Culture of U.S. Higher Education

Interviews with UCLA Undergraduates
Valuable both for what the students say about their lives and for sampling students’ spoken English.

International Dialects of English Archive
Recordings of English-language dialects and accents as heard around the world.


Speaking English Activities
Allows students to hear a sentence or expression, record themselves saying it, and compare.

Charles Kelly’s American English Pronunciation Practice
Minimal pairs (pain/pen; fourteen/forty), tongue twisters, and songs.

Phonetics: The Sounds of American English
Description of sounds of American English categorized by manner  and place of articulation.

American English Vowel
Vowel chart and audio files of vowel sounds.

The Color Vowel Chart
Pronunciation tool for learning English.

Listening Comprehension

TED Lectures
Fifteen-minute lectures by leaders in business, technology, and entertainment, captioned in dozens of languages.

American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States
A bank of over 5,000 full text, audio, and video versions of public speeches, including presidential addresses from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama and comedy routines by Abbott and Costello. Links to speeches from CSPAN and the Commonwealth Club.


Activities for ESL Students
English-only and bilingual grammar and vocabulary quizzes organized by level of difficulty.

Articles (a/an/the)
An introduction to the use of articles in English.

Language and Teaching

Using English for Academic Purposes
A guide for speaking in academic contexts by Andy Gillett.

Common Questions for International Teaching Assistants
Practice listening to and answering typical student questions in fast, reduced speech.

Technical Terms
Pronunciation of technical terms from the following disciplines: math, statistics, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, and economics.

Useful Phrases for Classroom Communication, Robert Johanson
Common phrases used in teaching, including phrases needed to introduce a topic, invite student participation, give examples, and give homework. No audio.

Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English
A searchable corpus of words and phrases used in lectures, classroom discussions, and lab sections, including self-study exercises to help you learn common classroom expressions.

English via YouTube

Jennifer’s ESL
Hundreds of YouTube videos on pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.

David Sconda
Humorous, effective video on pronouncing the /th/ sound.

American English Pronunciation Demo – How to produce the American “r.”
Learn the American Accent.

English Language Courses

The GSI Teaching and Resource Center’s Language Proficiency Program offers an oral English proficiency course (Lan Pro 380) for eligible graduate students who need to strengthen their oral English skills in preparation for teaching as a GSI. To determine if you are eligible to enroll in the course, please complete the Language Proficiency Questionnaire, if you have not already done so.


For other English-as-a-second-language (ESL) courses, students may wish to look into offerings at the UC Berkeley Extension, local community colleges (e.g., Berkeley City College, Laney College), or adult schools (e.g., Berkeley Adult School). UC Berkeley’s Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Affairs (VSPA) may also offer ESL classes. Please note that courses at UC Extension, community colleges, adult schools, and through the VSPA carry a fee.