ACC Class Descriptions-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

ACC-SV Summer Program Class Descriptions

Academic Speaking

(approximately 7.5 hours/week)

Carnegie Mellon students are expected to take on tasks that require robust academic fluency. These tasks include expressing ideas orally in the classroom, collaborating with other students, and giving formal presentations. This class is designed to strengthen speaking and listening skills for the Carnegie Mellon classroom. The culture of the US classroom will also be examined to help students understand the behavior and language expected of them. Students will develop academic fluency in their fields as well as in less formal contexts.

Areas to be emphasized are:

  • making formal presentations
  • presenting ideas in class and in small groups
  • understanding lectures
  • asking and answering questions
  • participating in class discussions and in group projects
  • Clearly articulating and supporting ideas and opinions

Academic Reading and Writing

(approximately 7.5 hours/week)

A student's ability to read and write well relies not only on linguistic skills but also on the ability to recognize and use the conventions of written academic English. This class is designed to help students develop the reading and writing skills they need for academic work at Carnegie Mellon.

General areas to be emphasized are:

  • learning the expectations of the US style of writing
  • recognizing and using organizational patterns appropriate to academic writing
  • using transitions to make clear connections between ideas
  • practicing strategies for academic reading
  • understanding how general principles are applied in specific fields
  • citing sources and avoiding plagiarism

At the end of this course, students are required to compile a portfolio of their work in reading and writing for the instructor. The portfolio will be used as part of the final evaluation of the course. Students will gain a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses in reading and writing and develop a plan for improvement.

Topics in Language and Culture

(3 hours/week for 3 weeks in classroom sessions and additional hours for activities each week)

The practicum sessions and activities are designed to help students develop a practical understanding of US culture and to provide an opportunity to use their language skills in authentic classroom situations. We will also address issues of practical concern to students adapting to graduate student life at Carnegie Mellon and life in the entrepreneurial environment of Silicon Valley. Included: tours of 2 local companies.