English as a Second Language (ESL) Course for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering Graduate Students
One problem that internationals tend to have is saying "no" in a clear, polite way. All cultures have some way of saying "no". But how often in any cutlure do we actually say "NO" when we mean "no"? Actually, farily rarely. In English we tend to use expressions like "sorry, I don't have time", "I am busy that day", or "that would be fun, but I can't". Knowing these types of expressions can spare you a lot of social friction and misunderstandings.
A very common intelligablity problem is lack of clear focus word/intonation in speech. When we speak, we actually say certain parts of words much clearly and slowly than others. If your speech is very evenly timed, what you are saying may be unclear, even if your grammar and sounds are OK. We'll be practicing using focus words to make our speech more clear by coming up with some ideas to make small talk to students in labs.
October 22, 2012 - No homework due before this class.
October 24, 2012 - No homework due before this class.