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GC 511: English Fluency Development

Course Information Heading link

What is GC 511?

GC 511 is a 3-credit course designed for non-native English-speaking graduate students who want to communicate more clearly and effectively when participating in group conversations or leading discussions in seminar courses.  While discussing relevant cultural topics, students will learn academic discussion skills, refine their vocabulary and grammar, and develop self-monitoring skills to achieve higher fluency and accuracy in their spoken English.

While we recommend taking GC 510 before GC 511, this is not a requirement.  GC 510 is not a prerequisite for GC 511, and the two courses are completely independent of each other.

When does GC 511 meet?

This semester-long course meets twice a week:  1 weekly class session (1 hour 50 minutes, schedule below) and 1 weekly in-person Discussion Workshop (50 minutes, schedule TBD**). GC 511 is only offered during the Spring semesters.

In Spring 2024, 4 sections will be offered:

  • 10:00-11:50 AM on Wednesdays (CRN 44962)
  • 2:00-3:50 PM on Wednesdays (CRN 44964)
  • 11:00 AM-12:50 PM on Thursdays (CRN 47468)
  • 2:00-3:50 PM on Thursdays (CRN 47469)

**The Discussion Workshop meeting times will be decided based on instructor and student availability after the Add/Drop Deadline has passed.


Course Objectives

This course is designed to help students to:

  • Improve their overall ability to communicate in spoken English in an academic setting
  • Develop discussion skills for participating in and leading academic discussions
  • Improve the fluency and accuracy of their spoken English
  • 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

GC 511 Student Testimonials Heading link

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.