Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ESL 506

Dept/Number/Title:ESL 506 - Oral Communication for International Teaching Assistants

Credit: 0 hours/0 units

Contact hours: 3 hours


  1. Permission of instructor is required.
  2. Prerequisites:
    1. ESL 504, or exemption from ESL 504 by completion of ESL 110/410, or a score of 45 or greater on the SPEAK or TSE exam.
    2. ESL 500 or 501 if required or recommended by the Illinois English Placement Test (EPT).

Course contents: The objective of this course is to provide current and potential international teaching assistants with preparation in all aspects of spoken English within the context of the American university classroom. This is achieved through activities such as videotaping and critiquing of studentsí oral presentations, role-plays, and impromptu speeches, as well as through class discussions of principles of classroom communication, relevant linguistic variables, and campus culture.

Representative Syllabus

Week 1 Diagnostic Testing and Introduction

Week 2-4 Unit 1
Content: small talk, presentation skills, non-verbal communication, describing course policies, SPEAK practice, part 1
Assignment: Five-minute mini-lecture. Introducing a course syllabus.

Week 5-7 Unit 2
Content: oral fluency, the rhythm of English, language for describing visuals, listening practice with common student questions, fielding questions, SPEAK practice, part 2
Assignment: Five-minute mini-lecture. Explaining a Visual.

Week 8-11 Unit 3
Content: Making content relevant, compound nouns, communication strategies, SPEAK practice, part 3
Assignment: Five-minute mini-lecture. Defining a Term.

Week 12-15 Unit 4
Content: Interactive teaching methods, discussion sessions,
Assignment: Eight-minute interactive mini-lecture