EFS Academic Year Courses

Featured Course: 693B: Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

A course focusing on understanding not just what English speakers are saying, but why and how to interpret it. Using authentic materials from both academia and popular culture, students apply strategies to improve their listening comprehension to real life media. Additionally, students create and study custom vocabulary lists so that they acquire the words and phrases necessary for success. Students with requirements in EFS 690A or 693A should complete them before taking this course. 

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, 1-3 units

Listening Courses

EFS 693B: Listening Comprehension (Fall)

Fall
1-3 units

Focused on students who have difficulty understanding academic language, especially lectures. It includes practice in listening to audio and video recordings of lecture segments for the purposes of understanding the discourse structure, learning academic vocabulary and idioms, and practicing note taking. Because successful listening does not just involve language learning and strategy use, there is additional work with language processing, emphasizing the recognition of reduced forms in spoken English (e.g., "gonna" for "going to", "whaddaya" for "what do you", and so on). Other types of listening, in particular listening to conversational English, are also covered.

EFS 693A is only offered in Fall Quarter because lecture listening proficiency is so crucial to academic success. The majority of students taking the course have been required to do so because of an insufficient score on their English Placement Exam; however, a number of others take it due to EFS recommendations or a perceived need. The course is rarely taken by students after their first year.
Offered: Fall, 1-3 units

EFS 693B: Advanced Listening and Vocabulary Development

Fall, Winter, Spring
1-3 units

An advanced listening course, which differs from 693A in several fundamental ways. First, while there is still some work on academic English,  it expands the listening tasks to a wider range of genres, such as news, television comedies, and movies. Second, in the interests of individualization, students do independent projects, concentrating on specific listening genres or situations--because of this independent learning dimension, the course only meets once a week for 110 minutes. Finally, vocabulary development is emphasized more than in the 693A course.

EFS 693B is currently offered every quarter except summer, although the majority of students take it in either fall or winter of their first year. There is no specific prerequisite; however, students with a 693A requirement must complete that first, and 693A and B may not be taken concurrently.
Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, 1-3 units

Speaking Courses

EFS 690A: Interacting in English

Winter
1-3 units
Interaction course

Our first speaking course, 690A is aimed at students who have had little or no opportunity to use spoken English outside the language classroom. In addition to providing a foundation for 690B (discussion) it focuses on English for social interaction, including both talking with friends and acquaintances and communicating with strangers, such as service personnel. If you have 690A as a requirement or recommendation, you should take it during fall or winter of your first year. 690A is sometimes taken by students after their second year.

EFS 690B: Academic Discussion

Fall, Winter
1-3 units
Interaction course 

Devoted to teaching you how to participate effectively in small group discussions typical of graduate seminars and research groups. You experience a number of fluency building activities, an introduction to the culture of the small group discussion in the US, and practice with specific phrases and strategies for communicating effectively within the group. The course may be taken any quarter, and most students can go directly into 690B. If you have the course as a requirement, you should try to complete it before the end of your first year.

EFS 690C: Advanced Interacting in English

Spring
1-3 units
Interaction course

Aimed at taking students to higher levels of fluency and accuracy in unrehearsed social and academic situations. Students with more advanced proficiency, especially those who have been in the US for several years, may go directly into it; others should complete 690A and/or 690B first.

EFS 695A: Pronunciation and Intonation

Winter, Spring
1-3 units
Pronunciation course

The foundation course for students who want to improve the clarity of their speech. It includes an overview of the sound system of English along with an understanding of common stress, rhythm and intonation patterns. The course includes practice both in class and at home. Students submit recorded assignments for instructor review and meet bi-weekly for individual sessions. Students who take this course should be aware that their regular, outside practice is critical to success, and that the amount and quality of such practice is strongly correlated to the amount of progress to be expected. 

EFS 703: Online Coaching - Accent Reduction

Fall, Winter, Spring
1 unit
Pronunciation course

This short course provides focused instruction and practice on speaking English in personal, academic, and professional situations with greater clarity and effectiveness. Using an online approach with students selecting the times to work through the materials, they learn the key sound patterns of North American English, focusing on word stress, linking, rhythm, intonation and prosody. Over the five-week course, students improve their speaking clarity through the use of short video lectures, dictation exercises, and practice with an online pronunciation software package. They also receive individualized pronunciation coaching from the instructor via weekly 20-minute tutorials. Students with a requirement in EFSLANG 695A must complete it before enrolling: a prior course in pronunciation for others is recommended but not required. Section 1 weeks 1-5; Section 2 weeks 6-10.

