The ALI offers a number of courses to help you improve your English skills. Whether you want to improve your pronunciation, oral skills, writing skills, or job interviewing skills, it is likely that the ALI has a class for you. Many students are required to take ALI classes as a condition of admission, but most ALI classes are also available for students who want to take them as electives. The following is a list of all ALI courses. Please check the USC Schedule of Classes to see which ones are available this semester.
ALI 144: High Intermediate Oral Skills (1 unit)
This course is designed to help you improve your oral communication skills. Students will work on improving grammar and pronunciation, creating research questions, investigating and summarizing current literature on a topic, conducting a survey, analyzing and graphing data, and combining individual assignments into a presentation.
ALI 145: High Intermediate Writing Skills (1 unit)
This course has been designed to give you the writing skills needed to succeed in an American university and be prepared for an academic or professional career. Readings and assignments cover major components of academic writing including organization and styles, commentaries, paraphrasing, summarization, and citation. Students will also work on improving language issues such as grammar and vocabulary.
ALI 224: Low Intermediate Oral Skills (2 units)
This is a low-intermediate level course for both undergraduate and graduate students. This course explores aspects of oral and aural language in the American university setting including skills in listening comprehension, speaking fluency, vocabulary building, pronunciation, and oral grammar. Students will develop listening and speaking skills through lecture and peer note-taking, formal and informal conversations, group discussions, and oral presentations. In addition, students will learn key grammatical structures and pronunciation principles to facilitate effective communication.
ALI 225: Low Intermediate Writing Skills (2 units)
This is a low-intermediate level course for both undergraduate and graduate students. This course explores aspects of written language in the American university setting including skills in reading comprehension and fluency, vocabulary building, writing, and written grammar. Students will develop reading fluency and comprehension and will gain vocabulary strategies to improve vocabulary knowledge. Students will also learn to communicate their ideas in written English using clear paragraph and essay forms. Review of key written grammar forms with an emphasis on error identification is also included in course study.
ALI 234: Intermediate Oral Skills (2 units)
In this course you will work on listening and speaking skills needed to succeed in the academic environment at USC. Authentic materials, including lecture excerpts, are used to develop listening skills. Assignments focus on different oral skills to help students participate in discussions, ask questions, and give short presentations. Special attention is given to pronunciation issues that are often problematic for non-native speakers of English. The overall goal of the course is to make you a more confident speaker of English.
ALI 235: Intermediate Writing Skills (2 units)
In this course you will work on reading and writing skills needed to succeed in the academic environment at USC. Authentic materials on general topics that a typical university student is likely to encounter will be used to develop reading skills. Unit assignments and course projects cover major components of academic writing, including understanding the organizational structure of academic papers, paraphrasing and summarizing others’ ideas, and using outside sources to support arguments. These units will also cover specific language issues (grammar, vocabulary, register) that are often problematic for non-native speakers of English. The overall goal of this course is to make your writing more accurate and academically appropriate.
ALI 242: Pronunciation Workshop (2 units)
In this popular class, students receive extensive individualized feedback and the tools to identify and independently address their own particular pronunciation challenges in North American English. The course covers broad aspects of pronunciation such as word stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns, and introduces the mechanics of articulating consonants and vowels. Fun and useful activities in a variety of formats help students to increase their confidence speaking English by improving intelligibility in social and academic interactions.
ALI 244: High Intermediate Oral Skills (2 units)
This high-intermediate oral skills course is designed for international students who need to improve their oral communication skills. This course aims to develop students’ oral discourse skills with an emphasis on linguistic accuracy and fluency. Participants will also receive individualized feedback on pronunciation. Class projects and assignments will assess students’ ability to communicate with linguistic accuracy and fluency in an academic environment.
