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Member Spotlight

Gwendolyn Lewis
Lingua East —

1. Tell us about your practice, including the location (city & state) and the services you provide.

Lingua East blossomed out of my lifelong love of language and a need for affordable accent services around Charlotte, North Carolina. I offer accent modification services to people who speak English as a Second language, and I am currently collaborating with a local nonprofit to provide Advanced English Communication classes to individuals from Latin America. Behind Lingua East is the philosophy that everyone has ideas worth sharing, but effective communication does not always come easily.

2. What do you find most rewarding about being a corporate speech trainer?

I absolutely love helping people do more than they thought possible. Communication skills impact nearly every facet of our lives. For many people, a small change can make a huge difference, whether that means better employment opportunities, new and meaningful relationships with others, or expanded options for places to explore and things to do. I love seeing that mixture of surprise and joy on a person's face after I tell them to make a small change in the production of a tricky speech sound and it works!

3. What sets you aside from other corporate speech trainers?

Like most of my clients, I'm a sequential bilingual. I learned Spanish after the critical period. Although I use both English and Spanish every day, my grammar isn't always perfect. I have a lot of work to do with my Rs. And when someone speaks very quickly, or in an accent I am not totally familiar with, I don't always understand. This constantly gives me firsthand insight into the frustrations, embarrassments, and difficulties that my clients face. I can relate to my clients, because I've been in their shoes. I know how hard it can be to communicate in a second language, and that makes me extra invested in their success in English.

4. If you were not a corporate speech trainer what job would you have?

If I weren't a speech trainer, I'd likely be a writer. I've always loved words, and I tend to be able to put them together in a way that readers of a certain ilk enjoy.

5. What is your favorite pastime?

Music. I play classical violin and when I'm feeling plucky I pick up a ukulele or bass guitar. However, as far as talent goes, I'm a much better listener.

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