Stress Simplified by Kim Dodge

Stress Simplified

Create the Natural Rhythm of English with Word and Sentence Stress
You want to finally have conversations in English without feeling the need to apologize for your accent or worrying about having to repeat yourself.

Stress Simplified will teach you how to speak clearly so that people will definitely understand what you say.

Know this:

You have the power to improve how you speak.

You know that you don't sound like a native speaker.

You’ve been speaking English for years.

You probably even live and work in the United States or Canada already.

Your language skills are good, even excellent. You're not worried about your vocabulary or your fluency.

But you find yourself asking these questions over and over again:

  • “Why do people always ask me to repeat myself even though I’ve been working on my pronunciation for so long?”
  • “Why does my voice sound so flat while native speakers sound so expressive and musical?”
  • “Why don’t native speakers understand me? Is it my words or my accent?”
  • “Will I ever feel confident speaking up in conversations, meetings or discussions?”

I get it...

You’re tired of being asked to repeat yourself.

You want to feel confident that people will be listening to your words, not your accent.

At work, you are constantly presenting your ideas to native speakers.

Meetings, conference calls, lectures, workshops, networking events, even happy hour - you want to be sure you're speaking clearly and effectively.

After all, that first impression counts: you want other people to feel completely certain that they understand you.

You want a better accent. I'll help you get there.

What's Really Required for a Clear Accent

Chances are you've spent plenty of time and energy troubleshooting your accent over the years.

With so many resources on the internet, you're probably aware of how you want to sound and have a vague idea of how to get there.

I've never worked with someone who was completely new to the process.

Most people have tried lots of methods: books, recordings, YouTube videos, online resources, maybe downloading an app, or asking native speaking friends for advice.

Here's the reality:

Most accent resources focus on fixing the way you pronounce consonant and vowel sounds.

While this is helpful if your native language is really different than English, how you say certain sounds is only one part of a natural-sounding accent (and it’s not the most important one).

If you want to be understood by native speakers, you need to speak with the rhythm and music of English.

In other words, you need to master word and sentence stress, emphasize key words, and break your ideas into smaller, digestible chunks.

Stress Simplified will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Want to know the reasons most non-native speakers avoid improving their word and sentence stress?

  • They're not sure which syllable to stress,
  • they have no idea that there are patterns they can learn,
  • they haven't yet developed an awareness of the rhythm that native speakers use automatically.

You don’t have to spend months or years analyzing accents or piecing bits of knowledge together to master stress patterns.

This program will cover it all. Here’s what you’ll learn:

Module 1: Introduction to Stress

You’ll learn why you need to consistently stress words by emphasizing the right syllables.

We’ll start with the fundamental elements that you need to work on in order to produce the natural rhythm of English: pitch, volume, and syllable length.

You’ll learn how to gain control of your pitch, vary your volume, and lengthen syllables to speak clearly and effectively.

And you’ll practice with my favorite techniques to help you remember how stress feels in your mouth and your body

Module 2: Producing Natural-Sounding Syllables

Next, you’ll learn how to create the natural rhythm of English through contrast between stressed and unstressed syllables.

You’ll find out how word stress gives you time to move through all of the shapes required to pronounce words accurately.

You’ll learn how to emphasize vowel sounds on the right syllables and how to move your mouth, link sounds together, and shift your pitch so that you sound less choppy and more fluid.

Module 3: Work on Word Stress Patterns

With this solid foundation, I’ll show you how to identify which syllable to stress in words you use all the time.

By following my suggestions, you’ll train your ear to notice stress patterns in words and phrases you hear.

You’ll learn what to do in order to ensure you remember these patterns and produce them consistently.

Module 4: Learning and Practicing Stress Patterns

Now that you understand how to identify stress patterns, we’ll make the process simpler by talking about guidelines for predictable patterns.

Because so many of these words are common in professional and academic environments (and everyday life), practicing them will get you using word stress more consistently.

By drilling these patterns through the 30-day boot camp, you'll do powerful work to train your ear and your mouth.

Module 5: Master Stress Patterns with Practice Exercises

In this program, you’ll work with 30+ drills in a 30-day bootcamp designed for results.

You’ll train your ear to hear and listen for these patterns and stretch your mouth and vocal cords so that you can produce them!

