ESL 401 is a 2-hour once-a-week workshop plus 1-2 hours per week presentation or independant production work that focuses on improving communication skills in an academic setting. There is an independent soundwork element of the course to improve sound and fluency. All students must register through the ITA Program office. There is no direct phone registration for this course.
Students in ESL 401 practice teaching and language compensation strategies, conduct instructional pieces, and evaluate/analyze communication and information exchanges from both the perspective of the audience and the student instructor. The pieces cover a range of situations, such as defining terms, presenting field information, leading and participating in discussions, supporting explanations with examples and analogies, assisting students to review and prepare for tests and exams, conducting office hours, monitoring lab work, asking and fielding questions, obtaining and using student feedback, and making small talk with students and native-speaker colleagues. Students are given time in the workshop to prepare their instructional pieces for presentation/evaluation.
Clear efficient and comfortable communication is our goal, not necessarily perfect sound or grammar. Students are also expected to do independent tapework which is designed to improve their sound/rhythm/intonation and fluency. After the first few sessions, this work is done outside of class and exchanged via envelopes. The tapework is designed to assist students to obtain a conditional passing score of "45" to be supported by their in-class work and result in a certification recommendation based on demonstrated communicative ability. A limited number of students who are self-motivated and already have SPEAK scores of "45" may register with the program to do only the independent tape work portion of the program.
At the beginning of the semester, students select goals and throughout the semester, students receive feedback about their progress and the opportunity and guidance to select new goals. Language skills adjustment takes time and effort and students are requested to withdraw from the class if they have not completed a required amount of work within the first six weeks of class.