English Language Institute

Speaking and Listening for Communication

General Overview

Speaking and Listening for Communication is an English as a Second Language class taught remotely in real time. This part-time course is designed to meet the needs and schedules of individuals who cannot take courses during the workday. The focus of this course is on speaking and listening skills, but reading and writing may be included according to the wishes of the class. The course is open to members of the university (students, faculty and staff) as well as to internationals in the City of Pittsburgh and the surrounding  areas.  

Dates and Times

  • Speaking and Listening for Communication is offered each term (Fall, Spring and Summer).
    • Spring 2021: Cancelled. Please check back in April for Summer 2021 dates. 

Classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m.

Course Description

This course is intended for intermediate to low-advanced learners of English (at least 52 on the iBT TOEFL, 470 on the paper-based TOEFL, or 120 on the computer-based TOEFL). Students must take the ELI's placement test to ensure that the course is appropriate to their level of language proficiency. 

Speaking and Listening for Communication is taught through Zoom. Students must have access to audio- and video-capable technology (preferably a computer or laptop), and a basic (1.5 Mbps) DSL Internet/WiFi connection or a cellular/satellite connection. A cable or fiber Internet service will further enhance your learning experience, but it is not required. Students will be asked to use their video during classes and must be able to use the Breakout Room function in Zoom. All classes will be taught synchronously. Classes will not be recorded.  

Course Goals Course Activites
  • Improve overall English speaking and listening skills
  • Practice giving speeches and presentations that are used in everyday, work, and academic settings
  • Explore culture relevant to improving the language skills that are the focus of the course
  • Studying and completing exercises and practice activities in the textbook
  • Listening to and studying video clips and radio reports
  • Keeping a listening log
  • Delivering oral presentations
  • Reviewing problem areas in pronunciation
  • Doing short pieces of writing and grammar exercises as needed

The textbook for this course is Northstar 4:  Listening and Speaking (4th ed.) and can be purchased at The University Store on Fifth.  

Students who have not missed more than 4 classes will receive a Certificate of Attendance. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is $1020 and required university fees are currently $310. Required university fees are $287 for the summer term only. The $110 application fee is waived for Spring 2021. 

University of Pittsburgh employee education benefits may be available for eligible faculty, staff, librarians, research associates, and post-doctoral research associates and scholars, as well as their spouse/domestic partner and dependent child(ren). Read more about University of Pittsburgh employee education benefits… 

Campus Life and Pitt ID Card

Students in Speaking and Listening for Communication receive an ID card from the University of Pittsburgh, which allows them to be part of the university community. With their Pitt ID card, students can use all librariesrecreational/sports facilities and computer labs on campus. Students also have access to free and discounted cultural activities throughout the city.

Application Procedure

  • Fill out an ELI application and check "Speaking and Listening for Communication" line in Section A.
  • Return the form to the ELI office with a check for $410 ($110 for application and $300 for deposit; both fees are nonrefundable). 
  • Deadline for application:  Check back in April for Summer 2021 deadlines. 
  • Students must take the ELI's placement test to ensure that the course is appropriate to their level of language proficiency.
    • Reserve a place at the test by calling 412-624-5901 or e-mailing elipitt@pitt.edu.

Note: Speaking and Listening for Communication is not usually open to students on an F-1 visa issued through an I-20 from the ELI.


Contact us for more information about the Speaking and Listening for Communication.