When you talk with someone who speaks English as a second language, it’s important to stay withlanguage to reduce the risk of poor communications. Follow these guidelines: 1) Avoid slang expressions (i.e. Close but no cigar.”) 2) Avoid jokes, they usually are misunderstood. 3) Be patient, language conversion takes time. Remember, foreign speakers convert what you said to their native language, and then respond back in English. 4) Be prepared to repeat yourself (and do it exactly). If you paraphrase something, you’ll throw off a foreign speaker, because you said something new. 5) Speak slowly. If the person has trouble understanding you, speak slower, not louder! 6) Check for “understanding.” Observe their body language because the majority of language is nonverbal. If you feel they didn’t understand you, make a point of going over points that are were unclear. 7) Throughout your conversation or presentation, show sensitivity. Remember that you’re talking with someone from a different culture who speaks English as a second language.
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