Specialised communication needs

Dr Duncan Markham

We pride ourselves on being able to engage clients from the widest range of occupations in useful, meaningful conversation so that each client can develop their new communicative skills in relevant speaking contexts.

In all our training, we use carefully prepared original materials, and target professionally and socially relevant language use, vocabulary and communicative challenges.

Specialised vocabulary and pronunciation


Some industries are famous for having a mountain of complex words, whether it’s the Latin and French words of the legal profession, the creative brand and scientific names in pharmacology, or the diverse terms for ingredients, dishes and beverages in the food industry!

And then there’s medicine, with an overwhelming range of specialist terms (see below for the special section for healthcare professionals).

It’s hard enough to manage much of this if English is your first language, so imagine the challenges for second-language English speakers!

For professionals in highly technical areas, mastering the language and vocabulary of their profession in English is essential.

Ear & Speak has helped many doctors, engineers, accountants, financial analysts and IT specialists to improve their English technical pronunciation and business English skills, understand the needs of interviewers and, in the long term, the demands of communicating with clients.

Let us help you.          


Those words can be scary

We’ve all experienced the rush of anxiety when we sit down in a restaurant and see a menu item that looks completely unpronounceable! And most of us have had to say someone’s name that was very complex.

Can you pronounce verdelho, Leberwurst, gnocchi, Nguyen, Gewürztraminer, millefeuille, Xi Jinping, Åsa, jamón, Moët, …?

Have a look at our Pronunciation of foreign names, places and more page for some fun.

For some people, the fear of these seemingly unpronounceable words can be paralysing. Ear & Speak can train you to reduce your anxiety through an understanding of how these unfamiliar words are likely to be pronounced.

If you’re working in a field where there are lots of foreign words or names used, we can help you make a better, more professional impression on customers and colleagues by sharpening your pronunciation of unfamiliar words. Whether you’re a waiter, an airline employee or an executive at a multinational, our friendly and enlightening approach to language will make things easier for you.

Interviews and exams

Ear & Speak can help you prepare for interviews for all sorts of purposes, from entry-level job interviews to professional management positions to occupational admission/qualification tests.

We specialise in helping:

  • young graduates/professionals from any background
  • established professionals who speak English as a second language, and
  • medical admission and qualification candidates who speak English as a second language.

Far too many job applicants misunderstand the importance of superficial impressions in face-to-face interviews. Phone interviews are even more problematic, as you can be judged on the clarity of your speech or the confidence of your voice before you even get to present your skills properly.

Dr Duncan Markham and Dr Debbie Loakes have both worked with numerous job candidates in Melbourne to improve the quality of their interview answers, to develop the style and structure of their expression, and to correct accent or pronunciation issues in English that could affect their chances.


Success requires work

Hardly anyone can get a serious job by walking into a job interview unprepared. Young graduates are often surprisingly over-confident at first and then become increasingly unhappy and frustrated.

More experienced employees often forget the basics of interviews and assume that their experience will be convincing enough. This is rarely the case.

If you’re applying for jobs, you need to practise explaining who you are, what your skills are, and how you can contribute to the new workplace or business.

If English is not your mother tongue, you will probably face special challenges, especially as a young graduate. You need to explain things in a style that you may never have tried before, you might discover that your pronunciation of technical terminology is poor and that employers will reject you because of inadequate communication skills.

The sooner a job-seeker or interview candidate starts working on improving skills and communication, the sooner they will see success.

Medical communication

Say “ahhhh”

Ear & Speak has considerable experience working with clients in a wide range of medical and scientific fields. Dr Duncan Markham and Dr Debbie Loakes have helped numerous clients with healthcare backgrounds improve their general clarity of speech and communication skills in English.

Our professionalism makes training constructive, relevant and valuable. Unlike many other services, we do not treat foreign medical graduates as targets for crass advertising and scaremongering. Good communication is important in all walks of life, and involves developing a good set of skills.


Palpation or palpitations?

Uniquely, Dr Markham can engage with the subject matter in most medical fields, meaning that training remains dynamic and relevant for medical professionals in all contexts, whether it be doctor-patient interactions or biological and chemical mechanisms.

He can help English native-speaker and second-language-speaker clients to prepare for degree or professional OSCEs, Occupational English Tests, Multiple Mini Interviews and other challenges in gaining medical qualifications in Australia.

And equally importantly, both Dr Markham and Dr Loakes can help you communicate crucial messages more effectively in critical medical contexts.