GC 511: Oral Communication and Interaction Skills for ITAs

Course Information

What is GC 511?

GC 511 is a 3-credit course designed for current or prospective international teaching assistants who want to communicate more clearly and effectively when participating in group discussions or leading discussions in seminar courses.  While engaging in discussion on relevant cultural topics, students will improve their fluency and practice specific conversation skills, such as turn-taking, expressing opinions, paraphrasing, and asking follow-up questions.  Students will also build vocabulary and grammar through analysis of articles and videos.

When does GC 511 meet?

This semester-long course meets twice each week, once for a 2-hour classroom session and once for a 1-hour workshop.  GC 511 is only offered during the Spring semester.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to help students to:

  • Improve their overall ability to communicate in English in an academic setting
  • Develop discussion skills for participating and teaching in the American college classroom
  • Better understand the cultural aspects of American universities
  • Complete the oral English certification process (if needed)

Course Topics (subject to change)

  • taking turns in conversations
  • interrupting politely
  • handing miscommunication
  • summarizing and paraphrasing
  • agreeing and disagreeing
  • asking follow-up questions
  • elaboration and narration
  • current themes related to American culture: technology, the American Dream, immigration, higher education, etc.

GC 511 Student Testimonials

It was the most awesome and fun class I took in UIC.

The most valuable thing I gained from this course is that now I know where my problem is and what I should do to make it better.

Overall this course is great.  It’s very helpful for me to participate a discussion.  The topic of America is hard for International Student to understand.

This class was the most helpful class at the UIC.  I could learn the way of discussion (clarification, elaborating) and polite way during discussion.  Also, I could learn about American history which I had never learned because if no opportunity.  I got more confidence in my class.