English Language Skills for International Teaching Assistants (GAS 6000)

Photo of ELP students in class
  • Term offered: Fall semester
  • Class times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:45 - 3 p.m.

For prospective International Teaching Assistants seeking English fluency certification, this course emphasizes the development of oral academic discourse skills and practices prominent features of spoken English that promote successful communication in academic settings, including intelligibility, active listening skills, and grammar. Through this course, students will learn, develop, and practice strategies to:

  • Effectively interact with others during class activities
  • Organize information in a clear manner
  • Achieve communicative effectiveness in control of grammatical structures, selection of vocabulary, and accuracy of pronunciation


This course makes use of How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles from Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al., 2010. A three-month subscription to Pronunciation Power is recommended. All other course materials will be provided on the course website. 


Throughout the 16-week course students will perform a variety of ongoing tasks to improve English vocabulary, communication, listening, and speaking skills. Students will also complete five presentations over the course. Presentation topics include leading a group discussion, describing a visual, defining a term, explaining a process, and fielding questions.  


Registration is by permit only and can be completed by contacting Kate Kinney at kinneym@sas.upenn.edu.