Wednesday, January 30, 2013

English Speaking Skills and Accent Reduction for the Work place

Do you have a business presentation coming up? Is giving presentations an important part of your job? Do you feel that your presentations lack punch and sometimes miss the mark with your listeners? Do you feel that your accent gets in the way of your ability to deliver your message? Are you embarrassed by the way you speak? Do you feel that people can't understand you very well?

 I get many inquires from professionals who feel deep down that their accents are holding them back. They share that business meetings, presentations, interviews and many other aspects of business interactions  have become an ordeal for them. I have to say that we love helping our clients feel better about their speaking skills by giving them the tools and personal one on one feedback to get them back in the game. 

No matter how they perceive their spoken abilities, we can always offer some help and promise of improvement by working on the key areas of accent reduction, pronunciation and correct intonation. This crucial area of language learning is often skipped over but I would like to emphasize that it is key in helping you speak clearly, confidently and to be understood by others. Furthermore, it is never too late to start practicing.  Clarity of speech helps us connect with others and this is vitally important when we have an important message that we need to convey such as in a meeting, or speaking on the phone with a client or communicating with our co-workers.

Some quick tips that you can use right now :

  •  Speak a little slower if you have a tendency to rush. This will give you more control over your voice and allow your tongue and mouth to be in the correct position to make the correct sounds.
  • Pay attention to the endings of words - for example ed endings and words ending in t, d. If the word does not have a silent letter at the end then you need to pronounce it.
  • On the other hand if the word ends in a silent letter then don't pronounce it! For example comb has a silent b. 
  • Try to link words together in a sentence so that you are not pausing between each word unnaturally.
  • Pay attention to how native speakers use rhythm and intonation. Notice that the voice goes up and down and gets stronger on certain sounds and types of words.
  • Visit this page for more information on Accent reduction 

 We have helped many busy professionals develop the necessary skills in order to to give  effective and engaging presentations. 

We offer quality coaching classes in the following areas of spoken English:

  • Presentation Skills 
  • Telephone Skills
  • Sales Calls
  • Business meetings
  • Interview practice
If you can relate to the picture at the top of this post then email today to set up a free half hour trial session. During this session you will get the opportunity to try our method for free. We will give you an honest appraisal of your situation and you can pick our brains and get some great tips that you can use right away.

Contact me for a free consultation

ESL Tutor and Teacher Training

 When looking for a suitable ESL tutor there can be many points to consider before making a final choice. 
Some questions you might like to ask yourself are:
  • Do I feel comfortable with the ESL tutor? Do I want to learn from this particular person?
  • Is the tutor qualified to teach me? Remember just because someone speaks the language it does not necessarily mean they can teach it to another person. One qualification that testifies to the skills and competency of an ESL tutor is having a CELTA qualification.
  • Does the teacher offer some kind of trial lesson so you can see if you like their style of teaching?
With this in mind I have a guest post today written by a recent CELTA graduate of International House. I am a graduate of International House of some 20 years ago and it is nice to see that the standards of ESL tutor training remain high. 

Here is teacher Sunny's experience:

English as a language is very important in today's world. It is the primary language of business. I knew if I was able to teach it to people I'd be able to live wherever I wanted , even on a paradisaical beach or any forgotten gem of the world I could dream up.

 I set off in the Spring of 2012 from London to Seville, Spain to do a 1 month intensive class at an International House associated school. I knew I had a lot to learn in a short amount of time so I tried my best to prepare my mind to soak up as much information as I could. 

The first day of school we were briefed on what to expect from the course and we were introduced to the two ESL classes that we would be teaching over the course of the next month. One class was beginner and one was intermediate. There were three teachers in my group and we each taught a lesson during the day. After the class was taught we would reconvene with our two tutors who would let us know points we missed or better ways to address points to the students.

 I learnt so much about how we learn and how best to teach someone a language. We learned lots of techniques to elicit information from the student and to see if they're actually picking up on what you're saying and if they're actually learning something. The classes went smoothly for the most part and although the course was certainly challenging and demanded a lot of perseverance with lesson preparation I came through in the end knowing that I had made someone's English a little bit better and was equipped with the skills to take me to whatever part of the world I wanted. 

I would wholeheartedly recommend taking a CELTA course to anyone wanting to teach English as a second language. Safe travels!