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News — #esl

Accent Reduction and Healthcare Workers

# accent reduction # English speaking strategies #accent #accent modification #english pronunciation #esl #improve English pronunciation #pronunciation #speech clarity

Healthcare workers, particularly nurses, are in high demand globally and represent a significant, multicultural workforce. Culturally sensitive accent reduction training is essential to support healthcare workers and to empower them with strategies to successfully improve their communication skills for patient safety.

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Foreign Accents, Bias and Jobs

#accent #accentreduction #diversity #esl #inclusion #speechrecognition

Once again, foreign accents in the workplace was in the news. In a recent radio interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Andrew Timming, an experimental psychologist at the University of Western Australia, laid out how the image one projects impacts employability — and a large part of his discussion centred on accents. His recent research indicates that an ethnic or foreign accent might work against people, and that an unconscious bias against accents may exist when companies hire.  In his study, Dr. Timming had people with different accents apply for a job using the exact same script. He found...

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English is the International Language of Business, but what about Accents?

# accent reduction #accent #accent coach #accentmodification #accentreduction #english pronunciation #esl #speaking proper English #speechrecognition

  I was fascinated by a BBC Capital article I read recently about how English now dominates as the global language of business because of an increasingly multinational workplace (http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170317-the-international-companies-using-only-english). I was particularly struck by a quote from Kim Bedard-Fontaine, VP of Employee and Change Communication at Sodexo. She said that “Businesses are organised globally these days and that they must become more efficient by collaborating across geographies. English is an enabler of that and by speaking exclusively in a single language, leaders can communicate with each other around the world.” My husband experienced this first hand working in a...

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Are Accents Embarrassing?

# English speaking strategies #accent #accent coach #accent modification #accent reduction #accentmodification #accentreduction #english #english pronunciation #esl #pronunciation #speaking proper English #speechrecognition

  I read an article this week about a university student in England who published an online letter to her mum called “Dear Mum: I’m sorry I used to be embarrassed about your accent”. The letter was written by Shynee Hewavidana, a University of Cambridge student who has since been asked to speak on BBC Radio’s Asian Network after receiving a lot of attention from people who related to how she felt. The title immediately caught my attention from both a Speech Therapy viewpoint and on a personal level, as my mother also has a very noticeable accent. Truthfully, I’ve...

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Accent Reduction Explained: The International Phonetic Alphabet

#accent #accent coach #accentmodification #accentreduction #esl

The International Phonetic Alphabet or IPA can be extremely useful for learning English pronunciation and also helps with accent training, including accent reduction. Originally developed to make teaching foreign languages easier, the “alphabet” was started in 1886 by a linguist named Paul Passy. The IPA first transcribed the sounds of French, English, and German, but later added symbols to handle Arabic and Hindi, and even the click-sounds in some languages.      The IPA uses phonetic symbols to represent the sounds, not the spelling, of a language. One symbol represents one sound. And since English spelling is inconsistent, and a...

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