English Language Resources for International Students

    Posted on Friday, Feb 02, 2018
    For international students who use English as a second language, oral communication is always a huge challenge in both academic and professional sense. Good news is that Texas A&M have many on-campus resources that can help with the learning process. Recently my friend asked me where he could go to practice spoken English, in order to be more confident in public speaking. I double-checked with the Center for Teaching Excellence-English Language Proficiency program, and here is a list of opportunities:
    • English Language Proficiency for Current and Future Instructors Practice Group
    This is a series of workshops hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence. The group meet in Evans Library every week throughout the semester. Although its original intention is to train international TAs, they welcome perspective TAs and other international students as well. Participants will interact with each other, with language experts, and with experienced TAs. It is a non-judgmental safe environment for people to practice using English as much as possible, and become confident about speaking in public. For the current semester’s schedule, students can contact the office at: http://cte.tamu.edu/Graduate-Student-Support/English-Language-Proficiency
    • University Writing Center
    We all know that UWC provides writing consultations, but do you know they have individual consultations on speech and presentation skills as well? They even help students to design posters for conferences. The service is included in the undergraduate and graduate student fees, so please utilize this resource as much as you can. If there is a specific project that you want to improve (for example, a forth coming conference presentation or teaching session), take your ideas and background materials to UWC and get professional help! Appointments need to be pro-booked online: http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Graduate-Students
    • International Student Mentor Association
    I have been part of ISMA for two semesters and I absolutely love my experience with this organization. Through mentorship, I made American friends and international buddies, and learn new cultures at the same time. The organization does require a certain level of commitment, but the time and energy I put in is quite worthy. Everyone in this group is super friendly toward international students. People are interested in knowing you as a person, and help with your struggles as an international student on campus. The chance to practice speaking English is just a side gift of joining ISMA. If a student organization is what you are looking for, I would highly recommend this one. You can find ISMA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISMATAMU/
    • Dinner in a U.S. Home Program
    This is a great way to get to know the Bryan/College Station community. Many of the hosts are in some ways affiliated with Texas A&M, but there are long-time local residents as well. International Student Services matches people together according to the students’ dietary and transportation needs. I have made great friends through this program, with whom I kept in contact even after they left College Station. Sharing dinners together, the program setting is very informal and family-friendly. Again, practice speaking English is one of the goals, but the more important thing is to meet new people and get connected with the community. Program details can be found here: http://iss.tamu.edu/Side-Menu/Community-Involvement/Dinner-in-a-US-Home-Host

    Mingqian Liu | Architecture
    Mingqian is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Architecture


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