Continuing the success of its long-running English Conversation Course, PSU’s International Affairs Office is now offering new types of courses to PSU staff. The module-based “English at work” intensive courses aim to enhance the practical English conversation skills of selected staff in a well-defined range of work-related subjects. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chutamas Satasook, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Pattara Aiyarak, Vice President for Global Relations and Informatics, cite PSU’s new internationalization strategy as the reason for creating the new English course initiative.
In October 2015, three pilot projects have been launched: English on the Phone 101, English on Campus Grounds 101, and English in the Office 101. Offered to small groups of 14-16 students, the week-long classes focused on core vocabulary, frequently used phrases and practical examples, along with speaking practice, homework and tests ensuring ample opportunities for student participation.
The instructor, Mr. Zsolt M. Szekely, a U.S. graduate from Hungary, notes: “my students come from a variety of backgrounds, and they all have improved their English conversational skills and confidence during this intensive course. I’m sure they will handle English matters at their workplace with the professional skills expected from employees at an international campus.”
To get an objective measure of the outcome, students were tested both at the beginning and at the end of the courses. While pretest scores showed a wide range distribution, post-test scores indicated significant score increase at all levels. Additionally, the students were asked to anonymously evaluate themselves and their teacher on a five-point scale. Averaged scores of 4.3 and 4.9/5, respectively, indicate high confidence in both.
PSU’s International Affairs Office continues offering English courses on an ongoing basis, as an essential contribution to the long-term goal of making PSU a truly international experience.