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.
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. Students can work in the lab independently or with a professional Speech Consultant (see below). 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 (enter through VC 6-120)
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.
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For maximum benefit, we recommend that you visit the lab and see a professional speech consultant for one-on-one tutorials. The Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) offers one-on-one speech tutorials which professional speech tutors analyze your accent and help you better pronounce the sounds of American English. To make an appointment with a speech tutor, visit SACC in NVC 2-116, call (646) 312-4830, or sign up online.
The Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) now offers a weekly Conversation Hour for students, held in the ESL Speech Lab (VC 6-121, enter through VC 6-120). To practice their American English pronunciation, communication, and listening skills, students meet with peers to discuss topics such as current events, culture, business, travel, music, and popular American culture. Each session is moderated by a highly-trained tutor from SACC who will work with you to enhance your conversational abilities. Sessions are open to no more than five students at a time. To reserve a seat at our next Conversation Hour, please sign up online, visit SACC in VC 2-116, or call (646) 312-4830.
TH 6 - 8:00 p.m.
The Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) also offers the following Pronunciation Workshops for students:
Clear Speech 101
Clarity and Confidence
Intelligibility in the Interview
To find out about workshop dates and reserve a seat, please sign up online, visit SACC in VC 2-116, or call (646) 312-4830.
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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 http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/conversation (use your regular Baruch user name and password to log in).
- What is muscle memory?
- How long will it take to change my accent?
- Why should I improve my accent?
- 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 and not put a burden on your listeners, straining to understand you.
You have two options: (1) 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. (2) You can make an appointment with a speech tutor at SACC (2nd floor). 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.
You should practice as often as possible, but at least once a week for an hour.
Clearer, more polished speech and a more standard North American accent. 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.