As you move through Stress Simplified, I’ll remind you to check in and reflect on how you’re using your mouth and voice.

You'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that English rhythm does become easier day after day!

Module 6: Sentence Stress

Building on the momentum you’ve gainedthrough regular practice, you’ll focus your attention on sentence stress.

You’ll learn how to draw attention to the most important words in your speech so that they’re extra clear and easy to understand.

You’ll discover that when you emphasize the words that carry the most meaning, you help your listener follow what’s important.

You’ll find out how to shift the focus of your sentence by putting extra emphasis on different words.

You’ll learn how sentence stress is connected to intonation and can be used to make your meaning and your feelings clear.

Module 7: Thought Groups and Chunking

Last, we’ll talk about how to make it even easier for your listener to follow what you’re saying by breaking your ideas into shorter pieces.

You’ll find out why you hear different levels of stress when listening to native speakers.

You’ll learn how to separate your words into logical chunks, or thought groups, and which words to emphasize for extra clarity, emphasis, or effect.

You’ll discover how to breathe in English, as well as how to pause deliberately and change your tone to keep your listener engaged and interested in what you’re saying.

Of course, you’ll practice with clear examplesso you can start doing it on your own.

Putting It All Into Practice

As you finish the Stress Simplified program, you’ll be able to test your mastery of stress patterns so that you can see how well you’ve absorbed the rhythm of English.

You’ll find out the best ways to practice word and sentence stress and thought groups on your own so that you feel more confident when speaking.

Last but not least, I’ll show you how to measure your own progress and reflect on what still needs work.

Why The Stress Simplified Program Is So Effective

By consistently spending at least five minutes a day working with the Stress Simplified exercises, you’re doing a lot of subtle but essential work.

You’re training your ear to be more sensitive so that it can hear lengthened syllables, notice more variation in pitch, and pick up on changes in volume.

You’re stretching your mouth so that it can glide into new shapes.

You’re exercising your vocal cords so that they feel more comfortable producing the sounds of English.
So much of accent reduction is about creating muscle memory, just as you would at the gym!

Even if you don’t have the privacy to speak out loud, you can simply listen to the practice exercises and repeat the words silently to yourself on your commute or at the office.

You don’t need to move through the drills quickly; in fact, you’ll get better results if you continue to practice them over time.

Remember, accent reduction is an ongoing process and you’ll continue to come back to this information as you refine and improve how you sound when speaking.

That’s what makes this program so valuable: you basically have an accent coach in your pocket, whenever you need to practice!

What Will Change When You Master English Rhythm and Music

Once you start noticing, absorbing, and producing the stress patterns in words and phrases, you’ll quickly discover that native speakers more easily understand you.

(And as an added bonus, it’ll be easier for you to understand them, too!)

These are just a few of the results my clients have gotten through this program:

  • they sound more natural and less robotic
  • their pitch is more expressive and less monotone
  • their words are more clear and easy to understand
  • they no longer have to repeat themselves as often
  • they feel like they fit in better because their accent isn’t so obviously “different.”
When you sound more like a native speaker, you feel more confident that people will be listening to your ideas, rather than trying to decipher your accent.

By emphasizing the right syllables in words you use all the time in your personal and professional life, you can trust that people understand what you’re saying.

When you separate your ideas into shorter, digestible chunks, you’ll be able to keep people’s attention for longer.

Most importantly, you’ll speak more powerfully because you know you’re highlighting the words and ideas that you want people to care about.

Get Results with Stress Simplified

If you commit to practicing with at least one exercise each and every day, you will get results.

When you apply what you learn in this course to your real-life needs, goals, and desires, you’ll feel more confident in the situations where your accent truly counts.

Stress Simplified is straightforward and easy-to-follow.

You can complete the program on your own schedule, but you'll get the best results with consistent practice over 6-8 weeks.

  • You'll get my practical guidance through video lessons on everything you need to know about natural-sounding word and sentence stress and thought groups
  • You'll have consistent opportunities to practice stress patterns through short, downloadable MP3 exercises
  • You'll receive regular emails to encourage you and motivate you to work through the program
  • You'll follow a 30-day plan (a boot camp) to help you create a regular accent reduction habit and move through the practice exercises step-by-step
  • You'll be able to remember what you've learned and apply it to your real life with a fillable PDF guidebook with complete transcripts

This program is designed to get you the same results you would achieve through one-to-one coaching, without the expense or scheduling conflicts.

