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Similarly, it could backfire by instead deterring students from interrupting and asking relevant questions, rather than encouraging them, if they feel uncomfortable that doing so would be effectively perceived by you as being called out on your accent, e.g. "great, he'sthe teacher has already shown to be self-conscious about histheir accent, it was literally the first thing he / she said, I don't want to be the guy that's going to keep pointing histheir accent out to himthem by saying I couldn't follow the point he'sthey're making".

Similarly, it could backfire by instead deterring students from interrupting and asking relevant questions, rather than encouraging them, if they feel uncomfortable that doing so would be effectively perceived by you as being called out on your accent, e.g. "great, he's already shown to be self-conscious about his accent, it was literally the first thing he said, I don't want to be the guy that's going to keep pointing his accent out to him by saying I couldn't follow the point he's making".

Similarly, it could backfire by instead deterring students from interrupting and asking relevant questions, rather than encouraging them, if they feel uncomfortable that doing so would be effectively perceived by you as being called out on your accent, e.g. "great, the teacher has already shown to be self-conscious about their accent, it was literally the first thing he / she said, I don't want to be the guy that's going to keep pointing their accent out to them by saying I couldn't follow the point they're making".

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Also, I would like to make a distinction between having a strong "accent", and effectively having incorrect "pronounciation""pronunciation". A strong accent that does not harm pronounciationpronunciation is typically a positive thing, giving a lecturer a unique personality and charm. Therefore, the problem isn't having a regional "accent" per se. An "accent" only becomes a problem when you are actually pronouncing things 'wrongly', forcing your listeners to backtrack and figure out what you meant. Errors in pronunciation (and sometimes even grammar, or unusual expressions), could be due to your own language learning background, making it difficult for others who do not share this background to understand you. The corollary of this of course is that, you will find that people of your own linguistic background will probably find you easier to understand when you mispronounce things the same way they are used to. If your university offers pronounciationpronunciation training, then it would be something worth looking into.

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronounciationpronunciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.

PS. Also, I completely disagree with your mentorsmentor's advice. If people are having trouble to understand you in the first place, and you counter that by saying you speak more languages than them, all you'll achieve by that is to frustrate them even more. It's totally unnecessary and irrelevant information. Not only will they not 'sympathise', but you risk giving the message that it's not really your weakness for not speaking correctly, but their weakness for not being 'linguistically literate' enough by your standards.

Also, I would like to make a distinction between having a strong "accent", and effectively having incorrect "pronounciation". A strong accent that does not harm pronounciation is typically a positive thing, giving a lecturer a unique personality and charm. Therefore, the problem isn't having a regional "accent" per se. An "accent" only becomes a problem when you are actually pronouncing things 'wrongly', forcing your listeners to backtrack and figure out what you meant. Errors in pronunciation (and sometimes even grammar, or unusual expressions), could be due to your own language learning background, making it difficult for others who do not share this background to understand you. The corollary of this of course is that, you will find that people of your own linguistic background will probably find you easier to understand when you mispronounce things the same way they are used to. If your university offers pronounciation training, then it would be something worth looking into.

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronounciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.

PS. Also, I completely disagree with your mentors advice. If people are having trouble to understand you, and you counter that by saying you speak more languages than them, all you'll achieve by that is to frustrate them even more. It's totally unnecessary.

Also, I would like to make a distinction between having a strong "accent", and effectively having incorrect "pronunciation". A strong accent that does not harm pronunciation is typically a positive thing, giving a lecturer a unique personality and charm. Therefore, the problem isn't having a regional "accent" per se. An "accent" only becomes a problem when you are actually pronouncing things 'wrongly', forcing your listeners to backtrack and figure out what you meant. Errors in pronunciation (and sometimes even grammar, or unusual expressions), could be due to your own language learning background, making it difficult for others who do not share this background to understand you. The corollary of this of course is that, you will find that people of your own linguistic background will probably find you easier to understand when you mispronounce things the same way they are used to. If your university offers pronunciation training, then it would be something worth looking into.

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronunciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.

PS. Also, I completely disagree with your mentor's advice. If people are having trouble to understand you in the first place, and you counter that by saying you speak more languages than them, all you'll achieve by that is to frustrate them even more. It's totally unnecessary and irrelevant information. Not only will they not 'sympathise', but you risk giving the message that it's not really your weakness for not speaking correctly, but their weakness for not being 'linguistically literate' enough by your standards.

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I'm not sure about it, because I've read that the first 6 minutes with a new class are the most important ones, and by showing this "weakness" they will conclude that I'm not capable, knowledge-wise, to teach them.

That asideThis is 100% spot on, I thinkand supported by literature. it'sIt's a very bad idea to start your lecture with such an 'apology'. It's absolutely fine (and encouraged) to make students feel safe by encouraging interruptions and asking of questions if something is missed or not understood, but you should separate this from the context of an 'apology' relating to negative first impressions about your own shortcomings!

