E21-13: Effective Communication for Multicultural Professionals

One-day course
Sunday, Nov. 14; 8:30am – 5:00pm

Dottie Li, TransPacific Communications, Cheverly, MD

This interactive 1-day course will help English as a second language (ESL) speakers communicate better with enhanced clarity and purpose, neutralize pronunciation while developing effective methods of delivering messages to the most important audiences. It will also help co-workers to better understand how to break down communication challenges effectively when working with ESL professionals. This course will help reduce complaints, communication barriers and improve the bottom line. Seasoned accent reduction coach, former VOA broadcaster, and network television producer Dottie Li will guide you to improve your communication with this eye-opening training.

Scientists, researchers, reviewers, technicians, STEM professionals and anyone whose second
language is English, as well as those who wish to have more clarity and power in their

  1. Introduction and overview of workshop
    • What are the benefits of this workshop?
    • Communication barriers
    • Specific methods and steps to improve communication
    • Perceptions of having an accent that people don’t understand
    • Obstacles in being promoted and recognized
  2. Acculturation
    • What is acculturation?
    • What is the process?
    • Where are you in the process?
    • How can one be acculturated?
  3. Neutralizing, Modifying and Reducing Accent
    • What is accent?
    • Three components of accent
    • Three ways of making intonation
    • Set phrase vs. descriptive words
    • How is accent reduction taught?
    • What does accent neutralization & modification do for me?
  4. Understanding Speech Production
    • Common mistakes by accented ESL speakers
    • Studying 41 American phonemes
    • How to use stress, intonation and rhythm correctly to be better understood
  5. Challenging Sounds for ESL Speakers
    • The art of linking words
    • V vs. W, Th vs. S, Th vs. D, L vs. R, L vs. N, etc.
    • Unexploded sounds English speakers use that ESL speakers are not aware
  6. Grammar, Grammar, Grammar
    • Typical grammatical mistakes ESL speakers make
    • Nouns: Failure to distinguish singular from plural
    • Determiners:
    ❖ wrong article used
    ❖ Omission of the article
    ❖ unnecessary use of articles
    • Verbs:
    ❖ Use of the present tense for the past
    ❖ Lack of agreement with subject
    ❖ Omission of the linking verb
    • Prepositions:
    ❖ Wrong choice
    ❖ Omission
    • Selective communication activities
  7. The Advantages of Improved Communication through accent modification
    • Improved performance
    • Opens advancement & promotion
    • Communicating clearly enhances understanding
    • Can conduct business quicker and more efficiently
    • Clients have increased confidence that the speaker understands their needs
    • Are more likely to get repeat business
    • Increased customer retention & satisfaction
    • Increased revenues as a result of increased employee productivity
    • Improved organizational communication & efficiency
    • Decreased expenses resulting from less need for support & supervision
    • Decreased recruiting & training costs resulting from slower employee turnover
    • Increased ability to prepare employees for advancement
    • More effective & efficient communication with customers
    • Increased productivity – can do more work
    • Increased effectiveness – it takes less to do tasks
    • Decreased costs – don’t have to be closely supervised
    • Decreased turn-around time for processing work
    • Increased opportunities – advancement are not restricted
    • Greater advancement opportunities
    • Decreased complaints from self, customers, colleagues & supervisors
  8. Research has found that:
    • Reducing accent increases the speaking effectiveness of foreign-born professionals
    • Improving the prosaic features of an accent significantly improves the understandability of a foreign accent
    • Increasing speaking effectiveness enhances confidence and manner.

Dottie Li is a successful cross-cultural communication strategist, keynote speaker and coach, designing & providing media training and cross-cultural communication coaching. She has conducted numerous seminars, workshops & presentations on the importance of effective communication. Her work has been featured on NPR, China Daily and many other media outlets. She is a certified trainer and coach on accent modification and reduction. Her voice can be heard by millions as the Voice and Voice Coach of Rosetta Stone’s Mandarin products. An important part of her mission with Transpacific Communications is helping to break down cultural and communication barriers in the workplace, ensuring that talented individuals (especially English as a second or third language professionals) fulfill their promise. This simultaneously assists these government and private organizations to fulfill their mission by improving employee performance. As founder and CEO of TransPacific Communications, she has designed many cross-cultural communication topics that support ESL professionals to advance their careers to achieve full potential.