Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Academic Advisers and Staff

Knowledge Base: I am an Academic Adviser or Staff

Courses. International students and scholars may take the following courses focusing on academic speaking, writing, and teaching skills in English.

  • Undergraduate ESL Courses:
    1. ESL 005 – Writing Tutorial. This tutorial provides support for the development of academic writing skills in English, for students concurrently enrolled in ESL 015.
    2. ESL 015 – Composition for American Academic Communication. This first-year seminar offers structured practice in academic reading and process-based composition in English for multilingual writers. 


  • Graduate ESL Courses:
    1. ESL 114G – American Oral English for Academic Purposes. Students in this course develop English oral communication skills for both academic and interpersonal settings. Assignments include oral presentations, group discussions, and role plays; students receive individualized feedback.
    2. ESL 116G – Composition for Academic Disciplines. This course guides graduate students through the analysis, organization, and writing of academic essays and research papers, in line with writing conventions in their disciplines.


  • Graduate Courses for International Teaching Assistants:
    1. ESL 115G – American Oral English for ITAs I. This course focuses on strategies for improving students’ speaking and listening skills in English, including pronunciation, intonation patterns, and overall oral fluency. Students practice short oral presentations, discussions, and role-plays.
    2. ESL 117G – American Oral English for ITAs II. This course includes a variety of speaking tasks related to classroom teaching in the U.S., including presenting syllabi, using visual aids, explaining step-by-step processes, and teaching short subject-area lessons.
    3. ESL 118G – American Oral English for ITAs III. This ITA capstone course includes structured practice in teaching tasks such as presenting lectures, leading interactive lessons, guiding laboratory sessions, and working with students during office hours. Students must achieve a passing score on the ESL 118G course exit exam (IPT) in order to assume teaching duties in subsequent semesters.

You can find information and register for the test on the Applied Linguistics AEOCPT page.

EPPIC: Academic Language and Culture Support

The English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center (EPPIC) at Penn State offers a range of workshops for international students and scholars that focus on advanced academic spoken and written English, including email writing, practicing for job interviews in the U.S., conversational English for academic purposes, and avoiding plagiarism. Workshops are free; registration is available on EPPIC’s website.

EPPIC Individual Consultations (EICs) are available to international students and scholars who would like one-on-one help with their academic speaking or writing skills in English. Appointments for EICs (led by tutors who specialize in working with multilingual students) can be made online.

International students can participate in weekly Speak UP! Conversation Group sessions, led by an experienced multilingual teacher from EPPIC, to learn about university language and culture and to gain practice and confidence in their speaking skills in English. 

Students seeking to practice conversational skills, expand their social circle, and learn more about everyday life and culture in the U.S. may request a Global Conversation partner by contacting Wenjie Fu in Penn State’s Office of Global Programs.

Advisers and staff are invited to attend workshops (offered each semester) on working with international multilingual students, organized by the English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center (EPPIC).

Additional workshops on intercultural communication strategies, supporting international students, and related topics can be requested by contacting EPPIC.