My name is Dalit Burgess and I am the owner and founder of Clear Expression Coaching, a business which allows me to combine my 20+ years of professional experience as a speech-language pathologist, my personal experience of immigrating to the United States and my dream of giving non-native speakers the gift of their story.
Having come to the United States at age three, I recognized the importance of communication as my family struggled to acclimate to our new life in the U.S. Even at that tender age, I realized my parents’ primary battle was in their ability to express themselves in English. My observation then developed into a passion to help other non-native speakers, like me, bridge this gap.
An accent is a wonderful reflection of cultural heritage and gives distinction to one’s speech. However, an accent can interfere with being clearly understood and can become an obstacle in being hired, getting that desired promotion, or functioning effectively and with confidence. I have seen extremely talented and accomplished people discouraged and frustrated by their difficulty expressing themselves and being understood in English. These are top professionals in their field and now they come to the United States and they feel undervalued and hampered. They are often afraid to share their ideas or opinions. I witnessed these feelings and frustrations firsthand as a girl and today I address these challenges with international speakers who want to learn to communicate with clarity and professional impact.
In the last 6 years, I have worked with dozens of non-native speakers of English individually and in group settings. I initiated an accent enhancement program for a major hospital system in Cleveland. I also supported many of these professionals as they prepared for presentations, national conferences, interviews and other public speaking engagements. I love witnessing my clients improve their accents supporting them to align their professional skills, expertise and rich cultural experience with the ability to clearly express themselves.
I am licensed in the state of Ohio and nationally certified in Speech-Language Pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). I earned my Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College in Boston and my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and World Religions from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I am a certified PESL Instructor (Pronouncing English as a Second Language) and have specialized in accent modification since 2014. I co-authored a poster presented at American Speech Hearing Association 2019 National Convention 2019 which was titled “An Accent Modification Program for International Medical Professional.” I currently serve on the executive board of the Corporate Speech Pathology Network (CORSPAN), which is an international organization of Speech-Language Pathologists that specialize in corporate speech.
Albania, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Czech Republic, Columbia, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam are the native countries of former clients.