One of the challenges international students
face is the ability to communicate fluently with clear, articulate speech and
the confidence that they can be understood and “fit in,” whether in a class
discussion or presentation, conversation with their professors, internship
interview or interaction with university peers or the Chicago community.
Several years ago, DePaul’s English Language Academy (ELA) began offering Pronunciation
Training for Success (PTfS) classes in response to requests from
DePaul students at ELA and in degree programs who wanted to improve their
intelligibility in spoken English. Today, PTfS is an individualized hybrid
course designed for international professionals and students in Chicago and
around the globe, using state-of-the-art online voice recognition and
artificial intelligence software to diagnose and customize a lesson path for
their pronunciation, fluency and word stress patterns.
Participants work at their own pace online for
at least two hours total per week, then meet weekly with a language coach (face
to face or online) to review their progress and receive in-depth feedback and
additional resources specific to their needs. PTfS is an affordable,
personalized course that allows flexibility through its hybrid format. Participants have described the positive
features of the course and its impact on their communication skills and
- “I like the immediate feedback and the progress tracking of the online program.”
- “The one-to-one coaching is really helpful. The instructor gives me a progress
plan, which makes a good package with
the lesson-by-lesson feedback online.”
- “Now I feel more comfortable interviewing and talking to people I haven’t met before.
PTfS participants have included graduate and
undergraduate students at DePaul and other universities, DePaul professors, and
professionals in law, technology, restaurant management, hospitality, human
resources, journalism and those preparing for corporate job transition.
Language backgrounds have included Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Hindi,
Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and