Speaking and writing professionally with confidence are difficult for virtually everyone, but for those using a second language, these tasks pose a unique challenge. Virginia Tech's English Language Institute will address these needs by offering two intensive English language skills refresher classes during the semester break, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 16, 2004. Designed for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and members of the international research community, this two-week program will be held at the English Language Institute, 840 University City Blvd., Suite 2, in Blacksburg.

One class, the "Advanced Writing Laboratory," which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, will assist students with their professional writing skills. The 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. class, "Pronunciation and Oral Presentation," will help participants increase their confidence in both their formal and informal speaking ability. Students may elect to take either or both courses. Fees are $150 per class including textbooks and students must register by Jan. 2. Classes with fewer than five students will be canceled. Further information about the courses or how to register is available by contacting Judy Snoke at eslsnoke@vt.edu or 231-6963, or Beth Loar at eloar@vt.edu or 231-9814.

Written by Pam R. Divine, a communications major at Virginia Tech.