Pronunciation Wizard
English Pronunciation Tutoring System
After earning degrees in physics and engineering, Leonard Balazer enjoyed many years of success in his mechanical and electronic engineering career.  From the very beginning, however, the study of language was a driving interest of his.  Besides English, he studied Japanese, Spanish, and German in depth.  Upon retirement from his engineering career, he was able to devote full time to his study of language, and to his language teaching and writing.  His special interests are English pronunciation and the science of voice and sound
Since receiving a degree in Computer Science from U.C. San Diego, Stan Balazer has had a successful career in software engineering and software engineering management.  At companies such as HP, Convergent Technologies and Unisys, Stan specialized in engineering and managing the engineering of interactive graphics software and graphics intensive application user interfaces.  Now doing independent research and development, Stan is actively involved in next-generation visual computing technologies.
The longer he tutored English pronunciation the better Leonard Balazer understood the need for a tool like Pronunciation Wizard.  It became obvious to him that the main problem his English pronunciation students faced was that their previous English teachers were often teaching them English pronunciation incorrectly.  By the time many of his students came to him, they had already learned many bad pronunciation habits, and his biggest job was to undo those bad habits.

Professor Balazer began searching for a way of reaching students earlier, before they developed the bad pronunciation habits that are so hard to break.  From what were at first only informal discussions with his son Stan (a software development engineer) the concept of Pronunciation Wizard was born.  Leonard and Stan realized that PC-based multimedia technology had advanced to the point that it was possible to capture on a PC much of what Professor Balazer was teaching his students in person.  And with an English pronunciation "tutor in the computer", a larger number of students (and their teachers) could develop good pronunciation habits right from the beginning.

In a process spanning more than three years, Stan designed a specialized video editor and lesson content editor (as well as the Pronunciation Wizard multimedia software itself), and Leonard used them to combine text, images, audio and video into sets of English pronunciation lessons that met his exacting standards: Pronunciation Wizard and Pronunciation Wizard: English Pronunciation for Japanese Speakers
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