Be a ‘Couch Potato’ (Couch Potato n. One who spends an inordinate amount of time on the couch watching television) Does this sound like unusual advice, given America’s obsession with exercise and health? Well, it is good advice for someone wanting to improve his/her American English pronunciation! Watching television is one of the best ways [...]
Although the classic musical, My Fair Lady, is wonderful, the accent coaching methods that Professor Higgins uses in the play are not!
A new year, 2017, has begun, and with it a new president, supposedly the Leader of the Free World has entered as American's president. I feel compelled to write about this election and to voice my disagreements with the content and style of President Trump's first few weeks. I did not vote for him [...]
Another new year is approaching! Wow, how time flies! The year 2016 was a difficult year. We saw horrible conflicts continuing in the world, we saw a very contentious election in the U.S. come to a surprising and scary end, we saw many important musicians and others pass away suddenly. And yet, the sun continues [...]
How we speak is simply a habit. It is an over-learned behavior that is stored as a complete program somewhere in the brain. When you begin to speak, thinking of what you want to say, you do not think about HOW you speak, just WHAT you will say. Why? Because HOW we speak is a [...]
Written by Dr. Ojakangas
MAIN POINT: If you are trying to change your accent (the habit of how you speak), here are some practical ideas from brain research to make it easier!
LISTENERS’ COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE REACTIONS TO ENGLISH SPEAKERS WITH STANDARD AMERICAN ENGLISH AND ASIAN ACCENTS
MAIN POINT: Again, this study gives proof to the unfortunate fact that foreign-born individuals who speak English as a second language and with a heavy accent are not viewed as positively by Americans as those who do not have an accent.
Communication is everything! No matter where we are or what we do, the ability to communicate successfully is KEY! My clients tell me over and over again that their accent has been holding them back in their lives. They feel like they are better, smarter, more capable than their communication in American English indicates. Some of my clients have told me that they have been passed over for promotions and/or do not make the money they would like because of their inability to communicate successfully in American English. Does this sound like YOU? Do you feel like you would be viewed differently by your employer if you and your employer spoke your native language? That you would be farther ahead because the language you spoke wouldn't put a barrier in front of you?
The New Year is approaching as we are experiencing (so far) a very warm holiday season in the Midwest. I wanted to say hello to my clients from my newly-designed website that has this wonderful BLOG section. With the change from one year to the next comes a renewed hope for good things, improved things, and new happiness in life. I am looking forward to many changes in my personal life, and know that many of you are, as well. You have traveled to a foreign country, gotten a job, found a place to live and are busy working hard to make the type of life that you have always dreamed of. I so admire all of my clients who, without exception, have dared to immigrate to someplace totally new and foreign, away from family and friends. Your move to America has taken great courage and determination!