I would have to repeat myself multiple times, and sometimes change my sentences to use words that were more easily understood by native listeners.
Constantly repeating myself made me feel self-conscious and embarrassed. The harder it was for listeners to understand my accent, the more simple language they would use when speaking with me.
This made me feel like others thought of me as being inferior, less intelligent, and less competent.
I quickly realized that learning a new language involves so much more than just learning correct grammar and vocabulary in order to become a good communicator with native speakers.
Clear pronunciation was just as important as knowing the language when trying to build strong communication skills in a second language.
Not being understood is a major barrier. It impacted my life and I know it is impacting yours as well.
Dealing with this first-hand is one of the main reasons why I decided to get my Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and why I now use my knowledge and experience to help others overcome barriers created by their accent.