ESL Oral Skills Courses at UCLA

During the academic year, UCLA offers four oral skills courses that are specifically tailored to the needs of international graduate students who are planning to be TAs. More information about these classes can be found below.

Dashew Center Programs

The purpose of Dashew Center programming is to provide programming for students, scholars, faculty, staff, and friends for the purposes of cross-cultural learning, cultural adjustment, language improvement and facilitating friendship building. The Center offers various programs such as American Culture & Conversation (AC&C)Language Circles, and Language Exchange.

The DASHEW Center is located at
106 Bradley Hall, 417 Charles E. Young Drive West
Tel. +1-310-825-1681

Volunteering Opportunities

At the Dashew Center: there are many times throughout the year that the Dashew Center needs volunteers for programs but in particular, their iSTART@UCLA (formerly known as NISSO) is a great opportunity for you to get involved and help welcome incoming students and scholars to UCLA. If you are interested in joining the Dashew Center Volunteer Listserv to learn about upcoming volunteer activities please e-mail

At the UCLA Volunteer Center: there are a good number of options of things all students can do around campus. Here you will find what suits your style best, and what days and time are more convenient for you. You can improve your oral skills helping other people like you!

UCLA Student Groups

Sponsored by the UCLA Student Affairs, this is another great opportunity for students to get involved with activities on campus and practice their English oral skills!

TA Conference

For four decades, the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Teaching TA Training Program has put on a campus-wide Teaching Assistant Conference in the Fall as a means to help both new and experienced teaching assistants improve their teaching skills. Conference participants receive this assistance through all day, hands-on workshop tracks that provide practical tools for making the most out of your teaching experience, as well as more specialized instruction for both the North and South campus TA teaching at the undergraduate level. In addition, there will be an afternoon panel with distinguished faculty and TAs to offer advice and answer questions. For more information, go to the TA Training Workshops & Events page.

Graduate Student Resource Center

The UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center is a Graduate Students Association initiative that is managed by Student Affairs. The GSRC is a resource, referral and information center for graduate students, offering programs and workshops on a variety of topics, drop-in advice and assistance, meeting and study space, and the opportunity for social interaction. The GSRC works with GSA to organize the Graduate Student Orientation each fall. The Graduate Student Resource Center is also the home of the new Graduate Writing Center. All graduate and professional students are welcome. We are located in B11 of the Student Activities Center.

ESL Oral Skills Courses at UCLA


This course focuses on the accurate articulation of sounds, word stress, linking and other features of fluent spoken English, especially with respect to classroom language and key terms from one’s own field. There is an additional emphasis on comprehending the fast, casual, idiomatic speech of undergraduate students.


This course focuses on stress, rhythm, and intonation in the context of classroom discourse. Course materials are based on video recordings of actual TAs, selected and edited into a series of short video clips of specific teaching events. The videos and transcripts are used as models of the discourse patterns commonly used to introduce a syllabus, explain a visual, field questions, and interact in office hours.


This course focuses on essentially the same skills as ESL 311—stress, rhythm, and intonation in the context of classroom discourse. Though the courses are titled I and II, ESL 311 is not a prerequisite for ESL 312. For students who need a longer time and multiple courses in order to acquire the linguistic competence to serve as a TA, ESL 312 (like ESL 311) provides models of actual TAs, linguistic support, and structured practice. The classroom contexts in ESL 312 include building rapport with students, giving instructions, encouraging participation, and organizing a lesson effectively.


This course focuses on communicating effectively as a TA with an emphasis on making technical subject matter accessible to undergraduates. The curriculum is almost entirely performance-based (and class sessions are video-recorded) after week 2. After viewing their video performances outside of class, students meet in small groups with the instructor to discuss each performance in depth.

If you have questions about any of these courses, please contact Janet Goodwin: