The Department of Communication Studies
Log onto our department's "Corporate Communication" Blackboard site (under the "Community" tab) for announcements, surveys, information on internships and jobs, links to communication organization, upcoming lectures, and more.
Guide to Research for Oral Presentations
Visit the Guide to Research for Oral Presentations to complete this 30-minute tutorial on finding, evaluating, and using online sources.
Effective Use of PowerPoint
Visit http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/tutorials/powerpoint to complete this 45-minute tutorial on the effective design and delivery of PowerPoint slides. The tutorial features information on the 6x6 rule, the importance of focusing on visuals, pros and cons of presentation slides, and more.
Guidelines for Public Speaking
Download the Guidelines for Public Speaking (pdf), a compendium of guidelines on effective public speaking. The Guidelines contain advice for preparing and delivering presentations, information on different types of speeches, and tips for reducing communication anxiety.
Baruch Colleges offers a number of excellent and largely free support services in spoken and written communication. These services include one-on-one tutorials, labs, and workshops. Please see Support Services for specific information.
If you are a nonnative English speaker and would like to improve your pronunciation and intelligibility, please take advantage of the extensive professional resources in the college's Tools for Clear Speech program.
Tools for Clear Speech offers:
- one-to-one tutorials with professional speech consultants
- small- and large-group workshops
- weekly small- group Conversation Hours
- the Oral Communication Video Assessment to help track your progress while at the college
Please visit Tools for Clear Speech for more information. All Tools for Clear Speech services are free to students.
The ESL Speech Lab has a large variety of programs on pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, grammar, conversation management, vocabulary development, listening/lecture comprehension, and business-related communication skills. We recommend that you visit the lab regularly. Practice makes perfect! Please download Instructions and a list of ESL Materials available in the lab, and visit Accent Reduction FAQs for more information.
VC 6-121 (the PCs in the back row)
Fall and Spring:
MO-TH 10:00 a.m. - 8 p.m.
The ESL Speech Lab is part of a larger language lab. When you visit the lab, please tell the lab assistant that you want to use the ESL Speech Lab PCs.
The Conversation Partners Program matches native and nonnative speakers of English for informal conversations. The program is designed to help nonnative students gain confidence in English and navigate local culture. At the same time, both native and nonnative speakers will expand their cultural knowledge, make friends, and build a network of professional contacts. Partners commit to meeting once a week, for at least seven weeks during the semester. You can sign up for the program at the very beginning of each fall and spring semester.
For more information and the application form, go to Conversation Partners Program.
- What is muscle memory?
- How long will it take to improve my pronunciation?
- Why should I improve my pronunciation?
- Where should I start?
- How often should I practice in the lab?
- What results can I expect?
Your tongue and lips know from years of practice how to produce your native language sounds. To pronounce the sounds of English correctly, you need to train these muscles to move differently. When you don’t have to think consciously about the new sounds and your mouth muscles produce the correct English sounds automatically, you have achieved "muscle memory."
Athletic trainers say that it take 1,000 repetitions to commit a sports move (e.g., in skiing or gymnastics) to muscle memory. It’s similar with our speech organs. Each person will experience a period of being able to reduce his or her accent when consciously thinking about it. However, to get the changes into the subconscious mind may take six months to a year. Like playing golf, tennis, or a musical instrument, accent training requires practice, practice, practice.
Employers commonly rank spoken communication skills highest among the skills desired in college graduates. While you don’t have to eradicate your accent completely (a little bit of an accent can be quite charming), you should strive to be comprehensible enough for listeners to understand you without strain.
You have two options: (1) You should make an appointment with a speech tutor at TfCS (select "one-to-one speech tutorials"). The tutor can diagnose your speech, including “hidden” speech problems that you may not know and that may be even more important than specific sounds (e.g., stress, rhythm, and intonation). The tutor may meet with you regularly, to check your progress and direct your lab practice. (2) You should practice on a regular basis. You can go to the lab on your own and select programs with speech features of your interest. Some programs come with books (you can check them out at the attendants’ desk), and some are software programs without accompanying books.
You should practice as often as possible, but at least once a week for an hour.
You can expect clearer speech and greater intelligibility. Your improved pronunciation will help you perform better in school, during job interviews, and at work.
In addition, matriculated as well as nonmatriculated students can enroll in a variety of ESL classes at Continuing and Professional Studies' Center for English Language.
For a complete list of support services in spoken and written communication, see Support Services.