Triangle Speech Services Logo 600 dpi

Communication Matters

October 2014    Issue 76               

Using Discernment As Your Guide         
In This Issue
How the Intention to Be More Discerning Is Working In My Own Life
Applying Discernment to the Issue of Modifying a Foreign Accent
TELL US YOUR STORYFeatured Article
Business  Woman Lecturing

If you are a foreign born professional, we would like to hear from you. We are very interested in the story of how you are overcoming self-doubt and learning new skills.

We would be happy to feature your story in a future issue.
trOur Mission is to help our clients transform their accents from a communication barrier to a charming cultural flavor using "listener friendly" speech. 


Order Mastering Meaning from today online.   For an autographed copy contact Judith Bergman through our web site. (Pay for autographed copies with check by mail or credit card phone order only).Reduced from $19.99 to $10.00 + S & H and applicable sales taxes.   


We want to help potential clients develop and use discernment as they think about accent modification programs.
Go to our Archive Home Page to read more fascinating newsletters.

  Triangle Speech Services is the private, professional practice of Judith L. Bergman, a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in foreign accent and regional dialect modification and related communication skills. I offer customized, individual tutorials to corporate-sponsored and self-enrolled individuals who speak English fluently but with moderate to severe accents that create challenges and frustrations in the workplace.

  The Oxford Dictionary defines discernment as "good judgment or insight" and to discern as to "perceive clearly with the mind or the senses."  By now the 100+ readers who open these monthly newsletters regularly have figured out that my purpose is first to share the insights I am gaining through the process of trying to live my life right now with awareness and reflection. These insights may or may not apply  to a reader's decision to enroll in accent modification training with us, to refer a co-worker or friend or even to participate currently with greater understanding. It doesn't matter!! This is not high pressure marketing!  I believe in teaching and sharing what I myself need to learn.


  1. I see discernment as "the capacity to distinguish what has value from what does not," as defined by Robert Rosenthal in his book, From Plague to Miracles, which I am currently reading late in the evening, instead of watching the news and having images of people killing each other be my last impressions before going to sleep.
    2. I value quality time with my grown son who lives nearby and with a few authentic friends. This photo was taken by a lady friend who has recently moved to Wilmington.  We were having Sunday brunch in early October in a restaurant right on the "Riverwalk." That weekend, I stayed in her "B & B style guest room" in her new townhouse on a golf course and she shared with me part of a novel she is writing, because she knew I would provide honest and sincere feedback.
    3. Even though I know that one's  health is one's true wealth, I still need to look within to discern (1) why I do what I know won't promote health, like having more than one--or two--pieces of chocolate or other treats at a reception or (2) why I don't do what I know would promote better health, like improving my balance with daily Tai Chi exercises instead of just twice a week classes.  (But I do keep my commitment to my daily exercise routines.)
      4.   I have learned that my emotions can be triggered by misinterpretations of situations, by beliefs and assumptions that are not based on facts, that are not true. A phone call from my son and a friendly chat can erase my pointless anxieties about his well being.
         5.  I have learned that I can't really control people or events outside of myself, but I can decide how I should react. As Rosenthal writes, I can "put every situation, every thought if possible, to the test of peace."  Will these thoughts and feelings and words bring peace to me and to this situation?
Applying Discernment to the Issue of Modifying a Foreign Accent 
laptop-couple.jpg   Here are my step-by-step recommendations based upon what I have provided in the website and newsletters. First, schedule at least one hour without interruptions. Then do the following:

1. Stop blaming yourself for not having improved your English pronunciation on your own and stop comparing your speech to that of your children who grew up in the U.S. immersed in American English pronunciation. 
Watch the three videos on the "About Accents" page of our website. 
2. Read the entire contents of the home page and link to our April 2013, "Myths and Misconceptions about Foreign Accents" newsletter. Feel free to then read any other newsletters whose titles arouse your curiousity.
3. Then read through the content of our website, especially read the description of our programs. Write down any questions you have and ask yourself if a free 30 minute phone consult would answer these questions.
4. Of course, investigate other programs. Compare intensive programs with  those such as ours that provide distributed training and regular monitoring of home practice.  Which would work best for you? Are you interested in 1:1 or group classes, in-person or distance training via a video conference tool?
5. If you feel that this is a good time in your life to consider this professional development training, which is what it is, then and only then should you contact us through the contact page of the web site.
6 If you are managing an employee who needs to improve his or her business communication skills, including an accent, then forward this newsletter to this person.
  There, that's about as much as a "hard sell" as I am capable of doing. I hope that your beliefs about accents have been changed and that your knowledge base is now much greater. Now you will be able to exercise discernment to guide you through your next steps!
   We invite you to click on Triangle Speech Services  to visit our informative website. Our goal is always to provide information, inspiration and encouragement since these are essential components of any successful learning experience.
  If you are seriously considering enrolling yourself or an employee in an individual tutorial with us or simply want to talk to us about our programs, please contact us through the contact page of our web site


Judith L. Bergman M.A. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist and Corporate Speech Trainer
Founder & Director of Triangle Speech Services