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English language support is offered to students and scholars whose first language is not English. We offer support from the day you arrive until the day you leave.

Frequently Asked Questions

“What services to you offer?”

“Who can use these services?”

  • UNC graduate students and postdocs have priority registration for all of our services.
  • UNC visiting scholars can register for writing groups, speaking groups, and workshops. They are put on the wait list for mini-courses and will be admitted if space is available.
  • UNC undergraduates are welcome to join workshops and speaking group, but other services may not be appropriate for them. For writing support, undergraduates should make an appointment with a Writing Center writing coach.
  • UNC community members (local residents, spouses, etc.) are welcome to join speaking group but are not eligible for other services.
  • Non-UNC students and scholars are not eligible for our services.

“Can I also meet with writing and academic coaches?”

Yes! Graduate students who use our services can also use the other services of the Writing and Learning Center. Other participants can’t use the coaching services but can still use all of the website resources.

“When are these services offered?”

  • Writing groups operate year round–spring, summer, and fall semesters. Participants register at the beginning of each semester. They may work with the same group for one semester or for longer. Groups schedules are based on participants’ availability.
  • Mini-courses are offered several times per semester in the fall and spring. They are also offered in intensive one-week versions at the end of each semester. They may be offered in the summer.
  • Workshops are offered twice per week in fall and spring. They may be offered in the summer.
  • Intercultural speaking group meets weekly throughout the entire calendar year.
  • Consultations are scheduled on an individual basis.

“Are these basic ESL courses?”

No! Our participants have advanced English proficiency. Our services target the sophisticated language skills required for successful graduate and professional communication.

“Who teaches these courses?”

Our English Language Specialists hold PhDs in English as a Second Language and Education and have years of experience supporting the research and social communication of international scholars.

“Can I get credit for these courses?”

Our courses and groups are all non-credit. They will not appear on your UNC transcript; however, participants may request a certificate of completion if they have fulfilled all of the course requirements and/or have actively participated in the groups.

“How much does it cost?”

Our services are free to all participants!

“Who can I talk to if I’m not sure this is right for me?”

Contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and your concerns.

“How do I register?”

Sign up here to receive regular updates about our services and registration dates.

“Can I volunteer with your program?”

We welcome volunteers for the Intercultural Speaking Group any time they are available to come. We also welcome volunteers for our US English Pronunciation course if they can commit to the full semester course and attend a pre-course orientation. Contact us if you’re interested in these opportunities.