Short Courses

PLaCE Short Courses for English Language

Are you an international student who wants to improve your communication skills and language proficiency? If so, please consider PLaCE Short Courses. These classes provide flexible, focused options for you to meet your English language needs and to fit your schedule. They:

  • last for 6 weeks (classes meet twice a week, with an optional individual conference with the instructor), workshops are one day stand-alone classes
  • are non-credit-bearing (classes are not graded and do not appear on transcripts; however, students can earn a Certificate of Completion*),
  • require no additional fees (costs are covered by international student fees)
  • are taught by PLaCE’s language instructors
  • get students actively involved in language learning (classes are small and focus on having students participate)
We offer Short Courses and Workshops all year round.  The current class schedule is available on this web site:

Short Course Registration

Below are descriptions of the classes, including some new workshops.
 

Speaking & Listening

  1. Intermediate Pronunciation & Prosody. Do you want to have a more “listener friendly” pronunciation? This short course will help non-native speakers of English speak more clearly and fluently through practice of clear vowel sounds and the sound patterns in spoken English (including stress, rhythm, and melody).
  2. Advanced Pronunciation & Prosody. This class is appropriate for students who have already taken Intermediate Pronunciation and Prosody and/or have control of individual sounds of English pronunciation, but still want to work on improving “listener-friendly” pronunciation. Note: Before taking this course, students should take the Intermediate Pronunciation and Prosody class, or get instructor approval.
  3. Essential Conversation & Discussion Skills. Do you have difficulty listening and talking to people in English? This class will help you communicate more effectively in face-to-face interactions. Students will learn and practice language patterns of American English that they use to start, maintain, and end social conversations, or to participate more actively in class discussions.
  4. Conversation & Discussion Skills: American Gaming Culture. Do you want to practice English in a fun, social setting? This class is an opportunity to experience modern gaming culture while learning English at the same time. The culture of board games will be introduced as part of a process of inquiry of experiencing and reflecting on American culture.
  5. Essential Presentation and Public Speaking Skills. Do you want to feel more confident speaking English in front of an audience? This short course will give students the opportunity to practice a variety of public speaking skills. The bulk of class time will be spent preparing for and delivering short speeches and presentations for an academic audience.
  6. Presentation Skills: Sustainability in Your Field. Do you want to develop your presentation skills in English? This course will focus on the theme of Sustainability. In the course, we look at how sustainability can be applied to different majors and academic fields. Ultimately, students will give a presentation about the connection of sustainability to their own field.
  7. Presentation Skills: Presenting with PowerPoint. Do you want to develop your presentation skills in English? This course will help. You will learn effective principles for designing and delivering successful slideshow presentations. The first half of the session will focus on developing appropriate form and content of a slideshow. The second half will focus on verbal and non-verbal communication skills for a powerful delivery.

Academic Writing

  1. Essentials of Grammar: Phrases, Clauses, and Sentences. Do you want to write clear, correct, and natural sentences in English? This class will help you understand and practice rules and patterns for the basic structures of sentences: phrases and clauses. Specific grammar topics may include articles, nouns, verbs tenses, subject-verb agreement, modifiers, relative clauses and sentence types. Note: Topics may vary by session, and class can be repeated.
  2. Advanced Grammar: Focus on Style. This course will help non-native speakers of English to improve the style of their academic writing through work on sentence construction and revision. The goal is to help students write smooth, readable prose that guides the reader to the intended meaning. The course uses the model of observation, practice, and feedback. Note: This course assumes that students already have a good command of English grammar and experience with academic writing.
  3. Structures and Functions of Academic Writing. Do you need to read and write lots of academic articles and papers? This class will help you to recognize different types (genres) of academic writing and to identify patterns of thought that academic writers use to communicate their ideas, with a focus on English language vocabulary and structures.
  4. Writing Workshop. Are you currently working on an academic paper? This course will help you be more confident, accurate, efficient, and effective as a writer through individualized and group support from peers and the instructor. Topics include planning your writing, revising and editing, and completing a research project specific to your discipline.
  5. Argumentation in Writing and Speaking. Argumentation plays a significant role in your ability to communicate effectively within the university and in your professional lives. Writing and speaking in a convincing way is a skill that spans all fields and disciplines. This course will help you to become more effective critical thinkers and consumers of information and arguments, with a focus on English language vocabulary and structures.
  6. Punctuation in Academic Writing: Do you need help with punctuation rules and usage? This course helps students write more clearly by learning how to use punctuation markers correctly and consistently. Topics include how to use commas, colons, dashes, semicolons, apostrophes, quotation marks, and parentheses. Note: Topics may vary by session, and class can be repeated.
  7. Writing Effective Emails in English. Do you struggle to write emails in English? This class will help you communicate more effectively and appropriately through email in academic and professional settings. You will also improve your overall English communicative skills through practice with grammar and vocabulary, as well as cross-cultural knowledge about politeness and pragmatics.

