ABOUT DR. LAURA SICOLA
Laura has spent more than a decade coaching, training, lecturing, researching and publishing on cognition, pronunciation, culture, the voice and related effect on learning. She is a speech coach for the TED Fellows program, and has delivered TEDx talks, workshops, presentations and keynote addresses on topics ranging from the art of persuasive speaking to intercultural business communication, for audiences across the US, as well as in Egypt, Japan, Spain, China and Germany.
Laura recognizes that strong leadership communication skills are fundamental to success regardless of one’s formal role or position, and tries to pay it forward whenever possible. She is on the board of advisers for Women Network and the California Women’s Conference, and helps pre-seminarians develop public speaking skills for sermons and spiritual guidance through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She also does business pitch coaching to help rising entrepreneurs – especially women and minorities – develop a vocal identity for their companies through organizations such as The Enterprise Center, NAWBO and the PA Commission for Women, and Great Dames.
An entrepreneur at heart, Laura’s first company was the Sicola Consulting Group, focusing on intercultural communication and business communication skills training for international professionals in the US. She has also been a part of DreamIt Ventures, a high-tech startup incubator in Philadelphia, and has run programs on international business communication skills in cities ranging from Philadelphia, PA to Cairo, Egypt.
Laura was faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, through 2013, and has lectured at the Wharton School of Business, and guest lectured at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
She earned her PhD in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, has an MA in multicultural education and bilingual teaching credential (Spanish/English), and a BA in international studies and Japanese. She speaks English, Spanish and Japanese and has studied Arabic and Italian, and is an avid swing dancer and chef.
- PhD, educational linguistics, the University of Pennsylvania
- MA, multicultural education, California State University
- Bilingual multiple-subject teaching credential, California State University
- BA, international studies, American University, Washington, DC
Selected Conference Presentations:
- Invited speaker, MID-TESOL, October 2013 (Lawrence, KS)
- Invited speaker, TESOL international, March 2012 (Philadelphia, PA)
- Plenary address, Penn TESOL East, November 2011 (Abbington, PA)
- Global Entrepreneurship Week (Cairo, Egypt)
- Keynote speaker, TexTESOL II, February 2011 (San Antonio, TX)
- TESOL (New York, NY and Boston, MA)
- Japan-US Teacher Education Consortium (Tokyo, Japan)
- The Association for Language Awareness (Lleida, Spain)
- Families in Global Transition (Houston, TX and Washington, DC),
- Task-Based Language Teaching (Honolulu, HI)
- The Linguistic Academy University of Duisberg (Frankfurt, Germany), among others.
Sicola, L. (Forthcoming). “Creating the Sound of Trust.” In Trust Inc., 52 Weeks of Trust-Building Exercises & Activities.
Dr. Sicola has published several books and articles on her primary research areas of cognitive processing in second/foreign language acquisition, phonology/pronunciation, and linguistic culture shock, including:
Sicola, L. (Forthcoming). Integrating pronunciation in the language classroom. In M. Reed and J. Levis (Eds.) Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of English Pronunciation. San Francisco: Wiley.
Pütz, M. & Sicola, L. (Eds.) (2010). Cognitive Processes in SLA: Inside the Learner’s Mind. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Sicola, L. (2009). “No, they won’t just sound like each other”: Attention to phonological form in NNS-NNS inter action on targeted L2 pronunciation tasks. Landau, Germany: Peter Lang Publishers.
Sicola, L. (2007) Review of: Along the Routes to Power: Explorations of Empowerment through Language. By M. Pütz, J. A. Fishman, & J. Neff-van Aertselaer (Eds.) New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2006. For: Current Issues in Language Planning, v8 n1, pp. 119-128.
Sicola, L. (2005). Communicative Lingerings: Exploring Awareness of L2 influences on L1 of American Expatriates after Reentry. Language Awareness 14(2-3) pp. 153-169.