Language Development 

Whether you are looking to brush up on your language skills, improve your knowledge of American culture, or develop your own skills in teaching a language, we can assist you! We offer a variety of language development programs for both domestic and international members of the UCLA community. 

Learn more about each of our language development programs below.

Virtual Language Exchange 

Applications for Virtual Language Exchange fall 2020 are now closed. Check back near the end of fall quarter for our winter 2021 applications. 

Trying to learn a new language? Want to take what you're learning in the classroom a step further? The Language Exchange program connects language learners together to improve their conversation skills and meet people from around the world. Language Exchange is open to everyone and all language levels!

We will pair you with a native speaker of the language you are learning for one-on-one conversations that take place at your leisure and according to your schedule. You also get to help teach your own language, so that you both get the chance to help one another. Spend one hour speaking with your exchange partner in your native language, then one hour speaking in your requested language!

Note: UCLA has shifted to remote instruction for the fall quarter to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This means you will be conducting your exchange virtually through means agreed upon by you and your partner, such as Zoom or Skype. We hope that conducting the exchange virtually is as fulfilling as the regular program. We will do our best to pair you with someone in a similar time zone, but cannot guarantee it. 

 

You will be notified if we have found you a Language Exchange partner on a rolling basis from when the applications open until the end of Week 2 (Friday, October 16th). Due to the large number of applications we receive, if you do not receive an email informing you of your status by Friday, October 16th, please assume that we were unable to find you a partner.


So… how does it work?


Apply

Apply online to participate in Language Exchange. 

Connect
We will introduce you to your partner via email. Then you pick a time that works for you both to meet over Zoom or Skype to share your languages with each other. Keep in mind that while we try our best to pair you with someone in a similar time zone, we cannot guarantee it, therefore your partner may be in a different time zone. 

Chat
Meet virtually once a week and spend one hour speaking in your native language and another hour speaking in the language you’re learning. 

The program is a one-quarter commitment. You will need to apply each quarter if you wish to participate again and would like a new Language Exchange partner. If you want to remain with your partner, you do not need to apply again. 

*We will do our best to match you with a Language Exchange partner, but please note that the following language pairs have high demand:

-Chinese speaker requesting an English speaker

-Korean speaker requesting an English speaker

-English speaker requesting a Spanish speaker

-English speaker requesting a French speaker

English Language Circles

Looking for a safe and supportive space to practice your English conversation skills? Come to our weekly English Language Circles!

For fall 2020, English Language Circle will be held on Thursdays from 12 - 2 PM PST week 2 - week 10 on Zoom. Each week you will have an opportunity to practice your English with other language learners. The circle is led by a native English speaker who will help you become more confident in your speaking skills and who can answer any language or grammar questions that you might have. 

You must register for each circle you want to attend. Check our events calendar to register and for more information. 

Kurnitz Creative Writing Award

The Kurnitz Award application for the 2019-2020 academic year is closed. Check back at the end of fall 2020 for updates on the 2020-2021 application. 

The Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars is proud to present the Kurnitz Creative Writing Award, a UCLA tradition of over 40 years. This unique writing competition is specifically designed to engage the international community here at UCLA. In submitting original pieces, international students are given the opportunity to express their creative talents through writing.

 

$3,800 in scholarship prize money is allocated to winners!

*Please note that the actual amount for each prize may vary as the award amount is subject to federal taxes.

History of the Award

Harry Kurnitz was a playwright and screenwriter who worked in Hollywood in the 1930’s & 40’s. Along with his own passion for writing, he wanted to create opportunities for young writers, especially those who are not native English speakers. In 1965, Kurnitz and his business manager, Charles Goldring, created an endowment at UCLA for these awards that have given visibility and support to the talents of dozens of UCLA students from majors throughout the campus and countries across the globe. We invite you to be part of this tradition!

Who

To participate, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be foreign-born and not hold U.S. citizenship.

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled UCLA *international, degree seeking student or EAP student on the main campus, who has a valid non-immigrant visa and is eligible to receive monetary awards from a university.

