Saturday, December 6, 2008

Watch Your Language

I discovered a very interesting resource at the Cornell University website. This is called Cyber Tower and is accessible from It features videos by academics on a number of subjects. The latest lecture, which is a series of videos, was added this month and is called "Watch Your Language: Improving Communication with Non-Native Speakers" and deals with how 'native' speakers of English should relate to 'non-native' speakers of the language. This lecture has been presented by Stephanie Hanson who works at the International Teaching Assistant Development Program at the Cornell University.

I was unable to play the videos even though I have a broadband connection and I even tried to stream the audio through Quicktime as it is offered on the site. So, that was a bit of a dampener but I was able to go to the various sections of the lecture, which has been split into sections such as Speaking Strategies, Vocabulary, Listening Tips, English Difficulties and Culture.

The references are good and following them up, I was able to glean a couple of interesting tips. The first was an article published in The Newsweek and the second was an article published in The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ article was quite interesting because it spoke about a company which trains people in English communications for corporates and they received a strange request where one of their clients wanted to train employees in sarcasm.