With over 60 million ESL (English as a Second Language) speakers in the U.S. today, most people interact with individuals who speak English as their second (or possibly third!) language multiple times a day. As the world continues to become more global, these numbers are only increasing.
First impressions are formed within the first three seconds of meeting someone. Impressions are formed not only by how you look, but also by how you speak. Typically an accent can be detected within these first few seconds so pronunciation needs to be clear and concise to keep the conversation moving. Non-native English speakers with heavy accents get used to being asked “Could you repeat that?” or “What did you say?” – while the flow of the conversation is lost and every ineffective interaction reduces the ESL speaker’s self-confidence a little further.
People who exhibit self-confidence are more likely to be hired over less confident applicants. They are also more likely to be promoted or given more responsibility on the job. That is why many non-native English speakers turn to accent reduction (also called accent modification) classes to help them improve their English pronunciation. The training gives them confidence communicating in English which enables them to, among other things, speak out in meetings, feel better about public speaking, and more fully engage in English speaking social activities.
Corporations are also seeing the benefits of accent modification classes. Their ESL employees are highly educated and motivated individuals with enthusiastic and broad ranged ideas to contribute. They have taken ESL courses, have extensive English vocabularies, and demonstrate excellent technical skills, but continue to be held back by their inability to communicate effectively in English. What a terrible waste of an asset when a foreign born employee’s insight is lost due to lack of communication skills!
So, whether you are part of a corporation or an individual who is interested in clear English communication, contact Speech Advantage to find out how we can help!
CONTACT ME 608-663-3719 (USA)