Meet The Speakers: Heather Hansen

05/04/2018 - 23:17

Room 308
40-minute talk

Beyond Intelligibility: Pronunciation Teaching in Global Environments

Heather Hansen

Pronunciation is not only about intelligibility; many learners want to avoid embarrassment and gain respect. They want to be taken seriously, and believe that how they sound is holding them back. This talk will show you how to go beyond sound practice to build learner confidence and develop accommodation skills that lead to true understanding in global environments.

Heather Hansen’s Bio

Global Communication Specialist
Global Speech Academy

Heather Hansen is founder of the corporate training firm Global Speech Academy, where she speaks, trains and coaches the world's top business leaders in pronunciation, presentation and people skills. She is creator of the online Pronunciation Mastery Program, founder of the English Teacher Business School, and author/contributing author of 4 books.

Why have you chosen this topic for your presentation?

Global workplaces are changing the expectations we have for English pronunciation. Intelligibility is still the most important, but without confidence, accommodation skills and cultural sensitivity, even the clearest speaker will not succeed.

What do you want participants to take away from your presentation?

Participants should leave this talk with a greater understanding of pronunciation requirements in global setttings. They will learn specific classroom activities they can use to prepare learners for speech success.

Summary of presentation

In our pronunciation teaching we are normally focused on intelligibility: can we (and others) understand our students when they speak? This is, of course, the goal of clear pronunciation. But, is it enough?

Our roles as teachers are rapidly changing as we prepare our students for global work environments. Being intelligible does not necessarily mean that a speaker has been understood, gained the listener’s respect, or made a good impression with their speech.

It takes more than just clear and crisp sounds to make it to the top in global organizations. Our learners also need to develop people skills. They need to know how to read a situation and accommodate to their audience – vary their speech depending on whom they are speaking with. Even more important, they need to have confidence in their speaking abilities so they can speak up and share their ideas with the world.

This talk will offer specific examples of activities teachers can use to build confidence in our learners and teach them to understand and accommodate to all different speakers of English. You’ll learn how to go beyond sound practice to truly prepare your learners for the challenges and realities of global communication.

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