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ELSO Courses

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About ELSO Courses

The ELSO writing and speaking courses are not basic ESL courses, but courses designed to help multilingual students put their English language knowledge to work for the purposes of graduate school and professional life. These courses provide space for international multilingual graduate students to learn a range of strategies, practice skills in a low-stakes setting, and form community with peers from across fields and professions in a supportive atmosphere.

These courses are restricted to Cornell international graduate and professional students. Visiting international graduate/professional students who pay tuition to Cornell may also enroll. Our courses may be repeated for credit. We do not permit auditing. Students may register through Student Center. Students must be in attendance during the first or second class meeting to participate in the course. Questions may be directed to ELSO Director Michelle Cox (  

ELSO Course Descriptions

ELSO 6210 Improving Pronunciation: When we think about pronunciation, we often think about individual sounds, but other features of speech are often more important for making oneself understood. These features, such as pausing, intonation and stress, make up the melody of English. By the end of this course, students will increase their awareness of and control over the aspects of spoken English that most affect intelligibility, gain confidence for being understood by listeners, and develop strategies for more self-directed learning beyond the course.

ELSO 6220 Taking Part in Discussions: In academia, students participate in discussions to share knowledge, create new knowledge, and challenge ideas. This course gives students strategies and practice working in range of discussion contexts, from one-on-one to planning and leading class discussions. By the end of this course, students will have learned strategies for preparing for, entering in, responding to, and leading different types of discussions, as well as gain more confidence to assert their voices.  

ELSO 6230 Designing and Delivering Effective Presentations: Whether presenting for seminars, journal club meetings, conferences, or in classes, being comfortable presenting is an essential part of graduate studies. This course will provide students with strategies for preparing and delivering presentations that are clear, compelling, persuasive, concise, and visually effective, as well as offer opportunities to practice delivering presentations in front of a supportive audience.

ELSO 6510 Writing, Revising, and Editing: During this course, students focus on one writing project while learning strategies for developing a more effective writing process, engaging in peer review, and using features of academic style. By the end of this course, students will be writing in English with more ease, have a range of writing strategies, be more familiar with writing resources at Cornell and online, and be better prepared to face their next writing project.

ELSO 6520 Learning to Write for Your Field: One of the greatest challenges of graduate school is learning the writing practices of your discipline: learning how to write with the processes, in the structures and styles, and with the rhetorical moves favored by the field. How do people learn to write as “disciplinary insiders” when writing for the field is so infrequently taught? This course introduces strategies for learning discipline-specific writing: such as learning from experienced writers in the field, identifying resources that support writing in their field, and answering questions about writing through the analysis of published texts in the field.

ELSO 6530 Becoming a Better Editor of Your Work: This course introduces a range of strategies for identifying and addressing issues related to organization, syntax, style, usage, and grammar.  Students apply these strategies to texts that they have already written or are currently working on (e.g. research paper, thesis, dissertation chapter). By the end of this course, students will have more awareness of the choices writers make as they work at the paragraph, sentence, and word level to communicate clearly to readers.

ELSO 6540 Advanced Academic Writing--Writing with Sources: To write academic papers with sophistication, you must know how to write effectively with sources--how to read papers strategically, take effective notes, integrate source material into your prose, and build an argument based on sources. This course focuses on strategies related to writing with sources, which you may apply directly to a current project, such as a proposal, research paper, or thesis. By the end of this course, you will understand how to effectively use source material in your writing while avoiding plagiarism and keeping your voice in the forefront.

ELSO 6590 Thesis and Dissertation Writers Workshop: This course assists international thesis and dissertation writers in making progress by providing structured writing time, access to resources, and a supportive peer community. Students will learn strategies for writing in English with more ease, writing about research, and planning large writing projects. Each week, writers will set and report on writing goals, participate in discussions about writing, and have the option to use class time to write, learn about specific aspects of research writing, exchange peer review, and/or meet with the instructor for individual consultations —whatever would best help them make progress on their writing. This course is enrolled by permission of the instructor. To apply for the spring 2018 course, click here.

Spring 2018 ELSO Course Schedule

Set 1: January 24-March 9

Course Number Instructor TItle Schedule
ELSO 6210.001 M. Myers Improving Pronunciation Tues/Thurs 10:10-11:25
ELSO 6220.001 N. Lindberg Taking Part in Discussions Wed 6:00-8:25
ELSO 6230.001 N. Lindberg Designing and Delivering Presentations Mon/Wed 2:55-4:10
ELSO 6510.001 M. Myers Writing, Revising, and Editing Tues/Thurs 1:25-2:40
ELSO 6590.001 M. Cox Thesis and Dissertation Writers Workshop Mon 6:00-8:25


Set 2: March 12-May 9

Course Number Instructor Title Schedule

ELSO 6230.002

M. Myers Designing and Delivering Presentations Tues/Thurs 10:10-11:25
ELSO 6210.002  M. Myers Improving Pronunciation Tues/Thurs 1:25-2:40

ELSO 6520.001 

N. Lindberg Learning to Write for Your Field Mon/Wed 10:10-11:25
ELSO 6530.001 N. Lindberg Becoming a Better Editor of Your Work Mon/Wed 2:55-4:10

ELSO 6540.01

M. Cox Advanced Academic Writing: Writing with Sources Mon/Wed 11:40-12:55


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