Language problems

I have moved to New Zealand from another country and have a degree in computer science from a well-known university. People say they can't understand me. What should I do?

Dear Adviser,

I have moved to New Zealand from another country and have a degree in computer science from a well-known university. I work as a software architect. However, when I open my mouth, people say they can't understand me. What should I do - I'm worried about what will happen when I apply for a new job.

Software Architect

Dear Software Architect,

I understand how difficult it must be for you. To develop better communication and interpersonal skills I suggest you join or set up a group for "new" New Zealanders. Arrange to meet a number of times each week if possible and put your English to the test with each other. Practice makes perfect.

Do not be afraid nor embarrassed of being misunderstood. The main problem, through my experience, is generally "new" New Zealanders are inclined to speak very quietly due to lack of confidence with the language. Speak up and try to speak in English as much as possible. There are also a number of outlets which have videos and tapes to help with English pronunciation.

Readers with career questions can have them answered in this column by IT recruitment specialists. This month Auckland-based Reed IT answers your queries. Send questions via Kirstin Mills with "Dear Adviser" in the subject line.

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