Stress Simplified is a comprehensive and effective program that you can take anywhere.

Join Today

What My Clients Are Saying

Kim has an engaging and practical way of teaching sounding natural. She is big on "musicality" of English so she trained me hard on intonation and length of pronunciation. She has phenomenal ears that could single out the subtle differences in my accent.

-Carol, China (living in the US)

I am very impressed with the thoroughness and expertise you demonstrated. I've been following your suggestions ever since and I've already seen improvements. Finally, not only you gave me invaluable suggestions and info to improve my speaking, but you also boosted my overall confidence.

-Toni, Brazil (living in the US)

After working with you, I feel more confident interacting with people. I can now use my English to get into a deeper conversation, but I wasn’t able to do that before because I was constantly worried about my accent. I’m not a perfectionist anymore, once I got rid of the idea of being a perfectionist, I’m actually one step forward (closer) to being more perfect.

-Nikki, Japan (living in the US)

Meet Your Guide

I’m Kim, and I'm an accent reduction and communication coach. I work with motivated non-native English speakers who want to sound more natural, more professional, and more fluent in English so that they can achieve their personal, professional, and academic goals.

I know how important it is to be able to connect with other people in a language that isn’t our first. I speak Spanish fluently, but I recently realized that my American stress and intonation is causing my accent in Spanish. I wish a program like this existed for me!

I love demystifying the accent reduction process - it IS possible for you and you CAN sound more like a native speaker. Nothing inspires me more than watching my clients grow more confident and more comfortable speaking up, and hearing them transform how they sound.

Here's the truth:

I know how much you are struggling to reduce your accent all by yourself.

It takes time. It takes effort.

And after so much time spent looking through and experimenting with other resources on your own, you may be feeling overwhelmed or even discouraged.

I would love it if you would give me the opportunity to guide you with this program.

I've developed this approach through years of coaching clients on how to improve their speech and reduce their accent.

I've included all the "secrets" I know so you can fine-tune your speaking and finally master English rhythm through stress.

You can browse through the course outline below!

Please be sure to review the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Online Course, Program, and Coaching Policies.

What's included?