  • The applicants’ native language must not be English, which will be reinforced with a signed affidavit.

*Please note that UCLA Extension students, Visiting Graduate Researchers, UCLA certificate program students, U.S. permanent residents (P.R.), and AB-540 students are ineligible for this award.

What

Participants may submit multiple entries, but you may only submit ONE  per category:

Category 1:  

  • Screenplay (maximum 120 pages)

  • Novel (maximum 200 pages)

  • Television Script (maximum 90 pages)

  • Short Play (maximum 50 pages)

Category 2: 

  •  Feature/ Short Story (maximum 1,500 words / approximately 6 pages)

Category 3: 

  • Poetry (entry must include 3 or more poems of any length. Individual poems will not be accepted.

How

All submissions must be an original work by the participant and the work cannot have been previously published (including online). Participants may only be awarded once during the course of the competition.

Entries must be submitted in English, typed, double spaced, on 8-½” x 11” paper, one side only (the only exception is that poems may be single or double spaced depending on the authors’ artistic preference).

Entries will be coded and distributed to judges without the author's name or identity to ensure fairness.

DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE DOCUMENT ITSELF.

When

All entries must be submitted online using the UCLA Scholarship Portal by March 6th at 11:59 PM. Applicants must fill out all information required on the form. By completing the profile on the portal, you will also be considered for other scholarship opportunities that you may qualify for. Late applications will not be accepted!

Writing Workshop

This introductory workshop will help students become familiar with the contest and guidelines, learn about Mr. Kurnitz, review past writing samples, and brainstorm ideas for their entry. FREE PIZZA will be provided. The workshop will be Wednesday, January 29th from 7 PM - 8:30 PM. Register to reserve your spot here!

Application

The application for the 2019-2020 academic year is closed. Check back at the end of fall 2020 for updates on the 2020-2021 application.  

*The winners will be announced at the Dashew Center's End of Year Banquet. The event will be held Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 from 6 PM - 7:30 PM. Tickets will be sold on our website a month before the event. Award finalists will be emailed special instructions about attending the banquet.*

American Culture and Conversation

Please check back in late fall 2020/early winter 2021 for more information on how to apply for Winter 2021.

Information on how to register as a participant can be found on the AC&C Participants tab.

American Culture & Conversation (AC&C) is a series of group sessions throughout an academic quarter for international students and scholars to learn more about American culture while improving their conversational fluency in English. AC&C will cover topics like slang, idioms, UCLA traditions, social and professional etiquette, romantic relationships, American sports and media, and more! 

The main objective of AC&C is to help students and scholars integrate more quickly into life at UCLA by bolstering their understanding of American culture. Improving students' English conversation skills will also come easily through AC&C due to the variety of teaching materials used by instructors -- videos, songs, games, debate, etc. 

*Please note that AC&C is not an English Grammar course. For English as a Second Language (ESL) course please contact UCLA Extension, Kaplan, or Santa Monica Community College. 

Program Information

Duration

Classes are two hours long and are held once per week during Week 2 - Week 7 of the quarter. 

Levels

During the quarter classes are offered at both intermediate and advanced levels and your level is self-selected, since there are no placement tests for this course. Your instructor will adapt the rigor of the course based on level of the majority of the students enrolled in that class.

Intermediate Level 

  • This class is for individuals who feel they are at a functional level of English, but regularly struggle with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. The individual has the opportunity to practice their conversational skills through discussions about social, cultural and international issues.

Advanced Level 

  • This class is for individuals who feel they are at a high functioning level of English and want to improve their slang and idioms, English pronunciation, as well as practice their conversational skills through in-depth discussions about social, cultural and international issues.

Size

Class sizes range from 5 to 20 people depending on the class time and academic quarter. The maximum enrollment allowed is 20 people, but the class must have at least 5 people enrolled in order to be held. Classes that have less than 5 people enrolled by the end of the second week are subject to cancellation.

Location

Classes take place in Bradley International Hall and the Dashew Center Board Room

Curriculum

The curriculum is provided by the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars and then presented to the class by the volunteer instructors.

