English as a second language. - page 5

Hi. I am a nursing student in second year. I came here 15 yrs ago. Spanish is my native language. I know English, but I have a strong accent. I am doing good in school and clinicals. However, a... Read More

  1. by   babyisa
    I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I was born and raised in another country and have lived perhaps a good third of my life here in CA. English is also my second language and having lived in the Bay Area since I've had to move here in the US had introduced me to an exceptionally culturally diverse community. Please do not feel discouraged and understand that being bilingual makes you a valuable asset to whichever company you get employed at. Classes may help; however, I don't think you should shy away from your "accent", it makes you unique, exceptional, and more importantly, it makes it YOU. Best of luck with all your endeavors!
  2. by   PharmD_to_NP_or_PA
    American Accent Training to Learn English Pronunciation – Pronunciation Workshop

    I did the course several times and it helped me tremendously. Now I speak with confidence and do not worry about being understood. I just am.

    Sure, it seems like a lot of money but really, it's an investment. I go back to it from to time.

    Start by speaking slower and project your voice. You'll know your speech is slow enough because it will feel uncomfortable and weird. Pause every few words. Record yourself. Become aware of how you sound.

    There is also neurolingual. This one works different. It's more like hypnopedia and has helped me internalize the inflection of naruve speakers.

    Best of luck!
  3. by   chrisjk
    You need to go to a class to improve your pronunciation pronto!! Sorry, I have no sympathy if you've been here for 15 years. Living in south Texas, I have a different take on this probably. My last job I was made to feel "inferior" at times due to not speaking Spanish. We live in the USA; IMO English should be "it" as far as what is spoken in the public arena. If people want to speak their native language, do it in the privacy of your home. It used to be called the melting pot; now people feel that they don't need to assimilate. Want to be regarded as a professional? Gotta do the work.....if you have a patient crashing, you'd better be able to tell the doc what's going on clearly and succinctly so that he/she can understand. People put their lives in our hands; it's a sacred trust. Also, it's "hypocrite" and grammar also is important( at least it used to be; I guess things have really changed). Sorry; old-school nurse here.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from chrisjk
    Gotta do the work.....if you have a patient crashing, you'd better be able to tell the doc what's going on clearly and succinctly so that he/she can understand.
    Where I'm at, most of the doctors are foreign born, too ...and certainly a large percentage of the patients, if not most of them. The doctors always have worse pronunciation and handwriting than any of the nurses, so I find your comment ironic.
  5. by   klone
    Quote from chrisjk
    You need to go to a class to improve your pronunciation pronto!! Sorry, I have no sympathy if you've been here for 15 years. Living in south Texas, I have a different take on this probably. My last job I was made to feel "inferior" at times due to not speaking Spanish. We live in the USA; IMO English should be "it" as far as what is spoken in the public arena. If people want to speak their native language, do it in the privacy of your home. It used to be called the melting pot; now people feel that they don't need to assimilate. Want to be regarded as a professional? Gotta do the work.....if you have a patient crashing, you'd better be able to tell the doc what's going on clearly and succinctly so that he/she can understand. People put their lives in our hands; it's a sacred trust. Also, it's "hypocrite" and grammar also is important( at least it used to be; I guess things have really changed). Sorry; old-school nurse here.
    Wowza. The US has no official language. And by federal law, we are required to be able to communicate with patients in THEIR language of choosing, just so you know.
  6. by   KatieMI
    Quote from chrisjk
    You need to go to a class to improve your pronunciation pronto!! Sorry, I have no sympathy if you've been here for 15 years. Living in south Texas, I have a different take on this probably. My last job I was made to feel "inferior" at times due to not speaking Spanish. We live in the USA; IMO English should be "it" as far as what is spoken in the public arena. If people want to speak their native language, do it in the privacy of your home. It used to be called the melting pot; now people feel that they don't need to assimilate. Want to be regarded as a professional? Gotta do the work.....if you have a patient crashing, you'd better be able to tell the doc what's going on clearly and succinctly so that he/she can understand. People put their lives in our hands; it's a sacred trust. Also, it's "hypocrite" and grammar also is important( at least it used to be; I guess things have really changed). Sorry; old-school nurse here.
    When YOU, with your Southern Texan speech (which would, at best, go as "weird" up North) would made to go to that "pronunciation class" after moving to Boston, MA, then and only then I or any other foreign-born medical worker would do the same. Not before that.
  7. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    Quote from klone
    Wowza. The US has no official language. And by federal law, we are required to be able to communicate with patients in THEIR language of choosing, just so you know.
    Right... and we are required to use native speaking interpreters...

