Speak! Language Center offers several educational programs in English to meet the language needs of non-native speakers. Our advanced English courses, delivered face-to-face or via Skype, are designed for graduate students and professionals working in the fields of business, engineering, science, and more. In addition, we offer immersion English lessons for all levels. Highly personalized, our one-on-one courses help students practice pronunciation, review grammar challenges, paraphrase reading material, and learn and reinforce new vocabulary through speaking and writing.
B-Speak! Customized Course for MBA Students
For international students entering an MBA program in Fall 2014, B-Speak! offers the ultimate in flexibility. Students sign up for 10, 20, or 30 hours of individual instruction, which can be received via Skype or face-to-face, with the hours spread over the summer or offered in an intensive block. During the first session with the teacher, your speaking, listening and writing skills are evaluated in order to develop a customized curriculum to fit your specific needs. The overarching goal of B-Speak! is to help you become more fluent, accurate and understandable when speaking in the classroom and learning team rooms.
Our program is structured around the eight cognitive-oral skills necessary to successfully express ideas cohesively: to describe, define, explain, sequence, choose, defend, solve, and challenge. In addition, each customized course includes work in vocabulary and idioms, North American culture, business writing skills, and techniques of mindfulness to help reduce anxiety and ease students into a more fluid, natural speaking style.
To supplement your Skype lessons, we offer this online resource program. In each of the six units of this program, you will have access to a variety of materials. You may use some of them during your lessons on Skype, or your teacher may ask you to complete a reading or listening task between lessons. You and your teacher will decide how and when to use these materials in a way that is most advantageous to you. Your teacher may also supplement this with other materials. Each of the six units contains these sections:
Pronunciation – easy-to-read explanations and charts to use during your lesson or for subsequent review to help you improve your pronunciation and intonation.
Readings – current articles that you will read and discuss with your teacher, from sources such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, The Economist, The New York Times.
Listening – listening selections from radio and television on timely issues in business.
Idiomatic English – dialogues which explore some of the typical experiences of MBA students and which illustrate the use of phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang. These dialogues are accompanied by conversation strategies.
Writing – brief writing exercises which are linked to the topics and themes of each unit.
Mindfulness – a series of talks by Marga Odahowski, UVA professor and author The Way of the Hammock. Marga shares tips on reducing anxiety while speaking English and adapting to a new culture and environment. Her breath-work and relaxation exercises will assist you in challenging areas of pronunciation and help them ease into a more fluid, natural speaking style.
To view other English/ESL courses at Speak! see our English page.