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Monday
Jan092012

Bin Deprest and Undesidid?

As an accent reduction coach, I'm always asked about spelling and pronunciation of English words. I learned both without even noticing the inconsistencies between the two - probably because it's my native language. Now when I'm asked, I realize that there are rules to guide both but there are many exceptions to the rules. They can be as difficult for non-native English speakers to learn and remember as the International Phonetic Alphabet.

In her article, I Luv Phonetics, Colleen Ross also wrote about the inconsistency between spelling and pronunciation of English words - boot and book have similar spelling but are pronounced differently. She profiled Judy Thompson of Sheridan College, author of English Is Stupid, who believes the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) doesn't work. My clients will agree with her. Also they feel they are learning two languages - English and IPA.

English pronunciation is sometimes daunting for us native speakers so imagine how much more challenging it is for those who are learning it.  There are extra letters and letters that sound like others. Why does 'debt' have a 'b' if it's not pronounced?  The 'c' in decide sounds like an 's' so why isn't it spelled that way? Wouldn't it be easier for them if 'depressed' was spelled 'deprest'?  Been doesn't sound like green. It sounds like 'bin' so let's spell it that way. These are some examples in my newly-published book  "An English Guide To Pronunciation."

I think it would be easier if we make the exceptions the rules and vice versa for all who are learning to speak the language and write it like it sounds. Then this last sentence would be:

I think it wud be eezer if we make the xsepchuns the rules and vicey versa for all hoo r lurning to speek the langwij and rite it like it sounds.

For all those who are learning the English language, I echo Colleen Ross's advice - listen.

Wednesday
Jul202011

A new look and direction for Clearly Speaking!

Welcome to the new clearlyspeaking.ca!

Success is not a guaranteed straight path from goal to manifestation.  It is about constantly adjusting along the way, discarding what isn’t working and trying something that might. This holds true for life, relationships, business, careers, projects.  

So it is with Clearly Speaking. There are many changes and new services coming up. The first change is our website which is designed to support our new direction.  We’ll be adding online coaching, workshops, webinars to accommodate our clients who can’t attend physically because of schedule or location.   All clients will be invited to join weekly reminder sessions where they will use skills learned to give and receive feedback and advice on any communication challenges they have.   We aim to have discussions that will force you to think and to express those thoughts clearly, confidently and concisely.

In the meantime, the Round Table sessions launched in January 2011 continue to be very popular. Each session is a bite-size chunk of time, information and money.  Attendees are involved in the learning process and participate fully in the activities.  They have fun while strengthening their soft skills. Some of the topics offered are Listening, How To Ask Better Questions, Verbal Self-Defense, Small Talk, Self-Talk, How to Introduce Yourself and more. 

Also launched or re-launched in January 2011was the Be heard! Be Understood!  Accent Reduction program. The program was designed to complement the latest book, An English Guide To Pronunciation.  Attendees learn about pronunciation, accent reduction, communication, grammar, vocabulary and listening.

Since the goal of all the training offered by Clearly Speaking is to empower clients to command attention when they speak, we strive to make the workshops and coaching entertaining and informational not boring and predictable.  As a result, we have many returning clients and new ones who are referred.

We look forward to welcoming you in person and online if you want to express yourself better, if your current communication skills don’t match your career goals or present position or if it is holding you back, if you are being ignored, misunderstood and misperceived and if you have a ‘voice.’

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