ALI 245: High Intermediate Writing Skills (2 units)
This course introduces the basic principles of academic writing for international English language learners. During this course, students learn a wide range of crucial skills and perform essential writing tasks from paraphrasing, summarizing, and citing sources to commenting on infographics, developing critiques, and writing term research papers. This course will also cover specific language issues (grammar, vocabulary, academic register) that are often problematic for non-native speakers of English. Students will create a collection of academic writing samples that demonstrate their familiarity with specific writing genres and academic discourse during the course.
ALI 246: Intermediate Oral Communication for ITAs (3 units)
This intermediate oral skills course is designed for International Teaching Assistants who need to improve their oral communication skills. The course is needs-based with a primary emphasis on linguistic accuracy and pronunciation. Participants will also work on broader communication skills with a focus on linguistic fluency. Class projects and assignments will assess students’ ability to communicate with linguistic accuracy in an academic environment.
ALI 252: Advanced Pronunciation (2 units)
Good pronunciation involves much more than the correct pronunciation of individual letters and sounds; it’s also about mastering the stress, rhythm, and flow of your speech. ALI 252 offers tools to help grasp the “music” of English, raises awareness, and gives nonnative speakers a greater sense of confidence in their academic and professional interactions. This course is for international students who want to achieve more “native-like” pronunciation. The course covers how to link words and phrases together smoothly to enhance flow and rhythm, produce accurate stress patterns, and convey meaning using proper intonation.
ALI 254: Advanced Oral Skills (2 units)
This class is for high-intermediate and advanced level students who want to communicate more fluently, effectively, and confidently in spoken English. This class provides students with opportunities to work on the oral skills needed for everyday conversations as well as class discussions and short oral presentations.
ALI 255 Advanced Writing Workshop (2 units)
Here’s a good opportunity for advanced level students to write clearer, more effective English for college-level purposes. In this class students receive extensive feedback on multiple drafts of academic research papers with a focus on improving vocabulary and grammatical structure.
ALI 256 High Intermediate Oral Communication for ITAs (3 units)
This advanced oral skills course is designed for International Teaching Assistants who need to improve their oral communication skills. The course is needs-based with a primary emphasis on pronunciation as well as linguistic accuracy and pragmatic competence. Participants will also work on honing their knowledge and use of oral grammar and vocabulary as they are both components of oral discourse fluency. Class projects and assignments will assess students’ ability to communicate with linguistic competence in a dynamic academic environment.
ALI 270: Oral Skills for International Teaching Assistants (3 units)
Designed to provide ITAs with the specific language instruction they need to succeed in their contact with students. Participants study the skills necessary to make a presentation, lead a discussion, and most importantly, interact effectively in the classroom. The instructor also observes each student while they are performing their TA duties. These observations are followed by individual conferences with the instructor. (This class can also be taken as an elective with approval by the ITA Coordinator.)
ALI 271 Language Tutorial for International Teaching Assistants (2 units)
Individualized tutorial on the language and oral skills used by international teaching assistants in the performance of his or her duties. Based on observation and feedback. Open to international teaching assistants only.
ALI 274: Advanced Academic and Professional Spoken English (2 units)
This course is for international students who need to improve their advanced academic English for teaching and presenting. The development of both accuracy and fluency in professional spoken English is emphasized. The class includes instruction in vocabulary and lexical phrases common in academic spoken English and university discourse. Individualized instruction in stress, intonation, and pronunciation of major vocabulary specific to each student’s field is also provided.
ALI 275: Writing for Publication and Dissertations (2 units)
This elective course is designed to help international students who are doing advanced writing, including theses, dissertations, and papers for publication. The course will cover conventions of advanced academic writing, and will address problems in syntax and vocabulary more common to written than to spoken English. Students will work within the guidelines of the style manuals of their respective fields, on their own projects, and instruction will be individualized.
ALI 280: English Skills and Strategies for the Job Search (2 units)
This course prepares international students for entrance into and success in the professional world. Students will learn how to create effective cover letters and resumes, create and maximize a Linkedin account, develop effective interviewing skills, and more. Get the skills you need to help you get the job you want and have a successful career.