2010.
 
2009 continued to be a busy year with an ever growing client list and two trips to Europe.  One to record more content for Creative Content and the other to experience the wonders of Spain.  In the summer I was delighted to be invited back to give a seminar for students taking part in the International English Program at New College, University Of TorontoThey were an enthusiastic and intelligent bunch, passionate that speaking English well is an important key to achieving greater opportunities in their future.
As summer drew to a close I was cast in a guest starring role in an episode of , playing a very pompous  

Worshipful Master” residing over a lodge of Masons.  Actors Yannick Bisson, Helene Joy, Thomas Craig, director Laurie Lynd, and the entire Murdoch cast and crew were very welcoming making the experience a highlight for 2009. To find out if I am killer or victim the episode airs in March on City TV.

The Murdoch Mysteries
 
As the year came to an end I was once more reminded how fortunate I am to be able to meet and work with people from such diverse backgrounds. To be a part of their experience and achievements inspires me to keep improving and refining my own skills.  I look forward to 2010. Watch this space for developments ahead!
 
"The key to speaking any language clearly is understanding how we form sounds."
 
Best wishes to all,
 
Mark Caven
 
 
 
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News Letter... The Year In Review: 2008!
 

It was an eventful year for Perfect English Speech and myself.  2008 got off to a flying start conducting seminars and workshops in Canada and England, while continuing to work with established clients, assisting in their progress from pronunciation, to interview and presentation skills, as well as welcoming many new clients from all backgrounds and walks of life. 

 

In January I was invited to become a writer on a new children’s animated series called CHUGGINGTON, for the BBC. It’s all about trains, but different  from Thomas The Tank.  These trains are hardcore!  The show has proved a success in the UK, and will soon be seen here in Canada.



             


During the spring my language skills landed me a role in the forthcoming feature film AMELIA, based on the life of Amelia Earhart, and directed by the gifted, Mira Nair.  As the film is set in 1925 it was important as an actor to have a sense of how much spoken English has changed, and it was quite something to find myself sharing scenes with Richard Gere, Hilary Swank, and the talented Canadian actress Corrine Koslo.  The film is due for release October, 2009.

 

In June Creative Content and Macmillan Publications hired me to write and record an audio download aimed at helping Americans who have English as a first language, improve their quality of speech.  I was also cast in another film.  This time a television movie for the CBC, called DIVERTED, about the passenger planes that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11.  It was directed by the very talented,   Alex Chapple and is currently scheduled to air Sunday, March 8Th, 2009 at 8:00PM on CBC.  Now for those of you who are thinking with all that filming how did he find time to teach?  Well trust me film schedules can be a very on/off affair… one day on, two weeks off… two days on, one week off and so on.

 

Exciting as all this was, for me the highlight of the year has to be that I was invited by the University Of Toronto to give a seminar on English Pronunciation to 150 ESL students as part of their International English Program.  For those of you who have worked with me, and know the P.E.S. techniques, you can imagine it was quite a site to see 150 people taking part in my warm-up, all doing “the chew” and “the purr” at the same time.  I am happy to report the seminar was a great success, and I was immediately invited back for a return engagement.

 

As the year came to a close I was delighted to receive word from my publishers that my audio download was a bestseller in the language section on audible.com, and that it has now been purchased by Singapore Airlines as part of their in-flight entertainment.  For anyone who is curious you can click on the following link to hear a free sample.

Improve Your Speech

 

Yes it’s been an eventful year with many challenges and opportunities.  What’s in store for 2009?   Well the BBC has asked me to contribute more stories for the second series of Chuggington.  P.E.S. has been commissioned to write two more English Pronunciation Downloads, one specifically for people whose first language is Chinese, and the other for Russian speakers, but most importantly I remain committed to assisting my clients in understanding the mechanics of speech, helping them improve their pronunciation and communication skills, so that they can take full advantage of all the opportunities that come their way.  

 

Best wishes to all,

 

Mark Caven