Summer English program will sharpen reading and writing skills for scholars and business professionals

International scholars and staff who want to refine their academic communication skills, and non-native English speaking business professionals who want to build confidence in their reading and presentation skills, can apply now for an eight-week, intensive English program offered this summer by the English Language Institute (ELI) at Wayne State University.

The program also is a winner for non-native English speaking students who want to improve their reading and writing skills before applying for graduate studies.

"Learning English is not theoretical, but a skill strengthened through practice," says Bruce Morgan, director of the ELI. "We have some students who are wonderful at speaking but struggle with writing, and others who can write in English very well but need to work on their verbal skills."

Classes are available a la carte - students focus on areas where they need the most help. Proficiency tests determine placement level and classes meet mornings four days a week from June 28 to Aug. 17.

The program enlists traditional and non-traditional teaching methods to improve reading, writing and speaking skills. Textbooks and worksheets are studied together in class. Those lessons are supplemented by listening to and mimicking recordings of a broad range of speakers of both genders and numerous dialects in ELI's remote-access language labs.

Extracurricular activities, such as visiting local cultural institutions, coffee shops and restaurants, provide practice for reading and speaking in social settings. Yet another tool for learning is the ELI Reading Library, offering everything from abridged books to adult novels for students to borrow and study.

The first step in the process is submitting the ELI application by June 1. Applicants will be notified about the placement test being administered June 26 at ELI to determine class levels.

The university's Office of Executive and Professional Development can customize this language program and deliver it on-site to companies and nonprofit organizations that want to teach employees in their own work environment. Programs vary in length, depending on the client's needs, and target areas such as accent reduction, grammar, "American" English and slang, expanding vocabulary, presentation skills and writing right.

ELI is part of the Office of International Programs, which leads Wayne State's global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university's global agenda.

Executive and Professional Development, part of the Office of Educational Outreach, provides fully customized, integrated, in-depth programs to address specific organizational needs and improve individual and organizational capabilities and performance.

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