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U.S. English and Culture

 Good communication is essential to success.  We all agree, however, that communication is challenging. In your local bookstore you can find a wide variety of books geared to helping people communicate more effectively in both work and personal spheres (check our Reference section for some examples).  While communicating in English is undoubtedly challenging for native English speakers, it can feel even more difficult for those who have not yet had the opportunity to become comfortable with English or U.S. culture.

Despite the challenges, it is nonetheless essential for scientists and clinicians to develop English proficiency. Outstanding research alone is not enough to take researchers to the next level. Scientists must also be able to communicate and collaborate comfortably in order to move forward. But developing English skills while trying to be effective at work, buy groceries, spend time with family, and make friends can feel like juggling.

You are the only one who has the power to improve your English. No matter how long you live in the U.S., you will not find yourself getting better at speaking English if you don't practice on a regular basis and invest some energy in making improvements. It's simply not possible to passively absorb a language by osmosis. We recognize that figuring out where to begin can be overwhelming.  This site aims to make finding what you need a little bit easier.

OITE activities aimed at assisting you with improving your ability to communicate with the individuals in your research group and your community are listed below.  We hope you will read more about them and take advantage of those that interest you. 

  • Improving Spoken English, an intensive two-day course
  • U.S. Culture informal Discussions
  • Talkshare, a listserv that will help you find partners to practice spoken English with
  • Resources

SPOTLIGHT: ideas for practicing your English

  • Volunteer to help coach your child's soccer team.
  • Join a book club in your neighborhood or at your local library.

For questions or to suggest new activities that might benefit all aspiring English speakers, contact Julie Gold in the OITE.


 A listserv to assist you in finding partners who will practice English with you.

U.S. Culture Discussions

 Bring your lunch and join Julie Gold and the staff of the OITE for an informal discussion of US culture.

Improving Spoken English

 An intensive two-day course to help non-native English speakers communicate more easily with their colleagues in the U.S.

U.S. English Resources

 Suggestions for classes and activities to enhance your ability to communicate with U.S. colleagues