November 2013
Directly Speaking

Everyone has an accent. Regardless of which language, and what area or country, people reveal in their speech where they spent most of their formative years.  Think about people you know from another area of the country.  Does someone originally from Boston really have the same ''accent'' as someone raised in the deep South?  I don't think so!  And not only pronunciation differs from region to region, vocabulary can change as well.  ''Soda," "pop," and even "tonic" can be used to talk about carbonated soft drinks.  New Yorkers drink "caw-fee" and in other areas, the usual morning beverage is "cah-fee."   It's all English...American English.  And American English is different from British English, Australian English, Canadian English, or Indian English.  They are all English, with many key differences in vocabulary and pronunciation which can complicate some English-English communications.


For these and more cultural reasons, effective adult language  learning is best delivered by a native speaker and resident of a particular country, state, or region.  Imagine yourself a worker who learned English in New Delhi and arrives on our shores completely unable to understand or be understood.   The principal reason for this disappointing discovery is often that she was taught by a speaker of Indian English and not by a speaker of American English.  


Students model their instructors.  Language Directions  therefore makes every effort to match the regional accent of the instructor with the dominant accent of the training location. 


What can you do to help yourself improve or lose an accent?  A simple way is to make it a point to watch television network news every day, at least once.  Why?  Because broadcasters are free of detectable regionalisms or local accents.  It would be difficult to tell if the NBC commentator is from Los Angeles or Brooklyn; India or China.  They all speak a dialect-free English and we often refer to them as ''the people from nowhere.''   And, they speak with perfect grammar and syntax. Watching them, listening to the rhythm of their speech, and making note of their syllable stress are all methods you can use to help yourself to achieve your language goals. 


The same principal applies to increasing your fluency and accent in a foreign language.


Spanish language programming is widespread and available in most areas of the country.  Broadcast journalists throughout the world demonstrate an excellent and educated command of their native tongue.  Modeling their speech is an inexpensive way to supplement your language learning and move you closer to fluency and comfort.

What's New?
Bilingual Faculty


We are excited to offer our clients the ability to provide basic and advanced skills instruction in the language of their workforce.  Topics include but are not limited to those listed below. 
  • Time Management
  • Team Building
  • Supervisory Skills
  • Basic Windows and MS Office
  • Finance and Management
  • OSHA and Safety Courses
  • Inventory and Shipping Management
  • LEAN Manufacturing Concepts
  • HAACP and other Food Safety Courses

ServSafe Proctoring Services

Proctoring services can be made available for online ServSafe testing, by appointment during business hours.  Although the online test is only offered in English or Spanish, we can accommodate speakers of other languages.

We wish you all a safe, 
Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharlene Vichness, President
and the rest of the Language Directions Team
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We are delighted to bring the November 2013 issue of DIRECTLY SPEAKING 
to your inbox. In this issue, we offer up some strategies you can use to push past language and cultural challenges at work. We will continue to post little tips to improve rapport, understanding, and efficiency, both at work and in any interpersonal communication with folks of a different culture.
Thank You!
At this time of the year, it's a great time to reflect on what you are thankful for.  How do we say thank you in other languages?
Q: Most of my workers on the floor speak Spanish.  How can I train them to protect themselves from injury?
A: There are Spanish translations of most important safety materials on the OSHA website.  For live training in your workplace, Language Directions can provide bilingual certified safety professionals to train your employees in a language they understand.

Have a question?  Ask the language lady: 
Fast Fact
 There are over 100  languages spoken in the  United States today.
Tongue Twister
No nose knows like a gnome's nose knows.

 Language Directions, 188 Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland, NJ 07068, (973) 228-8848

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