English Language Institute

Community Conversation Course (CCC)

General Overview

This course is designed to help non-native speakers of English improve their speaking and listening conversation skills. It is open to students, faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh as well as to international residents and visitors who are living and working in the Pittsburgh area. All classes are taught by teachers-in-training or volunteers. The number of classes and levels offered each term are dependent on enrollment and teacher availability.

All students take a short oral placement interview to determine their level and are registered for the appropriate classes. Students may not choose their schedule or level based on convenience. 

Classes meet in person (conditions permitting) twice a week for one hour and fifteen minutes per class.

All visitors to the University of Pittsburgh are required to follow Pitt's Health Rules for COVID-19 safety precautions. 


  • Spring 2023:  January 23 to April 7, 2023 (no classes March 6 to March 10 - Spring Break)

  • Summer 2023:  NOT OFFERED

  • Fall 2023: Check back soon!

Class Schedule for Spring 2023

  • Low Intermediate: meets Mondays & Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

  • High Intermediate: meets Mondays & Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

  • Low Advanced: meets Mondays & Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.


  • There is a $100 non-refundable registration fee. 
  • Payment information will be sent to those who complete the ELI application (information below). 
  • Price does not include textbook.

Course Description

This course is intended for low intermediate to low advanced non-native speakers of English (equivalent to ELI levels 3, 4, 5 or 6).

Class size will be limited to 20 and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Goals Course Activities
  • Improve overall English speaking and listening skills
  • Explore culture relevant to improving the language skills that are the focus of the course
  • Recognize, understand, and use selected vocabulary
  • Studying and completing exercises and practice activities in the textbook
  • Listening to and studying video and audio clips
  • Conversing on personal, social, and/or academic topics
  • Reviewing problem areas in pronunciation
  • Doing grammar exercises as needed

There are no grades, quizzes, tests, or other types of formal evaluations in this course. Students will engage in various activities with the goal of improving their listening and speaking skills. 

Campus Life and Pitt ID Card

Students in the Community Conversation Course are not eligible for a University ID or to participate in University sponsored student activities. However, students are permitted to participate in social and cultural activities planned by the ELI. Information about these activities can be found in the ELI News, the ELI's weekly newsletter for students.

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the online CCC application. (Registration is open until February 3.)

  2. Interviews for new CCC students will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 18, and Thursday, Jan. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the English Language Institute, 200 Meyran Avenue. Teachers will interview new students to determine their level of spoken English and decide which CCC class they should attend.

  3. Students should bring their payment for the $100 registration fee with them to the interview. Payment can be made with cash (please bring exact change) or by check or money order; we cannot accept credit cards at this time. 

Late Registration: If you were not able to attend an in-person interview session, you can still join a CCC class. Complete the online application, and we will contact you and schedule an interview, either in-person or via Zoom. Late registration will be open until February 3. 


Students who have not missed more than 20% of classes will receive a Certificate of Attendance. 

Contact us for more information about the Community Conversation Course.