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Is English As A Second Language Truly An Obstacle to Speaking Power?

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Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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Is English As A Second Language Truly An Obstacle to Speaking Power?

Have you seen a public speaker in English achieve powerful effects even though English is not their native or first language? I certainly have. In my Speaking courses, about half of the students are native speakers of Spanish or Arabic, and you should see the courage and discipline with which they take on the challenges of English, from vocabulary to style.

In my observation, what counts is the sheer quality of the attempt to deliver something of professional value in their content. If they've clearly done the homework, and are working as hard as they can to communicate and provide something of value, it seems that their audiences do not mind a few imperfections of pronunciation or usage much at all---far less, in fact, than these speakers themselves worry about and realize. I wish more ESL-speakers would simply give themselves credit for how hard they work at it, and thereby, liberate even more of their talents and powers. Let us know about your experiences with this "problem"!
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