Vocabulary & Reading

  1. Increasing your Vocabulary. Do you want to learn more words and expressions in English? This short course will help you to improve their vocabulary knowledge. Participants will set a personal goal for vocabulary development and create an action plan to achieve that goal. Activities during the course include vocabulary assessments and using a variety of strategies, resources, and tools.
  2. Intermediate Vocabulary and Idioms in American Language and Culture. Do you want to improve your understanding of American culture through language? In this class, you will learn American idioms, expressions, collocations, and slang, while also improving your reading, listening, and speaking skills. The course examines several cultural topics, such as time, sports, interpersonal relationships, and job/work.
  3. Advanced Vocabulary and Idioms in American Language and Culture. Do you want to continue to develop your understanding of American culture through language? In this class, you will extend your learning of American idioms, expressions, collocations, and slang, while also improving your reading, listening, and speaking skills. Note: Before taking this course, students should take the Intermediate Vocabulary and Idioms class, or get instructor approval. Topics may vary by session, and class can be repeated.
  4. Reading Fluency and Strategies. Do you want to read faster and with better understanding and less effort? This course will help. You will learn about and practice reading fluency. You will also learn about different word parts that will help you recognize and understand words better. Additionally, you will learn active reading strategies to aid reading comprehension and vocabulary development using academic texts in your classes or field.

Workshops

  1. English Workshop Series: Language Learning Toolbox: Are you busy with classes, meetings, and research, but still want to work to improve your English? This workshop series will help. Each workshop will focus on specific language topic or skills. You will learn about tools, strategies, and resources that you can use to practice and improve your English. Note: Each workshop is a stand-alone event. Participants are welcome to attend single sessions or all sessions. Workshops can be repeated.  See registration form for titles.
            
  2. English Workshop Series: Vocabulary and Idioms in American Language and Culture
Workshop 1: Expressions about Work: “Are you an eager beaver?”
Participants will learn work-related American idioms. This workshop will help intermediate and advanced learners of English to improve their understanding of American culture and build their vocabulary of American idioms, expressions, collocations, slang, etc. Workshop activities may include individual and partner work, listening activities, Kahoot! online game, and role play.
Workshop 2: Expressions about Relationships: “Is this a match made in heaven?”
Participants will learn American idioms related to dating and male-female relationships. This workshop will help intermediate and advanced learners of English to improve their understanding of American culture and build their vocabulary of American idioms, expressions, collocations, slang, etc. Workshop activities may include individual and partner work, listening activities, Kahoot! online game, and role play.
Workshop 3: Expressions about Money: “Who brings home the bacon?”
Participants will learn American idioms related to money.  This workshop will help intermediate and advanced learners of English to improve their understanding of American culture and build their vocabulary of American idioms, expressions, collocations, slang, etc. Workshop activities may include individual and partner work, listening activities, Kahoot! online game, and role play.
Workshop 4: Expressions from Sports: “Do you have two strikes against you?”
Participants will learn American idioms originated from sports (baseball, basketball, boxing, etc.). This workshop will help intermediate and advanced learners of English to improve their understanding of American culture and build their vocabulary of American idioms, expressions, collocations, slang, etc. Workshop activities may include individual and partner work, listening activities, Kahoot! online game, and role play.
Workshop 5: Expressions from the Bible: “Are you a good Samaritan?”
Participants will learn American idioms originated from the Bible.  This workshop will help intermediate and advanced learners of English to improve their understanding of American culture and build their vocabulary of American idioms, expressions, collocations, slang, etc. Workshop activities may include individual and partner work, listening activities, Kahoot! online game, and role play.

 

certificate info

 

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange at PLaCE@purdue.edu.