Over 30 years of experience in cross-cultural communication on six continents.
As an applied linguist, I have worked with professionals in the fields of accounting, architecture, auditing, customer service, engineering, finance, management, marketing, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, quality assurance, religion, research & development, and sales.
Trained Teacher & Coach
I hold master’s degrees in both Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language and a bachelor’s degree in German.
Presenter & Author
I have presented at numerous professional conferences and symposia and co-authored a book on the difficulties of English grammar and pronunciation for Japanese learners.
Projects in the hopper: a smart phone app for improving English pronunciation for non-native speakers and a communication textbook for business professionals called Politics, Persuasion, and Politeness in the Workplace.
Talk Show Host
In 2013, we created Feel Like You Belong, a multi-resource web portal and TV show. I interview immigrants and expatriates to learn how one goes about belonging in a new land, new language, and new culture. For non-natives, we dissect American culture, American English slang, and even American humor. Our mission is to help U.S. newcomers fit in and be powerful participants in their jobs and their neighborhoods. We also educate non-immigrants about their new neighbors and co-workers from overseas. Together, we ALL belong!
I have lived, worked, and traveled on six continents, including extended stays in Germany, Nigeria, and Brazil. I have studied numerous languages over my life, including German, Spanish, French, Hausa, Swedish, Hmong, Farsi, Japanese, Czech, Portuguese, and Italian. My goal is to begin studying Arabic next.
Practicing what I preach to my students, I try to speak in the local language whenever possible to waiters, taxi drivers, and local citizens; it is always with great enthusiasm—though with varying degrees of accuracy!
Family Man & Distance Runner
My wife Kim Roberts is a video installation artist and professor of video and new media. We live just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan with our Coton de Tulear named Gladys. Daughter Megan is a physician in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Daughter Katy is a hospital chaplain in Long Beach, California.
I gladly travel great distances to eat exotic foods, speak foreign languages, and learn more about non-U.S. cultures.
In my spare time at home, I enjoy dinner parties, watching movies, volunteer work, pruning my apple trees, looking at dictionaries, and long-distance running. My current goal is to run a long-distance race for each letter of the alphabet.
How to get in touch:
Email Alan (at) Headbloom.com
Headbloom Cross-Cultural Communication
11275 56th Avenue
Allendale, MI 49401-9154 USA