Carnegie Mellon University

Student Academic Success Center

Office of the Vice Provost for Education

Language Support Workshops & Seminars

These workshops provide an opportunity for language practice and feedback, which is crucial to the development of a second language. The seminars are useful for practicing a wide variety of language and cross-cultural skills.

Workshops

Workshops meet 2 times a week, 90 minutes per session, in 4-6 week modules. Workshops provide an opportunity for language practice and feedback, which is crucial to the development of a second language.

Seminars

Seminars meet one time for 90 minutes. Attend them to practice a wide variety of language and cross-cultural skills.

Workshops

(note: can be taken either for pass-fail credit, 99-452, or as a non-credit workshop)

Practice key aspects of pronunciation and teaching fluency, and understand the US classroom better. Students will be prepared to teach a short lesson by the end of the class.

Build fluency and organizing language, and learn valuable communication strategies that help compensate for language gaps. (4 weeks, 12 hours total)
Learn to identify and correct spoken grammar errors by expanding your understanding of spoken English grammar usage. (4 weeks, 12 hours total)
Practice academic language, and develop presenting skills in audience awareness, organization and pronunciation. Students practice in small group mini-talks and a final videotaped presentation. (4 weeks, 12 hours total)
Practice techniques that make the biggest difference in clarity and comprehensibility.
Small group session: give weekly academic presentations, and learn how to ask for and give useful feedback on language and communication style. (5 weeks, 7.5 hours total)

Seminars

A 1-hour seminar. Learn about common language and cross-cultural issues experienced by international students at CMU, and determine what language support is right for you.

Practice organizing structures and language used for explaining data in papers and presentations.

Learn techniques to summarize and simplify complex material.

Identify and practice strategies for effectively organizing information and communicating politely in academic emails.
Use drama techniques to focus on muscularity/ mouth movement, gestures, and emphatic stress.
Nonnative English speakers can avoid unintentionally plagiarizing by understanding what plagiarism means in US universities, and how to paraphrase another author's work properly.
Learn how to demonstrate your knowledge more effectively in classes, discussion groups and seminars.
Learn principles of successful academic writing (e.g. audience, purpose, organization, style, flow).
Learn how to better tell your "professional story": e.g., professional strengths, motivations, future aspirations, personal and professional influences.
Learn to revise your writing through structuring sentences and paragraphs so that readers will interpret ideas as you intended.

Improve the quality of presentations and feel more confident as a presenter by focusing on audience, purpose and organization.

Learn how to successfully write the various types of summaries that are required in many CMU classes (reports, reviews, critiques, exams, etc.).