I’m Robert Wadleigh. I have been teaching and editing for two decades now. (Wow! Yes I am that old – when did that happen? In my mind I am still that guy you see in the photo from ten years ago when I was teaching in Korea….) And I want to welcome all readers whether you might be potential clients, students of language or merely curious about languages and culture and linguistics. Wadleigh Consulting was registered as a legal entity back in 2013 in Hong Kong but it had several forerunners prior to that. So I have been involved in doing editing of academic papers, application documents and even advertising content and exhibition interpretation for a solid decade now.
Prior to that, I taught English writing (especially Ielts preparation), debate, public speaking and general conversation over the course of the prior decade or more, taking my first teaching position in 1989 in Taiwan. In the course of teaching students and assisting clients I came to see that what is most needed in really acquiring skills in a language or achieving any given task is a deeper understand of the culture within which that language exists and operates. Preparing clients to live, study or work abroad in the English speaking world is not a matter of pronunciation and correct grammar as it is introducing why people talk the way they do and bridging the gap between what is really two disparate worlds. Language encodes thinking and predisposes its users to certain structures and ideas.
In my experience, having travelled throughout North America and Asia as well as other lands, there are no two worlds quite as alien to one another than the collectivist realm of East Asia which is based upon Confucian norms even today and that of the highly individualistic West. So we here at Wadleigh Consulting focus on bridging that gap and preparing our clients in earnest to survive and prosper in that other world. As our client you should be interested in improving yourself, improving your skills and be open to seeing matters in an entirely different light.
Of course, there are people who go abroad with nominal skills who do not take that approach. However in my experience they will spend their time abroad always as a stranger, an alien, and sometimes endangering themselves or infuriating their hosts. That is unwise and it leads to failure of whatever you may have set out to do. You can’t change a reality you might at first be uncomfortable with by ignoring it; you can only succeed by interacting with it and communicating with its inhabitants.
It is one of the grand adventures still available to us all in an ever shrinking and more crowded world. We invite you to engage with us and tell us of your dreams and inspiration that compels you to embark upon that path. Your life is what you make it with a little help from friends and fellow travellers along the way. The world is waiting for you, be it friendly, hostile, or sublime, or even all three at once. It is thrilling to utter sounds and perform actions you never knew some time ago and be understood and even become commonplace in a world totally different from what you used to call your own. You become a familiar stranger in a distant land conveying thoughts hitherto unheard of.
In upcoming posts we will highlight past cases, talk about the rise in xenophobia in certain parts of the world, discuss how certain academic fields are becoming very, very competitive and introduce destinations for study or travel abroad that you may not have ever considered.
Once again we welcome you and look forward to hearing from you and fielding whatever questions you might have.
Blessings and Salutations,
Owner and Chief Editor,