SASS offers a number of programs and resources to help multilingual students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, further develop their language skills, improve communication, and build confidence in order to be successful at university.
At SASS, we want ESL and international students to be able to communicate fluently and confidently while studying at Queen’s University. Our ESL programs feature one-to-one personalized consultations focusing on writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills. For example, multilingual students can book one of the popular P&P consultations (Pronunciation and Presentation Skills) to get feedback on pronunciation issues and/or practice for an upcoming oral presentation. We also offer workshops, ESL resources, and access to computer software—Inspiration and Kurzweil 3000—through the Academic Skills Lab so that students can work independently on writing and reading skills, which can improve overall fluency.
“This program which aims to help ESL students is very helpful. For shy international students who just come to Canada, for example me in 2014, a resource like this provides a place to learn English one-to-one. In addition to English writing, it also helped me in practising oral presentations before group meetings and my thesis defense.”
Book an Introductory Consultation
Multilingual students who would like language skills support, should first book an introductory consultation with the ESL Program Coordinator, Donna Katinas. Students can email her directly at email@example.com and she will set up a convenient time to meet and talk about concerns and issues students may have related to language and academic communication skills.
Please note: ESL students who want help with writing assignments can book writing consultations in our core writing program. For more information on the Writing Centre, go here http://sass.queensu.ca/writingcentre/. To book a writing consultation in the core Writing Centre program, use our online system here https://queensu.mywconline.com/.
Make a Plan
During the introductory consultation, multilingual students can decide if they would like to meet again to work on particular language issues and skills. If so, together with the ESL Program Coordinator, students will make a plan by determining which language and academic communication skills they’d like to focus on, and for how many sessions.
Start Practicing and Improving
Once multilingual students have had an introductory consultation and made a plan, they can book individual 50-minute consultations with the ESL Program Coordinator by email only.
Please note ESL Program policies.
“The ESL Coordinator has offered me great help and support throughout our sessions, in terms of speaking, presenting, as well as learning how to take care of oneself as an ESL student under a North American university setting.”
Which language skill do you want to focus on?
Multilingual students can book consultations with the ESL Program Coordinator to work on any of the four language skills and these related issues:
ESL Program Policies
In order to cancel a consultation, be sure to email the ESL Program Coordinator 12 hours in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Failure to give sufficient notice or to appear for a scheduled appointment will result in a $25 charge added to your Queen’s account.
• Students are limited to one appointment per week.
• Any student who arrives more than 10 minutes late may forfeit that appointment.
• Any student who fails to either attend or cancel an appointment may not be entitled to further services. Appeals due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the director.
Plan to improve your English language skills this year!
- Meet with the ESL Program Coordinator at SASS to discuss strategies you are already using to develop your language skills and get support to further improve communication.
- Receive encouragement and get tips on ways to work on your English skills every day.
You can do it!
In addition to booking a one-to-one ESL consultation with the ESL Program Coordinator, students have the opportunity to work independently on language and academic writing skills. Together with the QLC, SASS offers students access to two new computer programs in the Academic Skills Lab:
• Inspiration can help students brainstorm ideas, clarify thinking, and organize information
• Kurzweil 3000 is text-to-speech software providing multilingual students with audio and visual reinforcement for reading, writing, and fluency.
Students who would like to learn more about how this software can help develop language fluency, vocabulary, and self-editing skills, can contact the ESL Program Coordinator, Donna Katinas, at email@example.com to book a training session.
- SASS – Writing Centre handouts, including ESL writing guides: http://sass.queensu.ca/writingcentre/tipsheets/
- SASS – Writing Centre workshop on plagiarism: http://sass.queensu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/10/Avoiding-Accidental-Plagiarism-Fall-2015.pdf
SASS – Writing Centre general workshops on writing:
- Fall 2015 How to Write Your First University Essay
- Effective Writing First Year Sci Students Fall 2015
Grammar and usage resources, tools, and exercises:
- http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/academicwordlist/most-frequent http://www.englishvocabularyexercises.com/
General writing and ESL resources:
Huge site with links of interest to ESL students:
Links of interest to graduate students:
Video series on speaking English with Stacy Hagen:
Pronunciation practice with diagrams:
Sounds of American English with diagrams:
General American English pronunciation practice:
English pronunciation practice – listen and repeat:
- Wide variety of pronunciation resources and activities: http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Pronunciation/
Useful expressions in English:
Learning English with CBC:
BBC Learning English:
Listening practice for spoken English from Stacy Hagen:
Rick Mercer Report (Canadian comedy show featuring political and cultural commentary):
How Stuff Works:
Idioms and expressions:
Academic word lists:
Globe and Mail:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Learning English with CBC:
Best of the Westcoast Reader (be sure to look for stories at the appropriate level):
BBC Learning English:
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary