Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Language, Culture and Ministry Workshops

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Challenges for International Priests

International priests serving in the United States bring many gifts and talents to their ministry, but also face distinct challenges. Among the most pervasive challenges are their parishioners' ability to understand their accents, and understanding the complexities inherent in intercultural communication and ministry.

Accent Acquisition

International priests want to be understood by their parishioners in order to minister to them effectively and build good relationships with them. Accent acquisition training is not to "Americanize" the international priest or neutralize his accent so as to diminish his cultural identity. Rather, it gives the priest skills he can implement to communicate in his ministry more effectively.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Developing a deeper understanding of the differing cultural values and behaviors of both himself and his American parishioners equips the priest to act effectively in supporting his parish, his ministry, and those co-workers with whom he ministers.

Workshop Goals

Workshops aim to give priests the skills needed to:

  • produce spoken English in a way that is easy for Americans to follow

  • proclaim the Gospel and other liturgical texts in a listener-friendly manner for North American audiences

  • learn more about their cultural values and assumptions, and those of their parishioners, and

  • develop strategies for effective interpersonal communication in the United States.

Format

Trainings are delivered in eight sessions, typically over two or three days, depending on the needs and availability of the diocese and the participants.

 

Saint Meinrad's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates offers two in-diocese workshops for your international mission priests.

Accent & Culture Workshop 

This workshop training aims to give priests the skills needed to:

  • produce spoken English in a way that is easy for Americans to follow

  • proclaim the Gospel and other liturgical texts in a listener-friendly manner for North American audiences

  • learn more about their cultural values and assumptions, and those of their parishioners, and

  • develop strategies for effective interpersonal communication in the United States.

Intensive Accent Only Workshop

This workshop training aims to give priests the skills needed to:

  • produce spoken English in a way that is easy for Americans to follow

  • proclaim the Gospel and other liturgical texts in a listener-friendly manner for North American audiences.

Format

Trainings are delivered over eight sessions with in-classroom instruction lasting at least 12 hours. Most workshops are completed with only one overnight stay, but can be completed in two, allowing participants and presenter more time to cover scenarios, practice accent techniques, and cover questions and answers.

Jeff Jenkins

Jeff Jenkins, MA is the director of The Mader Learning Center at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, which assists students in mastering fundamental and advanced reading and writing skills, and provides special programs for students whose second language is English.

Mr. Jenkins earned a BA from Murray State University in organizational communication, an MA from Murray State University in TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and an MA from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Catholic Thought and Life.

He is a certified trainer in the Compton method of Pronouncing English as a Second Language and a facilitator of a dynamic series of tools for building cross-cultural competence. Jeff provides accent acquisition training within the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates' World Priest Program and at workshops delivered to dioceses, as well as individualized accent acquisition training online.

 

Personalized Accent Assessments

Individual workshop participants have the option of receiving a personalized accent assessment to help them identify the particular sound environments in which they need the most practice. Workshop participants provide a recorded speaking sample for our accent trainer to assess and receive a personalized report identifying those sounds upon which the speaker is consistently erring.

Personalized accent assessment reports correspond directly to the Speaking Pastoral English in America Course (S.P.E.A.C.) workbook, guiding the speaker to the specific pages where he should focus his practice time. The speaker will not have to wonder whether he has mastered a particular sound environment. The personalized assessment tangibly shows his pronunciation results. See a sample report.

Dioceses may opt to purchase individual, personalized accent assessments for any or all of their priests attending the workshop. This optional service costs $85 per assessment.

Workshop Cost

Workshops can be scheduled in your diocese for groups of 8-24 priests. Workshops are comprised of eight sessions and can be scheduled over the course of 2 or 3 consecutive days, depending upon the particular needs of the diocese. Actual class time is about 12 hours.

$2,450

Materials

Participants in either workshop receive the Speaking Pastoral English in America Course (S.P.E.A.C.) workbook with included audio CD. The workbook serves as the basis for ongoing accent acquisition practice following the workshop.

Participants in the Culture and Accent workshops also receive the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates' Language, Culture and Ministry workbook, which introduces participants to the key concepts of culture, comparing the differences in key cultural attitudes on many common subjects between different cultures.

$40 per participant

Individual Accent Assessments (optional)

A personalized accent assessment is a report from the accent trainer identifying those sounds upon which the speaker is consistently erring. These personalized reports correspond directly to the Speaking Pastoral English in America Course (S.P.E.A.C.) workbook, guiding the speaker to the specific pages where he should focus his practice time. The speaker will not have to wonder whether he has mastered a particular sound environment, as the personalized assessment tangibly shows his pronunciation results.

Individualized accent assessments can be very helpful, both as a timesaver for the priest and as a motivational tool. They are not, however, required as part of the workshop cost. Accent assessments can be purchased for any, all or none of the workshop participants.

$85 per participant

Presenter Travel and Accommodations

The diocese is responsible for the workshop presenter's travel and accommodations expenses. These costs are not included in the workshop fee.

Scheduling

Our workshop presenter, Jeff Jenkins, is a full-time administrator at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. He is available to provide in-diocese workshops during the summers from mid-May through mid-August.

See sample 2 and 3-day schedules:
Acculturation and Accent Workshop
Intensive Accent Only Workshop

For exact pricing and to schedule either the "Accent & Culture" or "Accent Only" workshop for the international mission priests of your diocese, contact us:

Email - smipp@saintmeinrad.edu

Phone - (800) 357-8477