How Your Attitude and Behaviour Can Influence Comprehension and What To Do About It

We understand best those who communicate as we do. What does “communicating like me” mean? What are the variables in communication? Consider these factors: language, accent, volume, vocabulary and expressions, grammar, body language, level of formality, cultural...

Realistic vs Unrealistic Expectations of Accent Training: Why HR and management need to be informed

Accent training is about adjusting an accent. We all have accents, so terms such as “accent elimination” and “accent reduction” are based on the incorrect assumption that “we” don’t have accents. I prefer to use the terms “accent modification,” “accent adjustment,”...

8 Common Causes of Unclear Speech

Many things influence how what we say is perceived. (See our recent blog post entitled, 3 Things You Probably Haven’t Considered About Clear Communication.) In that post, I focused primarily on interpretation and cultural assumptions. In this post, I want to focus on...

Did You Know We Have 3 Different Learning Systems (and Often Only Use One?)

Cognitive Learning System Most of us have been conditioned to “sit down and study” when we want to learn something. We depend on our thinking and memorizing, on learning facts and drilling, on researching and discussing. And these learning activities are a valid and...

3 Things You Probably Haven’t Considered About Clear Communication

Clarity is influenced by a number of things. You might immediately assume that we are talking of ARTICULATION, which refers to the movement of the tongue, lips and other muscles in the mouth. While that certainly is one important aspect of speech which helps us...

Weather Idioms

A former student of mine got a job in northern Quebec years ago. The weather is pretty harsh there and, being quick witted, he wrote the following few paragraphs with common weather idioms. I felt it was so well written and the idioms used so naturally, I decided to...

The Absurdities of English Spelling & Pronunciation

This poem has many names and can be found on the internet under a number of titles. I like this one - BRUSH UP YOUR ENGLISH. The author is also in debate but I found one name - T.S Watt - with the date posted as 1954. The relationship between pronunciation and English...

Pronouncing T – Practice the poem with the audio

Pronouncing T varies between languages. For example, where the tongue makes contact with the top of the mouth varies, as does the angle of the tongue and the air expelled. In this poem, the T sounds are primarily made at the beginning of the words. In this case, the T...

The Difference between V and W – Practice with the Audio

The letters V and W are often confused because of related lip movements. But they are very different for two reasons: when making a W, the air moves freely and the teeth are not involved, whereas when we make a V, the air is blown between the teeth and lip, creating...

How Attitudes May Affect Comprehension

In Canada, many people are not used to hearing a variety of accents, especially in less urban environments. Even in Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, many native speakers mix almost entirely with other native speakers and, therefore, do not...

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8 Common Causes of Unclear Speech

8 Common Causes of Unclear Speech

Many things influence how what we say is perceived. (See our recent blog post entitled, 3 Things You Probably Haven’t Considered About Clear Communication.) In that post, I focused primarily on interpretation and cultural assumptions. In this post, I want to focus on...

Weather Idioms

Weather Idioms

A former student of mine got a job in northern Quebec years ago. The weather is pretty harsh there and, being quick witted, he wrote the following few paragraphs with common weather idioms. I felt it was so well written and the idioms used so naturally, I decided to...

How Attitudes May Affect Comprehension

How Attitudes May Affect Comprehension

In Canada, many people are not used to hearing a variety of accents, especially in less urban environments. Even in Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, many native speakers mix almost entirely with other native speakers and, therefore, do not...

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