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Improving Communication with Non-native English Speakers

Improving communication for non-native speakers of EnglishIn the increasingly multicultural workplace, having a working team with a variety of language backgrounds is quickly becoming the norm. Last week we talked about how corporate speech-language therapy and speech accent training can help you to improve your American English Accent and increase your business communication skills. Today, we’ll take a look at the other side of the coin: as a native English speaker, what can you do to improve communication with your non-native English-speaking customers and colleagues? 

  • Speech Clarity is Key: One of the biggest problems for a non-native speaker of any language is determining word boundaries: where one word ends and another begins. As native English speakers, we often speak in a stream, running one word into the next (e.g. “Didjeet?” instead of “Did you eat?”) When speaking with someone whose native language is not English, make sure to leave a brief pause between words and pronounce the sounds at the end of each word clearly. Not only will you sound better, but your clients and colleagues will appreciate it! 
  • Rephrase: When a non-native English speaker is having difficulty understanding your message, many people make the mistake of simply repeating themselves over and over again. Instead, try to rephrase your message—the problem may be a particular vocabulary word or the way you’ve constructed your sentence. Try to convey your message with new phrasing, using basic vocabulary. 

Stay tuned: Next week we’ll be back with more helpful tips to increase communication with non-native English speakers in the workplace.

For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com

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