Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center

Speak UP: Focus on Interaction

Speak UP: Focus on Interaction

What is Speak UP?

Speak UP is an advanced speaking group for international undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, and fellows at Penn State.  Speak UP focuses on discussion and practice of ‘real-life’ academic communication.

Each week, the Speak UP group focuses on a particular aspect or situation of interaction in English.  Sessions are led by an experienced EPPIC language specialist who provides examples of what people ‘do’ with language in each setting, reviewing commonly used phrases and communication strategies.  Participants discuss and practice these strategies while building social relationships with other participants.

When and where does Speak UP meet?

Speak UP meets Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 pm via Zoom. The first hour includes a brief lesson and group discussion. The second hour is optional, focusing on activities and language practice. We encourage you to stay for the second hour–and to attend all sessions of Speak UP during the semester. Regular participation builds community and fosters growth.

What topics are covered in Speak UP?

In fall 2021, Speak UP sessions include:

  • September 8:  How Americans Talk: Pronunciation in the U.S.
  • September 15: What Americans Say: Slang and Idioms in the U.S
  • September 22: How Americans Chat: Small Talk in the U.S
  • September 29: Talking with Americans: Successful Conversations in the U.S.
  • October 6: Communicating with Peers and Professors: Shifting between Informal and Formal Talk
    in the U.S.
  • October 13:  Participating in Class & Group Discussions
  • October 20:  Giving Presentations in an Academic Context
  • October 26: Preparing for the U.S. Job Market

To register for Speak UP, click here.