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October 30, 2019

Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent mo
October 30, 2019
By Kristopher Wan • Issue #30 • View online
Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent modification and English learning. If you have a few minutes on your commute to work or lunch break and want to consume some interesting content in the world of English learning, enjoy!
Happy Halloween everyone! Tomorrow night, hope you either get some candies yourself, hand out candies to the neighborhood or enjoy a quiet night hiding in the dark and ignoring your door. Whatever floats your boat.

Happy Halloween!!
Happy Halloween!!
🧠 Journal Club
Jin, Su-Hyun, and Chang Liu. “Intelligibility of American English vowels and consonants spoken by international students in the united states.” Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, vol. 57, no. 2, 2014, p. 583+. Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/apps/doc/A368283176/HRCA?u=ubcolumbia&sid=HRCA&xid=f3ae8c1d. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.
Jin & Liu (2014) confirm that the primary difficulty in phonemic production in English for Chinese and Korean speakers is related to vowel production rather than consonants. Whereas most nonnative English speakers gravitate towards differences in consonants, they would better focus their energy and attention on accurate vowel production. Better yet, focusing on vowel production during functional sentence production is an important real life use case. Also, vowels carry more information and importance to a listener’s overall understanding of the message.
💬 Thoughtful Quote
Mask-ception
Mask-ception
On Halloween you get to become anything that you want to be.
Ava Dellaria
Isn’t that a wonderful thought to live by even if it isn’t Halloween? The idea of being anything you WANT to be is a far more empowering sentiment that extends beyond Halloween. Sure, Halloween is a fantastic celebration of imagination, creativity and a pinch of fear; but I think it is far more liberating to feel comfortable to be anything that you want to be every day.
And it won’t be easy. But it’s far more liberating to try.
📖 Vocabulary Word
ghoul (n.) - think goo-l
  1. an evil spirit or phantom, especially one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies.
Ghoul
Ghoul
For the sake of Halloween spirit, ghouls and goblins may be a relevant word for the next day or two. Ghouls and scary masks are often a popular choice among pre-teen and teenage boys so you’ll be in for a fright.
Learning social and cultural references are a great way to hone your language skills, identify discussion topics for practice and promote interaction with native English speakers.
There’s nothing like answering your doorbell 57 times in one night and repeating the same phrase over and over again for native English speakers to practice your pronunciation.
Trick or Treat!
💎 Tech Finds
I’ve recently started using twitter more often. I never really was hooked on it but there’s something about joining random conversations or having a pulse on the current state of culture that is interesting. Whenever I’m looking for accent-related interest, there always tend to be snippets of Korean pop stars speaking English.
Now, there are definite differences in the pronunciation of words from a native English speaker, but the interesting thing is that the pronunciation is not criticized or ridiculed. Many times it’s considered cute or adorable, especially with Korean pop stars.
Growing up, I felt that the typical reaction to a non-native English accent was critical and negative – even from the perspective of a native English speaker – so it is amazing and refreshing to see people recognize nonnative pronunciation differences and accept those differences as cute, inspiring and positively!
I’m going to be trying to use twitter more often so if I find more news or app-related information that may be education, motivational or inspiring, I’ll be sure to let you know too!
❌ Message Mishap
Speech and pronunciation are only part of the communication package. Non-verbal gestures, eye contact, listener participation and your environment can all contribute to and disrupt communicative success so it is important to diversify and improve these aspects as well.
You know yourself best and also know your own weaknesses. If your pronunciation of specific words is challenging, can you spell out the word to improve success? Can you use gestures or point to parts of a presentation or product to guarantee clear communication. Are you asking the listener questions to keep them motivated, engaged and confirm that they understood your message.
By actively considering these factors and adjusting your communication accordingly, you can preemptively support and strengthen your communication to avoid misunderstanding, time and miscommunication.
The Devil is in the details
Communication via hand signals
Communication via hand signals
Happy Halloween Everyone!!
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Kristopher Wan

Hey friends, I'm Kris, a speech-language pathologist interested in and pursuing a side-hustle in accent modification. Every Wednesday I send out a "5-bullet brief" email newsletter with some thoughts, research and internet treasures relating to accent modification and English language learning.

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