In this spoken-word style essay, entitled "Broken English," Jamila Lyiscott narrates what it is like to speak three variations of the same language, depending on formal and informal situations, with her family, friends, or colleagues. She brings attention to the subjectivity of being "articulate," how the different contexts that we find ourselves in dictate the norms and rules of our communication. Our individual cultural upbringings shape the way we utilize language and make it our own. Lyiscott also makes mention of the often complicated and tragic history behind a culture, in this case, her African heritage, and how we become truly "articulate" when we take ownership of our personal history.
So, to improve your intercultural communication skills, I recommend you take a few minutes to watch this brief but poignant TED presentation. Afterwards, take a few moments to think about your own background, your upbringing, your family's history. Maybe you can trace your lineage to Native Americans, maybe your grandfather was an immigrant, or your parents. Maybe you were born in a different country and had to learn a second language; maybe you've lived in a metaphorical bubble, exposed to mostly the same comfortable cultural norms all your life. Whatever your background may be, consider all the different contexts in which you communicate, and all the different languages or slang or intonations that you use, and where these originate. You have a unique accent that is all your own, and there's no use trying to neutralize it in pursuit of perfect articulation. Once you have noted and embraced your own history, realize that every other person you meet has an equally complicated set of influences. With this understanding and empathy, you can be "articulate."