The IC online learning tool for oral English skill-building recruits healthcare professionals for field-testing.

Tustin, CA, July 2009

LDS & Associates, LLC, and Talaria, Inc., announces that Phase I of their joint NIH grant project entitled “IC Online Learning Tool,” has successfully come to a close.

“While we’re waiting for Phase 2 funding, we’re offering this online course free of charge to healthcare professionals at large: physicians, nurses, and anyone else in Healthcare who: currently practices, is in training, is in research, or is an academic professional,” said Lorna Sikorski of LDS & Associates. “The best thing is that people will be able to access the program 24/7, for at least a year, at no charge!” continued Dr. Eileen VanSchaik, of Talaria, Inc.

In 2007, LDS & Associates, LLC, Tustin, CA partnered with Talaria, Inc., Seattle, WA to begin Phase I of an NIN (National Institute of Nursing) grant project entitled “Intercultural Communication Workshop”. Phase I of this multimedia, internet-based speech and language program (now-titled the “IC Online Learning Tool”) specifically targeted the communication concerns/competence of foreign-born nurses and ancillary professions. The IC integrates instruction to build clearer Oral English with contextual information about U.S. culture, healthcare communication culture, as well as common idioms and figures of speech relevant to medical settings.

“We have learned a lot from our participants in Phase I and look forward to the expansion of the project for Phase II, “said Lorna Sikorski. “Study participants told us that they benefited from the course, so we’d like to continue to see more in the field use it. Feedback from this next round of users will help us improve the content and usability for later development,” said Dr. VanSchaik.

“Building effective communication – especially a good accent for English – is always challenging for adult language learners,” continued Ms. Sikorski. “For medical professionals, it’s a critical skill in patient care. Our IC Workshop web-learning tool is an exciting new option for building better communication skills. We’ve tailored the content and the activities precisely for the healthcare setting: we want users to clearly see applications to their jobs.”

“Feedback from these participants is crucial to the development of the complete product in Phase II. For these (Free) beta trials, we welcome diverse professionals from the entire healthcare spectrum who are interested in building clearer oral English – within a medical context. The application process is very simple and can be done immediately from this page. At this contact page, we request only your name and email address. When you submit that page, a flyer will appear with detailed information and an immediate link to study’s email address. You will also find phone number for the grant’s field. Participants can actually complete the online application and begin using the tool immediately. You will have free access to the program 24/7, and can log and track your performance. We can also link them to a recorded webinar on the IC that contains more detail and visual examples,” said Lorna Sikorski.

About LDS Associates
Based in Orange County, California, LDS & Associates specializes in the design and implementation of communication programs for foreign born professionals. Lorna D. Sikorski, M.A., CCC-SP, President of LDS, has emphasized adult second language learners for the past twenty years. In addition to running LDS & Associates publishing, Ms. Sikorski has conducted professional training seminars on accent throughout the U.S. and Canada since 1984. She is also an active trainer for accented adults in the U.S. and in select international settings.

About Talaria, Inc.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Talaria, Inc. develops online healthcare education courses for providers and patients. Talaria has received over 15 NIH SBIR grant awards since its inception.