If you start with such an apology, you may be actively sabotaging the rest of the lecture, and possibly even the term, if you fail to recover from that first impression. Furthermore, it may seem to you that such a 'fair warning' is respecting the students, but if you think about it, the students are more likely to feel disrespected, in that they will feel that their personal agenda and goals is being disrespected by being unnecessarily put at risk because of your accent, and that you're basically now telling them they'll have to work and focus twice as hard. I.e. your opening statement will effectively plant in their head the negative thought that "Great, they've lumped me with a teacher who I won't even be able to understand most of the time", starting them off with a negative experience from the outset. 

Worse, they may even feel that you're effectively asking for permission to not bother making the effort to speak more clearly than you would have if you hadn't warned them about it! 

Your apology can also very easily turnbackfire by turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy, where students will have a lower threshold to losing focus because "they've been warned you'd be hard to understand anyway".

Similarly, it could backfire by instead deterring students from interrupting and asking relevant questions, rather than encouraging them, if they feel uncomfortable that doing so would be effectively perceived by you as being called out on your accent, e.g. "great, he's already shown to be self-conscious about his accent, it was literally the first thing he said, I don't want to be the guy that's going to keep pointing his accent out to him by saying I couldn't follow the point he's making".

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronounciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.


PS. Also, I completely disagree with your mentors advice. If people are having trouble to understand you, and you counter that by saying you speak more languages than them, all you'll achieve by that is to frustrate them even more. It's totally unnecessary.

That aside, I think it's a very bad idea to start your lecture with such an 'apology'. It's absolutely fine (and encouraged) to make students feel safe by encouraging interruptions and asking of questions if something is missed or not understood, but you should separate this from the context of an 'apology' relating to negative first impressions about your own shortcomings!

If you start with such an apology, you may be actively sabotaging the rest of the lecture, and possibly even the term, if you fail to recover from that first impression. Furthermore, it may seem to you that such a 'fair warning' is respecting the students, but if you think about it, the students are more likely to feel disrespected, in that they will feel that their personal agenda and goals is being disrespected by being unnecessarily put at risk because of your accent, and that you're basically now telling them they'll have to work and focus twice as hard. I.e. your opening statement will effectively plant in their head the negative thought that "Great, they've lumped me with a teacher who I won't even be able to understand most of the time", starting them off with a negative experience from the outset. Worse, they may even feel that you're effectively asking for permission to not bother making the effort to speak more clearly than you would have if you hadn't warned them about it! Your apology can also very easily turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, where students will have a lower threshold to losing focus because "they've been warned you'd be hard to understand anyway".

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronounciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.

I'm not sure about it, because I've read that the first 6 minutes with a new class are the most important ones, and by showing this "weakness" they will conclude that I'm not capable, knowledge-wise, to teach them.

This is 100% spot on, and supported by literature. It's a very bad idea to start your lecture with such an 'apology'. It's absolutely fine (and encouraged) to make students feel safe by encouraging interruptions and asking of questions if something is missed or not understood, but you should separate this from the context of an 'apology' relating to negative first impressions about your own shortcomings!

If you start with such an apology, you may be actively sabotaging the rest of the lecture, and possibly even the term, if you fail to recover from that first impression. Furthermore, it may seem to you that such a 'fair warning' is respecting the students, but if you think about it, the students are more likely to feel disrespected, in that they will feel that their personal agenda and goals is being disrespected by being unnecessarily put at risk because of your accent, and that you're basically now telling them they'll have to work and focus twice as hard. I.e. your opening statement will effectively plant in their head the negative thought that "Great, they've lumped me with a teacher who I won't even be able to understand most of the time", starting them off with a negative experience from the outset. 

Worse, they may even feel that you're effectively asking for permission to not bother making the effort to speak more clearly than you would have if you hadn't warned them about it! 

Your apology can also very easily backfire by turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy, where students will have a lower threshold to losing focus because "they've been warned you'd be hard to understand anyway".

Similarly, it could backfire by instead deterring students from interrupting and asking relevant questions, rather than encouraging them, if they feel uncomfortable that doing so would be effectively perceived by you as being called out on your accent, e.g. "great, he's already shown to be self-conscious about his accent, it was literally the first thing he said, I don't want to be the guy that's going to keep pointing his accent out to him by saying I couldn't follow the point he's making".

Finally, do continue being aware of it, and ensure you make an effort to speak clearly during your lectures, and if possible, try to seek professional pronounciation coaching in the meantime. The worst thing you could do is apologise at the start, and then do nothing more about it. Your students will lose confidence in you straight away.


PS. Also, I completely disagree with your mentors advice. If people are having trouble to understand you, and you counter that by saying you speak more languages than them, all you'll achieve by that is to frustrate them even more. It's totally unnecessary.

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