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Sixteen visiting international scholars are improving their English this semester by taking a class at the Applied English Center. This free class is offered as a service to scholars to enrich their research experience.

Three Chinese scholars are enrolled in Lecturer Rex Armstrong’s Listening/Speaking/Grammar for Academic Purposes Level 5. During a recent class the scholars and students focused on vowel pronunciation and word endings. Armstrong guided them through oral exercises and an exercise where they summarized an article they read for another classmate.

“Visiting Scholars have already accomplished a great deal in their academic fields, so when they come to a class such as mine, they bring not only their rich experiences, but well-developed study skills. They are serious and focused students who provide a great example for the whole class. It's wonderful having them participate with us,” Armstrong said.

The Chinese scholars from Shaanxi Normal University are working with political science professor John Kennedy, who encouraged them to take the class.

The scholars reported that the class has helped them improve their note taking and knowing what words or syllables to stress, making them more confident in their ability to communicate.

“Before I couldn’t distinguish between snake and snack. Now I know the difference,” Lili Li said.

To take an AEC class once during their time at KU, scholars must take placement exam at the beginning of semester and must be at KU for the entire semester. The class that they enter is based on their test scores and language needs. Scholars can also participate in the AEC regular conversation groups.

Shawn Wettlaufer, immigration advisor for International Programs, is receiving requests from scholars for summer AEC classes. He recommends that scholars submit the request form before they arrive on campus.


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