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Academic English Workshops

Each Fall and Winter term, ELI presents free interactive workshops focusing on specific English writing and speaking skills students need to succeed in their academic and professional careers. ELI workshops are open to all U-M students. 

FALL 2021 WORKSHOP SERIES: English for Academic Purposes

NOTE: All ELI Workshops Are Offered Online in Fall 2021

Click HERE to sign up for any of the workshops below. 

Writing Effective Email - Wednesday, September 8, 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time (ET)

Have you ever struggled to write important email messages? Have you ever wondered whether your email messages reflect the professional persona you wish to project? In academic and professional settings, the ability to write effective email messages is an essential skill. In this workshop we will focus on strategies for writing clear, effective and professional email. We will discuss the aspects of email that make it likely to be read, to be easily understood, and to create a good impression. Bring a few samples of your important email messages to analyze. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.



Using Ted Talks to Enhance Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation - Wednesday September 15,  7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

TED Talks are everywhere. The most popular ones attract millions of viewers, and they are impacting the way public speakers present their ideas and themselves in and outside academia. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore a range of strategies for exploiting the rich array of ways you can use TED Talks to take your advanced English to the next level. We will look at resources for improving speaking, listening, and pronunciation. Please come prepared to join in online conversations with other participants. 



Writing in "Academic Style" - Wednesday September 22, 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Whether you are writing a research article, class assignment, conference abstract or dissertation, the words, grammatical structures, and organizational patterns you use all signal whether your text sounds “academic.” We will look at features of academic style, and how these differ across a range of writing that undergraduate and graduate students do. In this workshop we will work on how to make effective stylistic choices for the types of writing you are doing and the academic identity you wish to convey to your readers in various writing contexts. Bring a text you are currently working on for analysis. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions



What Are You Laughing At? Understanding and “Getting’ American Humor- Wednesday September 29, 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Do you find yourself feeling lost when people around you are laughing and you seem to have missed the joke? Humor is an important part of interacting but can be a challenge to understand. Ideas about what is funny can vary greatly from culture to culture. Jokes can include tricky wordplay and idiomatic expressions. Yet ‘getting’ humor can support success in academic, social and professional life. This small interactive workshop includes a presentation of several common types of humor and current examples of popular U.S. humor, followed by analysis and discussion of what makes the content funny.  Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.



Writing and Refining Your Grad School Application Essays - Wednesday October 6, 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

(For students applying to masters, PhD, and professional programs)Are you applying to a graduate program for fall 2022? Are you trying to figure out how to organize and narrow down all that you might write in your Statement of Purpose (SOP)? How does an SOP differ from a Personal Statement? How do a Teaching Philosophy Statement or a Diversity Statement fit in? We will examine organizational strategies for the range of essays you are crafting and explore ways to find the words to articulate why you are a great match for the program(s) you are applying to. Bring a list of ideas, a draft outline, or draft essays to work on during the workshop. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions



Plan Your English Self-Study Program For Winter Break - Wednesday December 8, 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Classes end December 10 and won’t start up again until Tuesday January 5th. What will you be doing over the long break to continue practicing and polishing your English language skills? Come to this workshop to gather new ideas and to share your own strategies for ways to continue practicing and improving your English during the long break. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.