    But you're OK with a nurse who has an accent so heavy that they can't be easily?
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from KatieMI
    When YOU, with your Southern Texan speech (which would, at best, go as "weird" up North) would made to go to that "pronunciation class" after moving to Boston, MA, then and only then I or any other foreign-born medical worker would do the same. Not before that.
    South Texas speech is actually pretty non distinct, it's the northern and eastern Texans that have a "twang". I'm from south Texas and people have a difficult time figuring me out. I do say "ya'll" on occasion, though. That's made a few people jump back and ask me where the "heck" I'm from.
  9. by   Robert.CFRN
    Quote from KatieMI

    And yes, I believe that only those who went the lond road or immigration and integration can discuss it. Without all those "what ifs..." and such, because, somehow, huge hospital complexes in NYC and many other places are run just fine with pretty much everyone there speaking with some sort of an accent. If they can do it in NYC, I do not see what can be a problem in Omaha, NE, or Pleasant Lake, KS, except for the vices that still penetrate all layers of society of the country which deems itself as the World's beacon of freedom and democracy - namely, rasism, xenophobia and discrimination.
    Well that was impressive. I'm sorry, but speaking understandably in English is a necessary nursing skill, as by far the majority of people in the United States are English speakers. English is the language of education and commerce. It is the language used by medical practitioners of all disciplines to speak to each other. If I don't have adequate IV skills, or chest tube skills, or medication titration skill, then I must work on those areas to ensure proper patient care. Communication is no different. If a nurse's, or physician's, or phlebotomist's accent is so thick that they can't be understood by patients or other members of the health care team, then that is a safety issue, and a skill that must be strengthened.

    And the United States is the least racist nation on earth, and allows more legal immigration than any other nation on earth. Yes, that's right. All left-wing hand wringing and campus self-righteousness to the side, that's the simple truth.
  10. by   Robert.CFRN
    Quote from KatieMI
    When YOU, with your Southern Texan speech (which would, at best, go as "weird" up North) would made to go to that "pronunciation class" after moving to Boston, MA, then and only then I or any other foreign-born medical worker would do the same. Not before that.
    There's a bit of a difference between having a Texas or Boston accent, and having an accent so thick that patients and other health care team members can't understand you. Communication is, perhaps, the single most important skill a nurse must possess. If patients and your team-mates can't understand you, then your skill set is lacking and must be improved on.
  11. by   Robert.CFRN
    Anyone noticed that, per the Terms of Service on All Nurses, all posts must be in English? Just sayin'...
  12. by   Robert.CFRN
    Quote from brownbook
    Ruby, I believe from what I've learned from my gracious Allnurses is that is language discrimination. Please re read the posts.
    Nevermind. I speak fluent sarcasm, and missed it here.
    Last edit by Robert.CFRN on Dec 9
  13. by   Robert.CFRN
    Quote from KatieMI
    Overall, >75% of "subjects" would "sacrifice" Indian-origin nurse (if anyone interested, my answer was #1)

    Does it tell anything to anyone?
    Yes. It tells me that the instructors haven't quite gotten past identity politics and the urge to paint everything first by race. The question is itself racist, as is the implication. The white woman and the black woman are clearly American, though they have accents. The Indian woman is not. The patient asked for an American nurse. There is no sacrifice. And if the patient can't be accommodated, then management speaks to the patient and backs the competence of the Indian nurse. Painting a simple re-assignment as racist is something that can only happen in academia.

    I'm working on my Masters, and have run into some of this. One enjoyable moment in my BSN program (all experienced RN's in the class) was a reading assignment on micro-aggressions. When the professor asked what we thought of the article and the concept, pretty much everyone told her in the strongest terms what a stupid, stereotypically racist idea it was. Worse, such racist drivel had no place in the nursing profession as it told us to view people first by their race/cultural origin and not as individuals.

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