EFS 691: Oral Presentation

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
1-3 units
Oral presentation course

A course in public speaking for academic purposes, as well as having value for professional development after Stanford. The course includes description, demonstration and analysis of effective speaking techniques, including the use of visual aids. Language work includes a review of discourse-level pronunciation and academic vocabulary common in spoken presentations. Students typically prepare and present at least five talks for both descriptive and persuasive purposes, receive in-class feedback from the instructor and peers, and are regularly videotaped for self-evaluation and individual tutorials with the instructor. If you plan to take either EFS 691 (oral presentation) or EFS 692 (speaking and teaching in English) and you have a 695A requirement, you must complete 695A first, and 695A is recommended preparation for those courses for any student with perceived pronunciation problems irrespective of any requirement.

Writing Courses

EFS 697: Gateway to Graduate Writing

Fall, Winter, Spring
1-3 units

A course in written communication with a focus on improving grammatical accuracy and vocabulary, building fluency, and learning the structure and conventions of English correspondence, reports, and short academic papers. Open to undergraduates by permission.

EFS 698A: Writing Academic English

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
1-3 units

The foundation course for students writing class papers, professional publications, and theses. It covers all the essentials of organizing and executing a research paper, and leads students through an analysis of the writing conventions for their own specific fields. Areas focused on include paraphrasing, reviewing selected grammar points, and working with sentence connectors. Major assignments are writing a summary of a research article, a critical review, and a final paper. For most master's students and many doctoral students, EFS698A is the only required or recommended course. The class typically includes three or four individual meetings with the instructor to discuss your writing.

EFS 698B: Advanced Graduate Writing

Fall, Spring
1-3 units

The followup to 698A, this course focuses on improving your efficiency in the writing process, increasing your understanding of the writing conventions in your field, and building clarity and cohesion into your writing style. In addition, it leads you through a deeper analysis of abstracts, introductions, and conclusions for academic publications. The individual tutorials (five or more) are aimed at helping you with writing you are currently doing for other purposes, such as course papers (with the permission of your professor), articles for publication, or thesis chapters. It is intended for students who meet all three of the following conditions. 

  1. You have taken EFS 698A or EFS 688 (the summer intensive course).
  2. You will be doing significant writing outside of this class during the quarter.
  3. You are willing to commit to doing all of the outside assignments.

If you do not meet all three of these conditions, you should not take the class this quarter. The only regular exception to the above is if we have required you to take the course and this is your final quarter prior to graduation or going TGR (in which case we still expect you to meet Condition 3).

EFS 699W: Advanced Writing Projects

Fall, Winter, Spring
1 unit

This tutorial-based course is aimed as a follow-up to EFSLANG writing courses (see below) to support students' continuing growth as writers in their fields. It provides weekly individual meetings with an EFS instructor of around 50 minutes on one or more major writing projects, such as qualifying papers, grant proposals, papers for publication, or dissertation chapters. The meetings are structured around the student's individual writing needs. During the sessions, students receive detailed feedback on organization, style, and grammar, along with training on how to revise and edit more effectively. Space is limited, and priority is given to those who have completed one or more of the following: EFSLANG 688, 698A, or 698B.

IMPORTANT NOTICE
The goal of all EFS writing courses is to lead students to become better writers through analysis, feedback, and revision. The role of  the instructor is not to serve as your editor merely to improve the final clarity and accuracy of your paper or thesis. As a courtesy, the EFS office has a listing of English tutors and editors available for hire. Contact Tracey Riesen, tafowler [at] stanford.edu, for a copy of the list.

TA Training for International Students

TA training course: EFS 692, Speaking and Teaching in English

In order to be approved for an appointment as a teaching assistant (TA) or course assistant (CA), international students need to get an English language clearance from the English for Foreign Students program. Please see the TA screening webpage for more information.

EFS 692 is designed to prepare students to take on the role of teaching assistant at Stanford. The course focuses on the skills and strategies necessary for success in that teaching position. Ideally, the class should be taken in the quarter before the TA assignment begins.


The course should not be taken until completion of all requirements for the following: 690A, 690B, 693A,  and 695A. EFS 692 is not intended for development of general public speaking skills, and students who do not plan to TA within the next 12 months should not be taking it.  If you are uncertain as to whether or when you should take the course contactkgeda [at] stanford.edu (subject: EFSLANG%20692) ( )kgeda [at] stanford.edu (subject: EFSLANG%20692) .