Course Descriptions And Sample Syllabi

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Spoken Communication

Spoken Communication: Fluency Building focuses on improving fluency in both academic and non-academic contexts. Students in this course will practice daily expressions, gain vocabulary and grammatical items used when speaking, and understand how to participate actively in classrooms and daily life using English. Students will improve speaking skills through guided activities, presentations, research, and self-reflection on the English they currently speak.
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Spoken Communication: General American Pronunciation prioritizes speaker intelligibility and seeks to professionalize students’ spoken English by focusing on word stress, stress-timing in phrases, the prominence of keywords in strings of speech, and phonemic accuracy and intonation patterns within the General American dialect. Students develop a working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet and explore General American pronunciation through guided listening, exercises, journaling, presentations, and recorded projects.                                          
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Spoken Communication: Conversation in Context focuses on the linguistic, pragmatic, and conversational strategies needed to contribute ideas and opinions to conversations in a culturally appropriate way along with effectively interacting with others in campus classrooms and in daily life. Students will conduct fieldwork interviewing and exploring how English is used by Chicagoans and reflect on their own English usage. The cultural and linguistic meanings behind what students say and how they say it in English are also explored to improve intercultural communication among speakers with different backgrounds. 
Prerequisite: Fluency Building (or instructor permission)
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Spoken Communication: Academic Presentations focuses on helping international students organize and deliver short and extended presentations confidently in a wide variety of contexts and subjects. The class will have a specific focus on producing English sentences from memory with appropriate vocabulary, grammar, rhythm, register, and articulation that are comprehensible to North American listeners. Other areas such as the effective use of PowerPoint and creating a dynamic presenter style will also be covered. Students will be required to provide self- and peer-critiques on recorded presentations.
Prerequisite: Conversation in Context (or instructor permission)
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Spoken Communication: English Communication Strategies for International Teaching Assistants is designed for international graduate students who are currently teaching or planning to teach in the near future. In the course, students will improve their English proficiency with a focus on the linguistic and intercultural communication skills needed to succeed as an instructor at UChicago.
To decide between this course and the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT), consult our comparison document >>

Spoken Communication: Partners and Spouses is an intermediate course in which students learn the speaking skills and conversational strategies needed to ask culturally and linguistically appropriate questions and to communicate effectively in a range of authentic contexts. Students participate in real-life scenarios, group discussions, and presentations. The final project of this course centers around hosting a dinner party or a similar gathering and documenting the course experience. This course invites students to explore this specific facet of North American culture as a way to expand their social network and make new acquaintances. Students will explore common U.S. customs, expectations and other contextual factors when planning and implementing a dinner party in the United States and in Chicago. By preparing for and hosting a dinner party, students refresh and embed vocabulary, get to know the city of Chicago through route planning, utilize conversation skills and a range of other relevant tasks that can be immediately applied to everyday life.


Written Communication

Written Communication: Crafting Varied and Impactful Sentences reviews the fundamentals of English sentence grammar within a cohesive form/function framework. Students also learn to manipulate sentence structure to improve information flow, increase variety, and hone focus.
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Written Communication: Standards and Conventions in North America features lessons on word choice and sentence variety, independent editing, organization and coherence, and the proper integration of sources. Students will examine documents from their fiels as well as on general, academic topics and will produce and edit documents themselves. 
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To decide between the ELI Written Communication courses and the Writing Program Little Red Schoolhouse, consult our comparison document >>


Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL)

This course is a practical introduction to the field of Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL).  Students gain an understanding of language pedagogy while exploring best practices for teaching English to all level of students both in the United States and abroad.  Students also learn about course design, prepare and lead activities, develop assessment tools, how to review textbooks and online resources, and working effectively within an English language program. 
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