Today, I enjoyed a delightful cup of coffee with one of my colleagues from the Physics program here at NYU Shanghai. I thought we would catch up on our respective winter breaks and Chinese New Years celebrations. We ended up discussing language learning and people’s attitudes towards accent and accent reduction for quite a while, both of us sharing times that others have responded negatively to either their accented English or my accented Chinese. This conversation was a very fruitful for me, both personally and professionally. By talking to a non-specialist who has engaged in successful language learning, I was forced to share my disciplinarily informed opinions in a more accessible way. It also allowed me to see how others experience language learning and being a second language speaker.
TL;DR: It’s great to get out your disciplinary/professional bubble. The perspective that you’ll gain is brilliant!