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A pronunciation tutoring session.

ELSO Tutoring

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About ELSO Tutoring

In collaboration with the Graduate Writing Service and the Office for Postdoctoral Studies, ELSO offers tutoring on writing, presentations, and pronunciation to all full-time matriculated international graduate and professional students and all post-docs. This tutoring is offered by trained peer tutors from a variety of fields, and takes place in ELSO's Tutoring Center (Caldwell 260). 

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for tutoring on writing, presentations, or pronunciation, click here



ELSO Tutoring on Writing and Presentations

During a writing or presentation tutoring session, our tutors may help you to:

  • get started with writing projects and presentations
  • revise drafts for structure and organization
  • identify and discuss issues related to grammar, word choice, syntax, and expression
  • gain insight into linguistic, stylistic, and rhetorical conventions of writing and presentations in US academic settings
  • interpret results from Turn It In (available on the ELSO Blackboard site) and learn strategies for effectively paraphrasing and summarizing

You may bring any kind of writing: class assignment, research paper, email, job application materials, blogs, etc. You may bring any kind of presentation: class presentation, journal club presentation, conference paper, poster presentation, job talk, etc. And whether you are working on a writing project or presentation, you may come at any point in the process: from brainstorming to finalizing.

You may request a single appointment to work on a particular paper or presentation, or a series of appointments to keep you moving forward with a larger project.

Tutoring on writing and presentations takes place in ELSO's Tutoring Center (Caldwell 260). This program is coordinated by Dr. Nathan Lindberg (

ELSO Tutoring on Pronunciation

During a pronunciation tutoring session, our tutors may help you with:

  • identifying your pronunciation areas of difficulty and what is affecting your overall intelligibility
  • practicing specific areas of pronunciation (sounds, intonation, fluency, word stress, linking, field terminology)
  • determining your pronunciation goals and making a plan for individualized practice
  • locating resources that help support your pronunciation needs

For your initial appointment, you will need to make a speech recording with your laptop or phone and submit this to the tutor prior to your scheduled session. This should be about 1 minute and can be either a description of a place at Cornell or in Ithaca OR a reading of this short text.  

Other appointments will focus on areas of pronunciation difficulty determined by you and the tutor during the intial appointment.

Tutoring on pronunciation takes place in ELSO's Tutoring Center (Caldwell 260). This program is coordinated by Melissa Myers (

Policies for ELSO Tutoring Services

  • Appointments are for 45-minute sessions, which start on the hour.
  • Appointments may be made up to 2 weeks before the scheduled session. 
  • Writing tutees are limited to one appointment per day and 2 appointments per week.
  • Pronunciation tutees are limited to one appointment per week and 2 appointments per month.
  • Tutees may cancel appointments up to 2 hours before their scheduled appointment time.
  • A tutee will be marked as a "no-show" if he/she did not arrive for the appointment in the first 10 minutes of a session. 
  • After 3 no-shows, a tutee will be blocked from making more appointments and any scheduled appointments will be canceled. Tutees wishing to reinstate their tutoring privileges need to meet with Nathan Lindberg. 

Meet the ELSO Tutors

Dr. Nathan Lindberg is the ELSO Tutoring Service Director. He has a PhD in Composition & TESOL and has worked with multilingual writers for more than 15 years. Nathan has helped students with their dissertations, theses, articles for publication, job application material, grant applications, and other genres. He encourages students to sign up for tutoring help at all stages, from brainstorming to proofreading.

Sharlene Castle is a graduate pronunciation tutor pursuing her Masters in Public Administration at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA). She earned her degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University, where she also worked as a writing tutor. Prior to coming to Cornell, she spent two years teaching English at a university in Sichuan, China as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She speaks Spanish and Chinese poorly but can order food in both as if she were fluent.

Mary Jane Dempsey is a graduate pronunciation tutor pursuing her PhD in Romance Studies. After growing up in New Jersey, Mary Jane spent the last years in Italy and the United Kingdom, where she both worked and studied. During this time, she was employed as an English teacher, writing tutor, translator and adjunct professor. In pronunciation class, she seeks to allow for an environment in which students can be comfortable and confident to take risks with their English. All of our tutors are trained to work with graduate students and post-docs from across the disciplines, to work on a variety of projects and challenges, and to work with writers who use English as a second language. 

David Dunham is a graduate peer tutor pursuing his PhD in German Studies. He earned his BA in German and Philosophy from New York University. Before coming to Cornell, David tutored writing to international ESL students from the middle school to graduate level. He has over three years of experience advising students on narrative essays, job application materials, research projects, and other assignments across several disciplines.

Andrew Gipson is a graduate peer tutor from the department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. He is currently serving as a teaching assistant for an introductory biology class, and has over five years of experience tutoring science. He is familiar with writing grants/proposals, research papers, personal statements and résumés.

Deena Kemp is a graduate peer tutor from the Department of Communication. She earned her BA and MA in mass communications from the University of South Florida. Before coming to Cornell, Deena taught an undergraduate writing course and was a private writing tutor for 7 years. She has been a writer and editor for both academic and business projects, is experienced with writing in the social sciences, and has been trained to work with writers from across the disciplines.

Brian Lo is a graduate peer tutor studying Nutrition. He has personal experience with proposals, presentations, and publishing research in STEM fields, and is trained to work with graduate students and post-docs from across the disciplines. He is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Emily Bielecki Madan is a graduate pronunciation tutor pursuing her PhD in International Nutrition. Emily has spent the past 5 years conducting the field research for her dissertation. She has language background in Spanish, Polish and Hindi, and can easily relate to the challenges of working and studying in a different language. Through tutoring, Emily enjoys getting to know students from different graduate fields, and from different cultural backgrounds.

 Andrea Mendoza is a graduate peer tutor pursuing her Ph.D in Asian Studies. For the last three years, Andrea has served as a teaching assistant in Chinese and Japanese Studies as well as a writing seminar instructor for the Knight Institute. Though her academic work is mainly in the humanities, Andrea has experience in workshopping applications, abstracts, presentations, and papers from across diverse disciplines. She conducts her dissertation research in Japanese, Spanish, French, and Portuguese and considers herself a multilingual writer and scholar. 

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