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October 9, 2019

Hi friends! Every week, I generate a quick brief about 5 interests for the week relating to accent mo
October 9, 2019
By Kristopher Wan • Issue #27 • 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!
On a special note, it’s my birthday today! The big 3-0!

Accurate reflection of my excitement levels
Accurate reflection of my excitement levels
🧠 Journal Club
Stumbled upon this news article and I think it highlights the frenzy for English language skill development. Now, I cannot and will not say I know any better with English language teaching - I just focus on English pronunciation - but it highlights the risks of non-standardized professional work and the potential pitfalls that can occur without doing due diligence and background checks.
Learning English is not easy and paying someone else to teach you won’t necessarily guarantee your English proficiency. I think more often then not, it requires the learner to take an active role in their own education and a passion for growing and language development.
💬 Thoughtful Quote
“It’s going to be hard, but hard is not impossible.”
Chuck Palahniuk
Learning a new way to make sounds and different way of speaking isn’t meant to be easy. If it was easy, then everyone would do it. If you want to accomplish something that very few people achieve, then you have to work extremely hard at it and do what most are not willing to do.
I think about this mindset a lot in my free time. Why work more than I need to? Why not be more satisfied with the way things currently are? I think for me I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and push my potential.
Because of that, I don’t want to waste my opportunities, my privilege and my mind that my parents have given me.
Why do you want to work on your English pronunciation? What do you want to do with it? And are you putting in the work to make those aspirations attainable?
📖 Vocabulary Word
extenuate (v.) (used with object) - think ik·STEN·u·ate
to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime.
I typically hear this word used in the phrase “Due to extenuating circumstances”, which would mean ‘making forgivable or excusable’.
Typically, the phrase is used to explain why something negative occurred. For example, “Due to extenuating circumstances beyond our control, your shipment was not sent in time.”
💎 Tech Finds
Starting in Queensland, Australia, 3MT is the concept and challenge for academic research students to condense a PhD thesis presentation into 3 minutes. Years of time as a doctoral student boiled down to 180 seconds.
An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit… 3 minutes.
Furthermore, these students are only allowed 1 single presentation slide and no props/costumes to embellish their presentation.
The time limit acts as an incubator on developing your presentation skills and ability to effectively communicate your point. How do you get an audience interested in what you have to say and how do you communicate your message effectively.
Many times, non-native English communicators don’t use the English language on multiple levels to communicate their arguments. Are you using the right words to convey your message? Are you using a variety of words to convey your message so the delivery is different? Are you speaking these words in an interesting delivery or flow so that the audience is captivated and interested? Are you speaking to the audience rather than reading what is on a presentation slide?
❌ Message Mishap
 Li, H. (Jessica), Yuan, Y. C., Bazarova, N. N., & Bell, B. S. (2019). Talk and Let Talk: The Effects of Language Proficiency on Speaking Up and Competence Perceptions in Multinational Teams. Group & Organization Management, 44(5), 953–989. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601118756734
As multinational company interactions become more commonplace as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, numerous problems and barriers to effective communication and decision making are popping up.
As English establishes itself as a common language or lingua franca of these multinational companies, differences in language proficiency may ultimately favor the native English speakers. It was found that language proficiency (i.e. how well you can use a language) impacts team-level and individual-level processes of speaking up (i.e. voicing your opinions and ideas in open forum), competence perception (i.e. how competent you appear to colleagues) and recognition, and task completion.
This finding ties in nicely with observations of reduced or minimal board meeting discussions that switch to English or why nonnative English speakres in multinational teams may fail to accurately communicate their professional competence.
This is a huge problem and can sabotage your professional image, talent and skill in the workforce!
That’s why I think it’s important to be passionate about learning, trying new things and iterating on yourself and your professional skills. If English is a huge component of your professional career, it may also be a huge vulnerability if you feel it inhibits your ability to express your professional skill.

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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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