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  1. Pasquale Esposito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #1

    Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    Hi,

    I'm a non-native English teacher and I work for an Italian military school, where I also develop Web-based learning units in SCORM.

    Right now, I'm doing research into e-learning applied to language teaching and, recently, I was given the task of preparing some presentations for colleagues who may be interested in this field.

    A few days ago I was told to prepare my presentation in Italian but, when I found that in the audience there were some attendees who did not understand my native language, I decided to give it in English.

    I have uploaded the video of my presentation to YouTube and you can watch it through the following link:



    In an effort to improve myself, there are a few questions I would like to ask the members of usingenglish.com who are English/American/Canadian/Australian etc. native speakers and who cannot speak Italian:

    (1) Are you able to understand everything I say or does my Italian accent/pronunciation prevent you from grasping some of my sentences? In the latter case, to what percentage is what I say unclear?

    (2) What expressions used in my presentation would you definitely change to make it easier to follow?

    (3) If you found my English unclear, what advice would you give me to improve my accent/pronunciation/diction and/or vocabulary?

    Thanks in advance.

    Pasquale
    Perugia, Italy

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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      • Japanese
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    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    #2

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    Hello, Pasquale.
    Welcome to UsingEnglish.com.

    I'm not a native speaker of English, but may I say a few words?

    I personally like your speaking English with an Italian accent.
    The only problem I have is that you tend to speak quite fast in that video clip, which makes it hard for me (at least) to catch what you're saying.

    If you speak more slowly, your presentation will be more understandable to non-native speakers like me.

  3. Pasquale Esposito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #3

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    Hi,

    Thanks for you advice.

    Yes, I had figured that out by myself. Anyway, in this particular case, the reason for it is because I was given half an hour for a presentation that usually takes one hour in my native language. In the classroom, my way of speaking is very much slower.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 28-Sep-2015 at 18:20. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #4

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    I didn't watch the entire tape (too long), but as an AmE speaker, I understood you very well.

  5. Pasquale Esposito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #5

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I didn't watch the entire tape (too long), but as an AmE speaker, I understood you very well.
    Thanks, your words are very encouraging.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    I love Italian accents.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #7

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    It sounded fine to me (British English speaker). Depending on the audience, you might consider slowing it down a bit if they're less accustomed to listening to long talks in English, but this is a problem that native speakers have too.

  7. Pasquale Esposito's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #8

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It sounded fine to me (British English speaker). Depending on the audience, you might consider slowing it down a bit if they're less accustomed to listening to long talks in English, but this is a problem that native speakers have too.
    Thanks, next time I'll make an effort and try to speak slower.

    If I want to be self-critical, I'd say that I need to work hard on my accent that sounds recognisably Italian. I'm aware some people may even like it but I feel that an English teacher should be able to speak in a neutral way.

    • Member Info
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      • Laos

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    #9

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    I could guess your nationality easily enough, but I don't see that as much of a problem as long as you are readily understood.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #10

    Re: Linguistic tips for a non-native speaker

    I'm Australian. I understood it well.
    I guess you know that you could work on not ending all your words with a vowel. Maybe when you speak fast and get into a rhythm, that's something difficult to do. Very few Italians achieve it, I find. But there's no 'neutral' English accent.

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