English as a Second Language (ESL) Course for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering Graduate Students

Having worked with academics (professors primarily) for a number of years in my communication consulting business, I often deal with the complaint "students don't like me" or "they rate me poorly"; American students sometimes perceive even well-meaning non-native English teachers as "unhelpful". Each culture has different expectations about what should happen when a student seeks help. If you violate the American students expectations and you may appear hostile. This week we will learn about how to make polite office small talk and give friendly sounding assistance; these are invaluable skills in not just the university setting, but in almost any professional capacity.

We'll also learn about the pronunciation concepts of "assimilation" and "linking". Often times, when non-native English speakers try to speak clearly they speak CAREFULLY-PRONOUNCING-EACH-WORD-SEPARATELY, PAUSING-BETWEEN-THE-WORDS. We'll learn why pronouncing each word separately is actually a counterproductive approach.

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Week 5

October 6, 2014 - No homework due before this class.

October 8, 2014 - Come prepared to do homework 4 live in class. You should be prepared to do any/all of the tasks listed in the homework. Please consult the handout "Office Hours" for useful phrases you may need to memorize.