It’s said that America is a melting pot of the nations, and the diversity that the cultures of the world bring here is what makes it unique. I love that professionals from all over the world can work here together. And I want to tell you – the beauty of America is that you don’t need to be born here to impact your co-workers, your friends, your cities, your field of work or study, and beyond. America needs voices and insight from cultures around the globe… that means you!
Probably the most common way to celebrate July 4th is with outdoor barbecues spent with family and friends… and everyone’s favorite, fireworks! But underneath the holiday festivities, Americans are truly proud of the freedoms we enjoy – freedom of speech being one of the most cherished, and certainly very close to my heart. So today on Independence Day, I want to share about your freedom of speech in America, how we need your intelligence and ideas, and how...
¡Hola, mis amigos!
It's an honor to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month once again with my Latino friends and followers across the country and the world! It's a time to recognize the rich traditions and culture that have brought so much joy and unique perspective to the United States.
I have a couple questions to think about as you celebrate your heritage: Is it possible to improve English pronunciation while holding onto your culture? Will you lose part of your heritage if you decide to work on your American accent?
This can be a worrisome topic for anyone with an accent: You worry your family will think you're letting go of your culture, or that changing your speech will somehow change you. But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way, and that you really can have the best of both worlds! When we talk about reducing your accent, we're really talking about changing the parts of your pronunciation that make your English difficult for others to...
Our world has suffered much heartache this year... perhaps not more than any other time in the history of humanity, but with news available to us nearly instantaneously from around the globe, it seems that way. Violence and suffering weighs heavily on the minds of all people who hope and pray for peace, health, and safety.
Through my American pronunciation instruction, I've been lucky enough to work with wonderful individuals from all over the world... people who also long for peace between all nations.
It starts with US – you and I, choosing to think the best of one another, in friendship!
Please accept these heartfelt wishes of friendship and love in honor of the International Day of Friendship on July 30. To everyone reading this around the world, may we all continue be friends to each other in our online interactions and those around us in our daily lives, the whole year through.
Please share your own message of friendship and peace on...
We're living and working in an age of international connectedness. Your co-workers or clients may actually be living overseas and speak English as a second or third language, connected to you through internet chats and teleconferencing. Or, you may work daily in person with non-native English speakers who have been in the U.S. for several years or only a few months.
No matter the situation, you need to be able to effectively communicate with your team.
In my last article on communicating with non-native English speakers, I outlined how to keep language simple in the workplace. Today, we'll talk about slowing down.
Right now I'm going to ask you to stop and remember:
• A foreign language class you took
• A time you were shopping in an international market
• Any time you overheard a foreign language conversation
Do you remember how the other language sounded? Was it incredibly fast and jumbled to you? Did you wonder...
Tell me if this resonates with you: you're comfortable in your workplace when it requires reading emails and going through written material... or writing to co-workers and jotting down notes.
But when needing to speak out loud to a co-worker, or asked to speak up at a meeting, you say as little as possible.
You've been misunderstood so many times, it's just easier to stay quiet.
If you learned English outside the U.S., you probably spent years structuring sentences, memorizing vocabulary, and listening to English. You excelled in reading and writing, and by all measures became fluent in the English language.
You might have been surprised, then, when you came to America as a scientist, researcher, or engineer, and found that others had trouble understanding you!
Accustomed to learning in a passive way rather than an active one, and without an emphasis on speaking, you prefer to listen instead of engage in conversations. You're...
I'm truly excited this month to be sharing with you how interacting with those around you is a major factor in reducing your accent. A major research focus for American SpeechLanguageHearing Association (ASHA) has been the overuse of technology and its effect on language and hearing development, specifically among children.
In a 2015 ASHA survey of 1,000 parents:
• 52% expressed concern that technology negatively impacts the quality of their conversations with their children
• 54% say they have fewer conversations with their children because of technology
• 52% are concerned that misuse of technology is harming their children's speech and language skills.
How does this translate to YOU as an adult professional?
As you work to reduce your accent, and as a professional who is probably using a substantial amount of technology at work and at home, I would ask this question...
Workplace interaction… It’s practically a nuanced art form to balance all the relationships and conversations we have in a work day with those around us. But this becomes even more pronounced when language becomes a stumbling block because of a heavy foreign accent or insufficient English language skills. And communication breakdown has a shockingly high cost for companies and personally for the international worker.
The U.S. Department of Labor just released its 2015 data detailing the demographics of the foreign-born workforce in America. Of the 26.3 million foreignborn workers, 47.4% are in environments that rely heavily on English language skills.
That’s a lot of people who probably do not speak English as their primary language!
The Cost for Business
When communication breaks down, it results in a hemorrhage of money – in the billions –...