Upcoming Pronunciation Courses for Spanish Speakers

We are running two pronunciation courses for Native Spanish speakers in Mississauga, one starting in May and another in the fall. Here’s the information:

WHO IS THIS FOR?      
For any native SPANISH speaker FLUENT in English

WHAT IS THE COURSE?     
10-week
group course, covering all the basics of Canadian Pronunciation, with content customized to the needs of Spanish Speakers and those present. All materials (print and audio) are included.

WHEN WILL IT BE HELD?
Wednesday evening 7-9
Starting May 14, 2014 until to July 18, 2014

WHERE WILL IT BE HELD?
Mississauga Central Library, by Square One

WHAT IS THE COST?
$449 all inclusive

HOW DO I REGISTER ?
Click on the link below and make your deposit
http://voicetoword.ca/register-course-2
(Please note, if the link doesn’t work when clicked, copy and paste it into your browser.)

Feel free to contact Heather for further information at heather@voicetoword.ca or call 416-535-8869. And I would appreciate you sharing this information with anyone you know who may be interested.

FALL SESSION: Starting September 10, 2014 until November 12, 2014
Early bird promotion for this course is on now until July.
CONFIRM YOUR SPACE by making a deposit at: http://voicetoword.ca/register-course-2

On-Line Radio Interview with Heather Chetwynd Monday April 7 at 12 noon

We often misunderstand others who have been raised in the same country, often even from within the same family. So when we have been raised speaking different languages and holding different beliefs and values, misinterpretation can run rampant. In this interview, language and cultural specialist, Heather Chetwynd, talks about why this happens and what we can do to facilitate clearer communication.

Listen on Monday, April 7 at 12 noon. Go to http://goo.gl/r2iS7o.

DO SPEECH THERAPISTS TEACH ACCENT BETTER?

People who want accent modification training sometimes choose to go to speech therapists because they may be covered under their medical plan. Speech therapy is a medical profession and they work with abnormal issues in speech. Because they understand the mechanics of speech, some have started tapping into the business of accent modification since there is a great need, much greater than for regular speech therapy.

The drawbacks of working with most speech therapists are: they are generally not trained in the English language, culture or teaching, and they often charge a higher rate per hour.

A speech therapist is in no way better than an ESL teacher who has studied accent modification training and culturally appropriate communication. (Both of these areas are Voice to Word’s specialties.) In fact, there are additional benefits of working with someone experienced in language teaching since many times the issues of clarity include aspects other than accent, for example, volume and projection (which can be culturally influenced,) ways of expressing oneself (which can also be culturally shaped,) as well as tone, grammar and other aspects of stress and intonation which can totally change the intended meaning.

I certainly don’t think an accent is a medical abnormality. We are all influenced by our native language and it is a matter of building awareness and understanding the differences. From there it involves repetition, practice and integration, both at the physical and psychological levels.

NEW PUBLIC PRONUNCIATION COURSE

Voice to Word is running an INTRODUCTION TO CANADIAN PRONUNCIATION course in February 2014.

REGISTER BY DECEMBER 31ST AND GET $50 OFF

Speaking clearly is an important key to success in the Canadian environment. If people understand you easily, everyone is more relaxed. But pronunciation training receives little attention in the majority of English Language training. Fortunately, it is never too late to improve.

WHO?        For any fluent non-native speaker of English

WHAT?      12-week small group course, covering all the basics of Canadian Pronunciation, with content customized to the needs of those attending. All materials (print and audio) included.

WHEN?      Friday evening 6-8 or Saturday morning 10-12

DATES?     Starting Feb 7 or 8, 2014 until to April 26 or 27

WHERE?    Downtown Toronto near Queen subway

COST?       $449 all inclusive

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SIGN UP CONTACT:
info@voicetoword.ca or call 416-535-8869

JOKES – PHRASING IS IMPORTANT

Eat GrandmaIn writing, we often mark phrasing with punctuation. In speech, we mark phrasing with intonation and pausing. If it is not done correctly, you might be misunderstood! Take a look at the following examples:

WHAT IS IT?

Let’s eat Grandma… OR… Let’s eat, Grandma.

LOVE OR HATE?

Dear John,
I want a man who knows what love is all about.  You are generous, kind, thoughtful.  People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.  You have ruined me for other men.  I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart.  I can be forever happy –will you let me be yours? … Gloria

Dear John,
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me.  For other men, I yearn.  For you, I have no feelings whatsoever.  When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Yours, Gloria

 

FALL 2013 – INTERESTING POSTS FROM THE FALL

Drawing from our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VoiceToWord,) my personal LinkedIn page (http://ca.linkedin.com/in/voicetoword) and Twitter account (twitter.com/voicetoword,) I am re-posting some of our posts since the summer. Enjoy…

 

PRONUNCIATION

I’ve heard a lot of comments, and even arguments, about the pronunciation of the word “ask.” Some dialects commonly pronounce it as “axe.” (The only difference is the reversal of the S and K since X is really KS.) But did you know that the word “ask” was pronounced as “aks” back in Chaucer’s time? (For those who don’t know old English literature, Chaucer is known as the first great English poet who wrote “Canterbury Tales” in the 1340s.) http://tinyurl.com/mt2xss7

A great reason to eat popcorn! A surprising upside to snacking related to pronunciation. http://tinyurl.com/ok6pkg5

 

MUSIC

It is not so common these days to hear people who can really express themselves well. With texting and Twitter, attention to the art of language is waning. Here is a great video, a sort of rap or dub poetry, which makes fun of this. I loved it. By poet Taylor Mali…  http://tinyurl.com/kfat7jx

I have written a number of posts in my blog about how music can help us learn to speak a language more clearly and with a more native-like rhythm and pronunciation. While this video is not about learning a second spoken language, it speaks to the power of music to inspire and how it doesn’t take much. Really moving… http://lnkd.in/gDZ55e

Another amazing video on the power of music. ! http://tinyurl.com/m7y9j6k

 

IMMIGRANTS & IMMIGRATION

Seems like the federal government is planning to introduce a new immigrant application system referred to as the Expression of Interest (EOI) model. Former immigration minister, Jason Kenney, has described the web-based system as being “like a dating site.” Dating immigration! Interesting. Read more at http://bit.ly/1jrbsOI

If you are an internationally trained entrepreneur starting a business, this may be useful for you. Skills for Change recently launched a new mentoring initiative, the Seniors Mentoring Entrepreneurs program, aimed at increasing the success rate of start-up entrepreneurs by equipping them with the knowledge and expertise they need to make good business decisions. http://lnkd.in/dHsDw4W less

 

CULTURAL COMPETENCE

In business, cultural competency is appropriate but it can also be profitable. http://ow.ly/qbH3D