The Center for Language Education at JHU offers an ESL program to help Hopkins international teaching assistants (ITAs), graduate students and post doctoral fellows improve their English skills.

ESL Faculty

David McNeal

Julia Yarmolinskaya

Summer 2019 ESL-ITA Workshop


We encourage departments in KSAS to send their incoming international graduate students and first-year ITAs to this summer intensive, three-week workshop before they serve as a TA. Departments, through stipends or other means of support, will enable students to pay for living expenses during the month of August.

Fall/Spring ESL Classes

For those students who cannot enroll during the summer or wish to continue improving their English skills, the following courses are available to them. Any eligible graduate student or postdoc from any Johns Hopkins school may enroll in the fall/spring semester courses via SIS.

Course Descriptions

AS.370.602 Accent Reduction
Julia Yarmolinskaya – S1 MW 10:00-11:15AM; S2 TTh12-1:15PM

This course focuses on improving students’ perception and pronunciation of American English through learning articulation, phonetics, and phonology. Students learn the basics of anatomy of speech production in order to understand how difficult sounds and sound contrasts are made. Students also learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to help them distinguish sound contrasts that are difficult depending on the individual students’ native languages. Moving beyond individual sounds, students learn how sounds change depending on what word or phrase they appear in and when they appear in fast or colloquial speech. Finally, students learn and practice intonation appropriate for various types of statements and questions. Can be followed by a semester-long version of the course offered in the fall and/or spring.

AS.370.603 Pubic Speaking in American Academia
Julia Yarmolinskaya – TTh 10:30-11:15AM

This course focuses on improving students’ understanding of the culture and communication norms in American academia. Students learn the basics of conversation and email etiquette in America, as well as the norms of interacting with college students they teach, professors, and colleagues in situations such as classes, office hours, lab meetings, and scientific meetings. Students practice designing and presenting lectures, supporting materials, tests, and assignments for classes they TA, as well as scholarly presentations of their research to the scientific community. Can be followed by a semester-long version of the course offered in the fall and/or spring.

AS.370.604 Academic Writing and Grammar
Julia Yarmolinskaya – S1 MW 12:00-1:15PM; David McNeal S2 5:30-7:00PM

In this course students will read and analyze the content, structure, and style of a wide range of academic and professional writing in order to improve their own essays, articles, reports, theses, critiques, and proposals using those features. They will learn to explain, support, compare and argue their ideas effectively through attention to organization, vocabulary, and style. Grammar will be infused into the course as it applies to revision and editing of written work and consistency within various types of writing. Students will use a variety of strategies to improve skills in idea development, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, grammar and mechanics. Writing tasks will be integrated with content, vocabulary, and grammar from various texts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above courses are also open to applicants who are not full-time JHU students. If you cannot enroll through SIS and wish to apply for either course, you must apply through the ESL website.  The tuition per course is $895, with the possibility of tuition remission if eligible.