Our English Language Programs courses are tailored to develop the English language skills of our students, supporting them to write and speak as professionals in their disciplines. ELP courses are tailored to meet the needs of students, professionals, and scholars alike, offering guidance on completing work already associated with  courses and/or research. 

Courses focus on writing research, holding conversations, explaining ideas across disciplinary boundaries, and developing academic presentation skills.

Presentations & Teaching Pathway

U15 ELP 170 Presentation Skills for Academic & Professional Settings

This course builds skills in developing presentations, using visual aids, and delivering the presentation with confidence. It also addresses individual pronunciation issues, grammar and vocabulary for presentations and question/answer exchanges, and intercultural matters that affect the way a presentation is perceived. Students develop presentations about topics of their choice related to their field of study or work. Each presentation is videotaped and repeated so that students can apply the feedback they receive.

U15 ELP 171 Talk Like TED: Interdisciplinary Communication & Presentation Skills

This interdisciplinary course is specifically designed for graduate students and postdoctoral/visiting scholars who are conveying complex research to a variety of audiences. Scholars will develop their English vocabulary and grammar alongside presentation strategies to tailor their talks to match the needs of their audience. In this course, scholars will practice presentations such as conference presentations, job talks, elevator speeches, casual explanations in conversation, and more.

U15 ELP 470 Language, Culture, and Interaction Strategies for Instruction

This course is designed for non-native speakers of English who will be taking on instructional roles. Practical teaching methodologies and classroom management strategies are emphasized, covering a wide range of cross-cultural and teaching issues. Communication techniques for classroom, lab, and office interactions are modeled, practiced, and videotaped. Students will teach practice classes as well as role play office hours, and will learn how to present information effectively. Extensive individual feedback is provided.

Conversational Pathway

U15 ELP 202 Talking to Americans: Casual and Professional Conversations

This course offers practical instruction in cross-cultural communication skills. Language skills needed to improve spoken vocabulary and grammar at advanced levels will be addressed. Communication techniques taken from the business world, such as how to talk to the boss or advisor, how to ask for specific suggestions for improvement, how to sell a new idea, and how to relate to lab mates from other countries and the United States will be taught and practiced through role plays and cross-cultural training techniques.

U15 ELP 1405 Conversation about Recent Films

This course is designed for multilingual learners who wish to practice conversing about contemporary films. Colloquial expressions, conversational gambits, and conventions of fast spoken English are examined. Films will serve as examples for conversational schemes as well as topics of conversation in the course.

U15 ELP 101 Pronunciation for Clear Communication

This course is intended for people who have a good foundation of fluency in spoken English but want to adjust their pronunciation to facilitate clear communication. Scripted practice, communicative practice, and short presentations are used to develop participants’ skills at the sentence-level rhythm, stress, and intonation typical for North American English. Self-evaluation is emphasized so that students can continue developing their skills beyond the classroom. The instructor will give a diagnostic assessment on the first day to reassess placement and confirm whether the course is appropriate for each student.

Academic Writing Pathway

U15 ELP 108 Skills & Strategies for Academic Writing

This course is designed for newly arrived graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are in the process of beginning their writing in English. Throughout this course students will develop capacities to write accurately and efficiently for academic contexts. Through individualized instructor attention and frequent writing exercises, students will develop skills and strategies to be successful in their academic writing.

U15 ELP 208 Research Writing for International Students & Scholars

This course covers grammar, structure, style, and information flow for research articles in the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Participants use their own research work to practice writing, proofreading, and editing all sections of a research article, including introduction, review of prior work, discussion, and presentation of evidence/data. Participants also learn how to make the most of current language learning technology, including textual databases that enable them to find answers to their questions about elements of usage and structure typical for writing in their fields. Several editing workshops and individual tutorial meetings are built into the course to address language issues common to the course participants and to help strengthen participants’ skills at editing their own writing.

This course is an updated version of 1411: Research Writing for Graduate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences and 213: Research Writing for the Sciences.

U15 ELP 350 Advanced Research Writing Institute

This course is designed for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are in the process of writing a major research project in the form of a dissertation, thesis, grant proposal, or publication. Throughout this course, students will develop their own individual major writing project, developing their academic writing skills by analyzing and producing discipline-specific text. Students will gain greater control over grammatical and rhetorical structures appropriate to their discipline-specific writing as well as learning about online and local resources to support their writing. Through individualized instructor attention and frequent writing workshops, students will develop an awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses in writing, establishing strategies and habits to build strengths and overcome weaknesses.

U15 ELP 115 Writing for Academic and Professional Communication

Short pieces of writing ranging from emails to research statements to cover letters do not always get as much attention as research papers and scholarly articles, but can make a big difference in the impression you make as a student, researcher, or job candidate. In this course, participants will strengthen their skills at producing short pieces of writing for academic and professional settings. These short pieces of writing will also serve as a vehicle for practicing culturally appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures and for reviewing the grammar of written English.

Selecting the Best Course

To select the best course for you, we recommend that you consider your past experiences and future goals. If you want to develop your conversation skills – you are likely seeking 202: Talking to Americans or 171: Talk Like TED. Planning for your first academic presentation? 170: Presentation Skills is ideal! If you’re writing your first research article in English, 208: Research Writing for International Students & Scholars is designed for you! If you want to refine your process and products of writing, even after publishing your first article, then 350: Advanced Research Writing Institute is for you!

If you are having difficulty deciding which class might be best for you, please email our Program Manager, Katie Blackburn Brown, or schedule an appointment

How to Enroll

To see current listings, visit the School of Continuing & Professional Studies registration page.

For step-by-step guidance on registration:
Postdoctoral appointees & employees
Current students
Community members (including employees’ dependents/spouses and visiting researchers)

For questions, email our Program Manager, Katie Blackburn Brown, or schedule an appointment

Our Pathways

Research Writing

Courses in the Research Writing Pathway are designed to offer English language instruction and support for sentence, paragraph, and paper level organization and vocabulary challenges. In these classes, students are encouraged to review excellent examples from their fields and supported in their application of these stylistic features in their own writing. Most often, students experience instructor-led lectures and discussions, individualized feedback, and peer review writing activities.

Presenting to Varied Audiences

Courses in the Presentation Skills Pathway were constructed to offer practice, feedback, and skill development for English language presentations common to professional and academic life. With English language instruction in presentation delivery and frequent feedback, students are supported in the development of a talk or talks across the semester, watching and learning from examples that inspire and inform. Often, students in these classes present, offer feedback and critiques to peers, and complete skill building activities in the classroom.

Developing Conversation Skills

Courses in the Conversational Pathway were constructed to offer practice, feedback, and skill development for English language conversations common to professional and academic life. We offer strategies, practice, and other important concepts to clarify and guide conversational success in English. Students in classes on this pathway speak to each other and reflect on conversations they have during their daily lives. The students get feedback and advice for holding conversations comfortably in English.