September 1, 2012

Article: Graduate Students Work on American Accents


Smoothing the Path From Foreign Lips to American Ears
August 28, 2012

It is a complaint familiar to millions of alumni of research universities: the master’s or doctoral candidate from overseas, employed as a teaching assistant, whose accent is too thick for undergraduate students to penetrate. And it is an issue that many universities are addressing more seriously, using a better set of tools, than in years past.

In some cases, university action has been prodded by politicians. Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington have laws requiring that instructors be intelligible, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and similar bills have been introduced in many other states in the last decade.

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