Sunday, June 05, 2005

So we only need English, right?

Well, I came across this section of a book and thought that I would share the insightful hints (pp. 57–59) to speak International English … I know these will help ALL instructional designers.

  • Slow down!
  • Use basic vocabulary and keep it simple.
  • Listen actively.
  • Repeat, rephrase, and illustrate messages and instructions.
  • Avoid slang, jargon, and colloquial expressions.
  • Go easy on the acronyms.
  • Pre-test humor.
  • Expect delayed reactions.
  • Don’t assume congruence.
  • Use visual aids.

The author aptly points out … “Most speakers of English as a first language do not know how to speak ESL! Those speaking ESL frequently complain that native English speakers are more difficult to understand that other ESL speakers. Native speakers use a larger vocabulary often laced with slang expressions, speak too fast, and assume others have caught and even agree to ideas that have missed entirely.” (Simons, Colin, Vazquez & Harris, 1993, p. 56)

This, it seems, has serious implications for Instructional Designers!

Simons, G. F., Colin, C. V., Vazquez, C., Harris, P. R. (1993). Transcultural Leadership: Empowering the Diverse Workforce. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company.



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