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Pronunciation Training for Success

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 confidence:

  • “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 Vietnamese.