English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center

EPPIC Speaking Groups will meet on-line during Fall 2020 via Zoom.  Registered participants will receive an email with details on how to connect to the group meeting.

Speak UP is an advanced weekly speaking group for international undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs and fellows to discuss and practice ‘real-life’ academic English at Penn State. Each week includes a brief lesson focused on a specific situation or genre of communication, followed by group discussion and optional practice activities to build increased communicative confidence in daily life.

Topics and contexts discussed in Speak UP typically include:

  • How Americans Talk:  Pronunciation in the U.S.
  • What Americans Say:  Slang and Idioms in the U.S.
  • How Americans Chat:  Small Talk in the U.S.
  • Talking with Americans:  Successful Conversations in the U.S.
  • Communicating with Peers and Professors:  Shifting between Informal and Formal Talk in the U.S.
  • Participating in Class and Group Discussions
  • Presenting in an Academic Context
  • Preparing for the U.S. Job Market
  • Networking:  Breaking the Ice at a Professional Event

Speak UP Weekly Speaking Group (flyer)

Register for Speak UP Weekly Speaking Group


Let’s Talk is a weekly speaking group designed to provide language support for J-1 visiting scholars. Each session features a lesson on vocabulary, pronunciation, and helpful expressions related to a particular context in everyday life in State College, along with language practice time and the opportunity to ask questions about local language and culture.

Topics and contexts discussed in Let’s Talk typically include:

  • Meeting People:  Greetings, Introductions and Leave-Taking
  • Chatting with Americans:  Using Small Talk to Connect
  • Making American Friends:  Extending and Responding to Invitations
  • Talking with Academics:  Explaining your Research
  • Living around State College:  Dealing with Housing and Landlords
  • Eating around State College:  Dining at Restaurants
  • Shopping around State College:  Finding What you Need and Making Returns
  • Medical Care around State College:  Going to Doctors’ Offices and Pharmacies
  • Dealing with Problems:  Asking for Help
  • Traveling Beyond State College:  Planning and Taking Trips in the U.S.

Let’s Talk Weekly Speaking Group (flyer)

Register for Let’s Talk Weekly Speaking Group