Many of us including myself create English courses even though English is not our first language.
Even though I lived in Canada for 10 years and no one complained about my accent, I was surprised to see the negative feedback from my udemy students that my accent is really bad. Turns out that I had a hard accent and Canada is really such a nice country.
To overcome the bad reviews regarding my accent, I had to take few actions:
1- Add subtitles/captions to my courses ... this really helped a big deal.
--- If you have a script that you read while recording you courses, creating captions would be easy...use youtube or a tool called "Subtitle Edit" to create the subtitles for you.
-- if you don't have a script, then take a look at what udemy has created for you already under the "Captions" tab of your course .... please please, review what has been created there and don't leave it as is ... for some reason, the auto generated captions are usually +18 :D, so your students won't like it as is.
2- In my welcome message of my courses, I ask my students to make sure they watch the Preview videos for my course...I even stated very clearly that I have an accent and I want to make sure they can get along with my accent
3- I took a udemy course to enhance my accent ... well, it's my career and I have to develop myself ... and to my surprise, I noticed my flaws and gradually they are getting better.
4- There's a difference between an accent and bad English. Accents are acceptable, bad English grammar is not. Make sure you English is good ... use spell checker, grammar checker whatever it take to make sure your English is good.
Well, that was my action plan to enhance my courses, If you have any other tips, please share them with the rest of us.
@GregReverdiau: Non-native English speaker here too. I think Point 4 in your list should be point 1. Bad English vs strong accent are two different things. Like you said, bad English is not acceptable!
Getting rid of an accent is difficult but it is possible. Take online courses to improve your accent, record yourself and listen to what you say and how it should be said then say it again correctly out loud several times. If you have a friend or significant other that is around you a lot, ask them to correct you. It sucks at first but if they do it with good intentions, you will learn quickly. After 16 years in the US, I still find myself saying words out loud several times when they don't "sound" right.
@Robin_Slee: Great Points! One thing that I have noticed over the last few months is that several new instructors are very shy when it comes to presenting on camera. They feel very concious about their voice and tend to get very quiet. This is something that I struggled with when I created my first course.
To overcome this, I set aside about ten minutes a day for two months. I simply opened audacity and practiced talking into the computer. I tried different speaking voices (soft, firm, loud etc) I also tried to clarify certain words that I found difficult. I even tried rehearsing lyrics!
Even with a strong accent, a little practise really helps. You can rehearse as often as you want, you only have to record it correctly once! 🙂
Good luck and keep us posted 😉
@PadmaRallap477: This is Padma Rallapalli, from Visakhapatnam. What you said is absolutely correct, sir.I was a lecturer in English in Reputed schools and colleges. But now stopped working.
I would like to work from home. Udemy gave me a chance to fulfil my
desire. But the problem is my uploaded videos are not reaching them to get feedback. My approach is making videos with message giving stories and teaching English. I place images and give my background voice.
If I put camera in front and give lecture
I am conscious of it. Please watch my
Videos and give your feedback. I'm YouTuber. Please check my videos with the name Padma Rallapalli.
@DeniseFletcher: These are fantastic tips @Maged-Koshty. I love the approach you've taken in that you've taken positive action to get round the accent. I personally like an accent as long as I understand what the person is saying. But yes if the the written English is poor then I find that more annoying. Having said that I had a complaint because I provided handouts in English (UK) and not English (US) spelling. Sometimes you just can't please everyone.