Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

The University of British Columbia has cancelled a workshop for international students after facing backlash for its focus on reducing accents.

The workshop, advertised as being on “effective interview speech skills,” was in an email sent out to international students on Jan. 31 by the Work Integrated Education and Career Initiatives department, according to an anonymous post on UBC Confessions Facebook page.

Some of the comments by students at UBC in response to the workshop. (Screenshot)

The class was set to feature Andy Kreiger, whose business includes “The K Method” accent reduction package.

According to his website, Krieger has taught his “accent reduction” methods to more than 23,000 students. Before his freelance work, he was a dialogue coach on movie sets, oftentimes teaching Canadian actors how to speak “American.”

Testimonials on his website include one student who says they were admitted into UBC’s medical school after taking his classes. “I believed that it plays an important role in my interview success,” the student, named Raymond, said.

According to the university’s student newspaper, the Ubyssey, the workshop was cancelled later that day.

Julie Walchli, executive director of the department that organized the workshop, said in an emailed statement to Black Press Media on Friday that the goal of the workshop was not accent reduction, but “practical strategies to help non-native English speakers communicate in high-pressure situations such as job interviews.”

She said the workshop was in response to feedback from some international students who said they were anxious about such interviews.

Organizers are now looking at ways to broaden their approach and host an interview skills workshop that “includes all students and will effectively meet their needs.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Water Quality Advisory in effect for those living in Kelowna’s Glenmore-Ellison area

All taps being serviced from Mill Creek need to be shutoff or identified as dangerous to the public

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission brings the community together with free Thanksgiving meal

The Thanksgiving meal can be received between 12 p.m. and 6 pm. today at the Mission

Whisky lovers get another crack at purchasing prized Okanagan product

The Okanagan’s Laird of Fintry only releases their exclusive malt whiskey once a year

Supercar ride-alongs donated off by Kelowna dealership for local charity

Put on by August Motorcars, donations were collected for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association

Chefs in the Classroom Initiative Set to Grow Thanks to Generous Support

The initiative teaches young children how to grow, cook and eat local foods

Election 2019: Silverado Socrates — independent candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Silverado Socrates is running as an independent candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

Morning Start: Did movie trailers always air before the film?

Your morning start for Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Most Read