Video Icon 48 videos File Icon 81 files Text Icon 4 text files


Start Here
Let's Get Started
1 min
Why Stress Matters - An Overview of Stress in American English
10 mins
What to Expect from the Stress Simplified Program
3 mins
How to Track Your Progress on Your Own
3 mins
Questions? Here's how to get answers!
How to Use the Guidebook and Practice Exercises
Download the Stress Simplified Guidebook with Complete Transcripts
9.55 MB
Want to start receiving the Stress Simplified emails again?
March 2020 Updates to Stress Simplified
Introduction to Word Stress
Introduction to Word Stress
3 mins
Understand Pitch in English and Practice Pitch Variation
4 mins
Exploring Pitch with Steps and Slides
6 mins
How to Use Volume to Create Word Stress with Louder Syllables
2 mins
Exploring Your Volume to Understand How Pitch and Volume Work Together
3 mins
Why the Length of Stressed Syllables is So Important
3 mins
Practical Exercises to Help You Learn and Remember Word Stress Patterns
5 mins
Producing Natural-Sounding Syllables
Understanding the Differences Between Stressed, Unstressed, and Reduced Syllables
5 mins
How Word Stress Can Help You Produce Natural-Sounding Vowels
2 mins
Understanding Vowel Shaping and Off-Glides for Clear Stress and a Natural Accent
5 mins
Practice Long Vowels and Diphthongs in American English
7 mins
How to Vary Your Pitch and Link Syllables to Reduce Choppiness in Your Speech
4 mins
Why You Need to Pay Extra Attention to One and Two Syllable Words
2 mins
Why You Need to Exercise Your Mouth and Practice These Shapes
2 mins
Stretch Your Mouth & Jaw to Improve How You Say Long Vowels and Diphthongs
4 mins
Work on Word Stress Patterns
Get Started Working on Your Word Stress
3 mins
How to Identify Word Stress with Online Dictionaries
11 mins
Keeping Stress Simple - Primary and Secondary Stress
5 mins
Learning and Practicing Stress Patterns
Introduction to Stress Patterns
2 mins
Guidelines for Stress Patterns
6 mins
Practice Pitch Steps & Stress Patterns in Two- and Three-Syllable Words
3 mins
Guidelines for Other Predictable Stress Patterns
8 mins
Stress Patterns in Word Families
15 mins
Guidelines for Word Partnerships
6 mins
30 Day Boot Camp
Stress Simplified Boot Camp: Create a Regular Accent Reduction Practice
19.4 MB
Introduction to the Stress Simplified Boot Camp
2 mins
Day 1
2 mins
Day 2
2 mins
Day 3
2 mins
Day 4
2.2 MB
Day 5
2.72 MB
Day 6
2.01 MB
Day 7
2.57 MB
Day 8
2.08 MB
Day 9
2.07 MB
Day 10
2.43 MB
Day 11
2.12 MB
Day 12
2.46 MB
Day 13
2 mins
Day 14
2 mins
Day 15
2 mins
Day 16
2 mins
Day 17
2 mins
Day 18
1 min
Day 19
1 min
Day 20
1 min
Day 21
1 min
Day 22
1 min
Day 23
2 mins
Day 24
1 min
Day 25
2 mins
Day 26
2 mins
Day 27
1 min
Day 28
1 min
Day 29
1 min
Day 30
2 mins
Master Stress Patterns: Practice Exercises
Stress Pattern #1
5 mins
Stress Pattern #2
5 mins
Stress Pattern #3
2 mins
Stress Pattern #4
4 mins
Stress Pattern #5
7 mins
Stress Pattern #6
6 mins
Stress Pattern #7
4 mins
Stress Pattern #8
6 mins
Stress Pattern #9
5 mins
Stress Pattern #10
4 mins
Stress Pattern #11
8 mins
Stress Pattern #12
6 mins
Stress Pattern #13
7 mins
Stress Pattern #14
7 mins
Stress Pattern #15
7 mins
Stress Pattern #16
7 mins
Stress Pattern #17
6 mins
Stress Pattern #18
7 mins
Stress Pattern #19
4 mins
Stress Pattern #20
4 mins
Stress Pattern #21
3 mins
Stress Pattern #22
2 mins
Stress Pattern #23
7 mins
Stress Pattern #24
2 mins
Stress Pattern #25
4 mins
Stress Pattern #26
7 mins
Stress Pattern #27
5 mins
Stress Pattern #28
5 mins
Stress Pattern #29
6 mins
Stress Pattern #30
4 mins
Stress Pattern #31
15 mins
Stress Pattern #32
13 mins
Practice Exercise for Personality Vocabulary and Word Stress
7 mins
Sentence Stress
Introduction to Sentence Stress
1 min
Understanding Content and Function Words
11 mins
Reducing Function Words
9 mins
Weak Forms of Function Words
19 mins
Weak Forms at a Glance
160 KB
Create Contrast for the Natural Rhythm and Melody of English
11 mins
Pitch Waves, Sentence Stress, and the Melody of English
1 min
Understanding Stress on Normal Sentences
6 mins
Shift Stress to Make Your Meaning Clear
10 mins
Connecting Sentence Stress and Intonation
9 mins
Thought Groups and Chunking
Understanding Sentence Stress and Thought Groups
7 mins
Thought Groups and Chunking
21 mins
Stress Patterns and Chunking in Numbers
24 mins
Practice Sentence Stress and Thought Groups
12 mins
How to Practice Sentence Stress and Thought Groups on Your Own
5 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #1
7 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #2
5 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #3
7 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #4
6 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #5
7 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #6
7 mins
Thought Groups Practice Exercise #7
5 mins
Reflect On Your Progress
Test Your Mastery of Stress Patterns
21 mins
How to Measure Your Own Progress
2 mins
Share Your Feedback on Stress Simplified
Downloadable MP3 Versions of Video Lessons & Exercises
Practice Exercises and
241 MB
Practice Exercises and Drills Part
81.9 MB
Bonus Videos from YouTube
Word Stress in American English
15 mins
Sentence Stress in American English
11 mins
How to Understand Fast Native English Speakers
7 mins
How to Turn the Question Around Using Word Stress
8 mins
Stress Patterns in Phrases with "And"
5 mins
How to Pronounce Phrasal Verbs
15 mins
30 Words That Americans and Brits Stress Differently
18 mins
Pronounce Informal Contractions Like a Native English Speaker
17 mins


Who is this program for?

