Friday, September 19, 2008

Case study of a student

One of my students was Korean and she worked for a financial company in Sydney. She was very good at her job but felt she needed to improve her pronunciation because new clients often couldn't understand her. She also had to give short sharp 'bios' when meeting with clients overseas or at conferences. These 'bios' were like the old elevator sales pitch about herself and who she worked for as well as her role in the company. A good first impression was essential in these meetings and a clearly and assertively delivered bio was very important.

After the initial detailed assessment of her needs, we incorporated all that we needed to work with by just working on her bios. This of course meant practising over and over again the same piece. This is not a problem as we could work on word stress of important work words, specific sounds and intonation patterns which of course then apply to general communication.

This was very successful and even though we spent most of the course on this bio her overall pronunciation improved as well.

This methodology is an important aspect of Pronunciation Matters work - using relevant workplace language as a means to improving pronunciation.