Center for Global Communication+Design

Language and Culture Support

We recognize that non-native English-speaking students have varied needs when improving communication skills and adjusting to English. We are proud to offer both tutoring and language and culture support to address these needs!

We highly encourage non-native English-speaking students to use our scheduler to make appointments with TAs or mentors for help with individual projects, including personal work, class assignments, application essays for graduate school, and cover letters for job applications. Our mentors and teaching assistants are trained to work with multilingual students and explain typical difficulties with English writing and speaking. We are not language teachers, but are happy to help with oral presentations, grammar, vocabulary, native English idioms, and so on. In addition, all students also have access to the Comm+D’s online resources, also accessible through the Resources section of this website.

Comm+D offers a number of opportunities and resources for adapting to American language and culture, including:

  • Tips on Language and Culture: This series of downloadable handouts covers many topics. Some are specifically for language learners (campus resources, how to describe charts and graphs, others); some are for people wanting to welcome the world (how to say Chinese names, tips on intercultural communication); and some are useful for anyone adjusting to Rensselaer (an alphabetical list of 160+ abbreviations and academic terms). A list of all Comm+D handouts is available via Box.
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Opportunities and Resources for Adapting to American Language and Culture

Tips on Language and Culture

This series of downloadable handouts covers many topics. Some are specifically for language learners (campus resources, how to describe charts and graphs, others); some are for people wanting to welcome the world (how to say Chinese names, tips on intercultural communication); and some are useful for anyone adjusting to Rensselaer (an alphabetical list of 160+ abbreviations and academic terms). Comm+D has assembled a full list of downloadable handouts for students' reference and use.

COMM-1960 Effective Communication for Class Pedagogy

This one-credit course is designed to help international teaching assistants develop their skills for communicating with students and colleagues in an academic setting. 

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Chinese Mentor Program

“The Chinese mentor program is one of the most outstanding and friendly programs, not only for mentors, but also for anyone who is willing to learn Chinese.”

Students learning Chinese have an opportunity to develop their language competency and expand their understanding of Chinese culture by working work with mentors who are native Chinese speakers. The mentors, who are trained and supervised by Professor Jianling Yue, have the teaching and communication skills to work effectively with students. In addition, the Chinese Mentor Program enhances intercultural communication on our campus because it is open to all members of the Rensselaer community, and anyone who is interested in learning and developing competency in Chinese language and culture is welcome to participate.

To sign up for a meeting with a Chinese mentor, please contact Haowen He. Each week, you will receive email containing a link to the schedule where you can sign up for a meeting with a Chinese mentor.