Re: Help for a non-native speaker

Subject: Re: Help for a non-native speaker
From: "Christine Sigman" <c -dot- m -dot- sigman -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 10:43:22 -0400


As you've figured out, editing may polish the finished product, but unless
the writer grasps and begins to apply the rules, the source material he
generates is not going to improve. That could prove frustrating for him, his
editor, and his readers.

Like Barbara, I taught ESL for many years. My training showed me that just
because we as native speakers pick up these rules through osmosis doesn't
mean they haven't been codified or can't be taught. To that end, I highly
recommend a series of books by a woman named Betty Azar. They provide clear
explanations and useful, non-childish exercises. They are designed to be
used for independent study or work with a tutor as well as for classroom
instruction. In ESL circles these books are so popular that they're
generally referred to by the color of their covers: "Hey, can I borrow your
black Azar this afternoon?"

Here's a link to one of several; your engineer might want to poke around to
see which is best suited to his level:

In addition, if this engineer is particularly interested in improving his
professional communication in English, you might suggest that he join a
Toastmasters club. While not aimed at writing per se, it's a very
cost-effective way to become more comfortable interacting in English.


Christine Marini Sigman

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