Question 1

I’ve been studying English for years, but people still look annoyed at me and say they don’t understand me! Why?

This is the most common complaint of the migrants and overseas university students Dr Yvonne Perczuk has taught over the past 25 years. Their vocabulary range is often good and their grammar is often technically excellent. Their problem is poor pronunciation.

“The single biggest cause of poor communication among non-native speakers of English is the failure to grasp the rhythm, stress and intonation of English.” (Dr Corinne Adams, Sydney speech therapist)
Surprisingly, the words we say account for less than 10% of communication. It’s how we say it that gets our message across.

Native English speakers can be remarkably tolerant of the grammatical problems or limited vocabulary of non-native speakers. However, research shows that they can become quite impatient and frustrated with poor pronunciation.
For non-native speakers, pronunciation training is the most effective way of overcoming the barriers to being accepted and understood, to landing that important job and to getting ahead in their careers.

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Yvonne Perczuk has been a specialist in the design and delivery of university level courses, in English pronunciation and communication, since 1993. Her courses and training videos are used widely at all levels at the University of New South Wales Institute of Languages (UNSWIL); • she has designed university level pronunciation courses at all levels, as well as specialist courses geared to the particular needs of business professionals; • has designed and directed teacher-training videos on pronunciation techniques.

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