University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Fine Tune Your Accent

In this workshop series, international faculty, scholars, and graduate students will uncover the nuances of English pronunciation that matter most for conveying meaning effectively in U.S. academic settings. Participants will learn and practice research-based pronunciation strategies to enhance classroom teaching and conference presentations.

Individual language consultations are also offered (based on staff availability) on a free and confidential basis to members of the University of Minnesota teaching community.


Session 2: Word Stress

Monday, October 20th, 2014
1:00pm - 2:00 pm
Location: 101 Walter Library
Register in ULearn

Perhaps you’re wondering where the “accent” goes in English words. For example, why do we say “a MAKE-up test," but then “to make-UP a test?” This workshop will answer questions about English word stress.

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko


Session 3: English Rhythm

Monday, November 17th, 2014
1:00 - 2:00 pm
Location: Walter 101
Register in ULearn

Do listeners sometimes misunderstand you when you try to use the words "can" or "can’t?" What gives North American speech its particular “music,” and why is this important when communicating with native speakers? In this workshop, you will learn which words to highlight so that your message is conveyed accurately.

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko


Fluency

Monday, February 9th, 2015
11AM - 12 noon
Location to be announced

What does it really mean to speak English fluently? In this workshop, you will learn how strategic phrasing and pausing can help you be better understood by listeners.

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko


Emphasis

Monday, March 9th, 2015
11AM - 12 noon
Location to be announced

Listeners in U.S. academia expect speakers to emphasize the important words in their presentations. If you neglect this, or do it incorrectly, your audience may lose focus and quit listening. In this workshop, you will learn and practice the most common patterns of U.S. English emphasis.

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko


Tone of Voice

Monday, April 6th, 2015
11AM - 12 noon
Location to be announced

Words are only part of the message; your tone of voice communicates volumes in U.S. academic settings. Learn how intonation (voice variation) may influence audience perceptions about your expertise, approachability, and intentions, such as asking a question or making a statement.

Facilitators: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko


Session 1: English Vowels

This session will be offered again next year.

Are you confused about the differences between certain vowels, such as "beat" and "bit?" Do listeners sometimes misunderstand what you mean because you say the wrong vowel? Learning the correct pronunciation of key English vowels is crucial for improving your overall North American English pronunciation. In this workshop, you will learn how to identify key vowels in English, practice, and get feedback on your pronunciation.

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Elena Stetsenko