This program is for you if:

  • you want to reduce your accent so you are more easily understood
  • you want to learn how to use word stress to create the natural rhythm of spoken English
  • you want to learn stress patterns so you can be confident you're stressing the right syllable
  • you want to stress the right words so native speakers understand you
  • you want to know which words you should stress in word pairs, phrases, and chunks
  • you want to learn how to use stress to emphasize the key meaning of your message
  • you want to learn how to break your ideas into thought groups so that it's easy for people to follow what you're saying
  • you're willing to put in the work to practice all of these skills with practical exercises

Who is this program NOT for?

This program is NOT for you if:

  • you're looking for extremely detailed guidance on pronouncing every single consonant sound in English (this program talks about vowel sounds, but focuses specifically on word and sentence stress, stress patterns, and thought groups)
  • you're not willing to do the practice exercises on a regular basis (serious progress can be made with only 10-15 minutes a day, but you have to do the work)
  • you expect to completely eliminate your accent in just a couple of months (this isn't magic, but rather an effective accent reduction program focused on speaking more clearly)
  • you have trouble understanding my natural speaking speed (this program will help you improve your listening skills, and you can adjust the speed of the videos and follow with the transcripts)

What level of English do I need?

This program is for high intermediate, advanced and fluent non-native English speakers who can follow fast, natural spoken English. If you feel comfortable understanding me in my YouTube videos, you'll do fine in this program. This program will also help you understand the rhythm of native speech, so your listening skills with get stronger too.

You can also adjust the speed of the videos if you need to, and the each video is followed by a transcript, in addition to the PDF guidebook with complete transcripts, if you want to check what you heard.

Will this work for my accent? I'm a native speaker of...

Yes! Word and sentence stress are challenging for most non-native speakers. I have worked with people from all regions of the world, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.

Most languages are what we call syllable-timed languages, which means you pronounce each syllable more or less the same length. Other stress-timed languages use stress differently, and you will still need to adjust to English rhythm.

Even native speakers of Indian or African English may choose to adjust to American English stress patterns as their native dialects tend to be more syllable-timed.

If you're wondering if this program can help speakers of your native language, please email me and I will be happy to answer your questions!

What is the time commitment?

This is a self-guided program, which means you can take as much time as you need to complete the program. That said, Stress Simplified is designed to take place over 6-8 weeks. I suggest you commit to spending 10-30 minutes every day on the practice exercises so that you start seeing results as soon as possible.

What do I need to participate in the program?

You need a phone, tablet, or computer that can access the internet. The course is hosted on a platform available on all devices. You will need the ability to stream videos, download MP3s, and open PDF documents. You need to give yourself at least 10-30 minutes a day to watch the video lessons and practice.

Will I receive your feedback on my accent?

Stress Simplified is available as a self-guided program because many people told me they wanted to work through the process independently, on their own schedule, without investing in one-to-one coaching.

For this reason, I provide guidance on how to record yourself before you start and evaluate your accent after finishing the program.

I'm confident you'll make progress by following the guidance in the video lessons and practice exercises, but I do offer additional coaching if you're interested in investing in more personalized feedback.

Will this work for me?

This program works if you do. After years as an accent coach, I have created a well-structured program that will help you reduce your accent, speak English more clearly, and express yourself more naturally and more like a native speaker. However, to get results, you need to do the work: you need to watch the video lessons, practice consistently using the MP3 exercises, and complete the exercises in the PDF guidebook and workbook. The only way to reduce your accent is through consistent practice.

Can I see a sample of what's inside the program?

Yes. You can watch the first video lesson in the program here.

You can see a sample of my work in the free video course, Sound More Natural in Just Five Days.

Ready to sound more natural in English?

I'm Kim from and I'm your guide to the essential communication skills you need to sound more natural in English. Let's get started!