TfCS provides integral support for Baruch’s global vision and its focus on creating and sustaining a truly inclusive multicultural environment. We are dedicated to the belief that this environment should accurately reflect the modern global landscape, which utilizes an array of world Englishes, spoken with countless accents. Therefore, as opposed to teaching individuals how to communicate like “native English speakers,” TfCS eschews the unrealistic aims of accent reduction in order to focus on a more relevant and holistic approach to effective communication through intelligibility.
Our professional Speech Consultants seek to develop students’ spoken English skills to ensure that they are full participants in the wide variety of English-speaking environments, both on campus and off, during their matriculation and beyond.
When should I refer a student to Tools for Clear Speech?
If the student’s message is unclear due to pronunciation or frequent grammatical errors when speaking, it’s likely they would benefit from TfCS services. Likewise, if the student demonstrates a lack of formality, politeness, and/or ability to negotiate apologies, simple requests, and refusals, they might benefit from TfCS as well (particularly our services focused on pragmatics).
How should I go about the delicate task of referring a student?
Many students who need to improve their intelligibility already know that’s the case, and are thrilled to discover a free support program is available to them. However, we recommend approaching students privately and empathetically. You might start by asking about the student’s native language, how long they’ve been speaking English and with what regularity, or whether they’ve experienced others misunderstanding them. You might also name a specific moment when you couldn’t fully understand their speech, and suggest they make an appointment to meet with a TfCS consultant, or sign up for the Oral Communication Video Assessment (OCVA).
You can also ask the student to contact us directly at TfCS@baruch.cuny.edu.