Diversity

American English for Internationals

The American English for Internationals program offers medical professionals an opportunity to improve communication skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere. The program helps international medical professionals develop the confidence and determination to pursue more conversations – professional and personal – in American English. It empowers participants with effective communication skills in the context of the American language and cultural norms and increases awareness among American health care providers about cultural differences in communication to facilitate intercultural understanding and tolerance. Participants learn to minimize non-native accents and cultivate good conversational skills to ensure that focus stays on exceptional academic abilities and maximize opportunities for professional advancement. Awareness begets acceptance and adaptability to work with the differences.

The program is taught by experienced ESL instructors who specializes in accent modification and has been approved for 22 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ by Indiana University School of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Medical Education. This is not a class for learning to speak English. To be eligible to participate, individuals must have a moderate degree of fluency in spoken English.

International professionals who learned English in their homeland may be challenged to communicate effectively in American English due to the difference in their accents. They’re often surprised, distracted or unprepared to communicate in both professional and casual settings. Time doesn’t always help; even after many years in the US, some internationals can become frustrated in the simplest of conversations. This course is intended to help any international professionals who have encountered challenges while communicating in American English. This is not a class for learning to speak English. To be eligible to participate professionals must have a fair degree of fluency in spoken English.

This course can help. Participants learn that their pronunciation may be one of the problems, but it isn’t the only one. In fact, the unique sounds and patterns of American English are the biggest challenges. And they’re central to fluent speech. The focus is on modification of international accents by providing training in recognition of American English sounds, accents and rhythm patterns. The goal is reduction, not elimination, of accents to maintain the unique individuality and cultural diversity of the participants. A textbook or audiofiles are integral to the course, but participants spend a significant amount of time actively learning, speaking and reinforcing spoken American English.

In this 11-week course participants become more aware of the unique features of American English pronunciation patterns and accent and learn to modify their own accent to more closely approximate the speech of native speakers of American English. Participants leave with a greater awareness of the importance of pronunciation skills and a modified accent that is more understandable to native speakers of American English. They have an increased ability to communicate more effectively in spoken English, to understand and be understood by native speakers of American English.

Sponsors

This program is sponsored by IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs Professional Development Diversity with IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council (APAFSC). For more information, email Poonam Khurana, MD, or call 317-962-2275.