In The News

Accent-reduction classes now in demand

Published By: 
Chicago Tribune
Published Date: 
2009, July 5
Article Excerpt: 

Tom Zabkowski dreams of one day becoming a firefighter; and on paper, the Elmwood Park resident appears a near-perfect applicant: The 29-year-old served honorably in both the U.S. Army and the Illinois National Guard, and his resume touts his commercial driver's license as well as his numerous athletic interests.

Yet Zabkowski feels there's one thing holding him back.

"My accent," said the Poland-born plumber, whose family immigrated to Chicago when he was 10. "In formal interviews I want to sound professional, but I often find myself avoiding words I want to use."

When you can’t understand your doctor’s accent, you may be in trouble.

Published By: 
KindEthics.com
Published Date: 
2009, June 15
Article Excerpt: 

There are 329 languages being spoken in America, and with that comes many different accents. If you can’t understand your doctor, you may be in trouble. If you can’t hear the instructions for your surgery, how to take your medications or the information they are telling you about your disease, then how will you be able to get better?

A doctor’s accent

Published By: 
KevinMD.com
Published Date: 
2006, July 30
Article Excerpt: 

Although foreign-born physicians may have excellent medical training and comprehension of English, patients and co-workers can struggle to understand their speech and are often reluctant to call attention to the problem. For example, the numbers 15 and 50 can sound similar in some accents, as can the words “breathing” and “bleeding.” This increases the potential for medical errors, Wilner says.