Instructors

AC&C classes are led by volunteers who have a sincere interest in meeting and working with international students. Are you interested in becoming an AC&C instructor? This program is a great way to get leadership and teaching experience. No formal teaching experience is required, we are mostly looking for volunteer instructors who have a passion for helping international students!

Requirements

  • Native English speaker
  • Have lived a majority of life in the US
  • Up-to-date on contemporary US culture (slang, social media, university life, etc.)

Commitment

  • Instructors must be available to attend the mandatory AC&C Instructor Orientation typically in the evening in early October at the Dashew Center
  • Instructors must be available to teach weekly during one of the class times below from Week 2-Week 8* of the Fall Quarter:
    • Tuesday: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Wednesday: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Thursday: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

*Regular classes will end during Week 7, make-up classes will be during Week 8 if needed.

How to Apply to be an Instructor

  1. Complete the form at the bottom of this page.
  2. Email a pdf version of your resume to intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu. Add "AC&C Instructor - Fall 2019" in the subject line.
  3. Create a Dashew account on our website if you have not done so already.
  4. Once accepted, complete the online teaching orientation.
  5. Attend the the mandatory AC&C Instructor Orientation typically in the evening in early October at the Dashew Center.

*Instructor applications for Fall 2019 have closed. Please check back in late summer/early fall for information on how to apply for Fall 2020. 

Questions regarding AC&C?

Please email intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu



American Culture and Conversation

Please check back in late fall 2020/early winter 2021 for more information on how to apply for Winter 2021.

Information on how to apply to be an instructor can be found on the AC&C Instructors tab.

American Culture & Conversation (AC&C) is a series of group sessions offered throughout an academic quarter designed for international students and scholars to learn more about American culture while improving their conversational fluency in English. AC&C will cover topics like slang, idioms, UCLA traditions, social and professional etiquette, romantic relationships, American sports and media, and more! 

The main objective of AC&C is to help students and scholars integrate more quickly into life at UCLA by bolstering their understanding of American culture. Improving students' English conversation skills will also come easily through AC&C due to the variety of teaching materials used by instructors -- videos, songs, games, debate, etc. 

*Please note that AC&C is not an English Grammar course. For English as a Second Language (ESL) course please contact UCLA Extension, Kaplan, or Santa Monica Community College. 

Program Information

Duration

Classes are two hours long and are held once per week during Week 2 - Week 7 of the quarter. 

Levels

During the quarter classes are offered at both intermediate and advanced levels and your level is self-selected, since there are no placement tests for this course. Your instructor will adapt the rigor of the course based on level of the majority of the students enrolled in that class.

Intermediate Level 

  • This class is for individuals who feel they are at a functional level of English, but regularly struggle with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. The individual has the opportunity to practice their conversational skills through discussions about social, cultural and international issues.

Advanced Level 

  • This class is for individuals who feel they are at a high functioning level of English and want to improve their slang and idioms, English pronunciation, as well as practice their conversational skills through in-depth discussions about social, cultural and international issues.

Size

Class sizes range from 5 to 20 people depending on the class time and academic quarter. The maximum enrollment allowed is 20 people, but the class must have at least 5 people enrolled in order to be held. Classes that have less than 5 people enrolled by the end of the second week are subject to cancellation.

Location

Classes take place in Bradley International Hall and the Dashew Center Board Room

Curriculum

The curriculum is provided by the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars and then presented to the class by the volunteer instructors.

Participants

How to Enroll - Once Registration is Open (Registration for Fall 2019 is closed.)

  1. Once you login to your Dashew Center account, click on “My Account” in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Click the link called “AC&C Registration” on the left side of the screen to continue.
  3. On the AC&C section, click the link called “Add a Course” to select your desired class. 
  4. Click "Add" next to your desired class.
  5. Then, click "Continue," then click "Register." You should then see your course enrollment. 

Fees/Cost:

The registration fee is as follows: 

  • UCLA Students and Extension Students: FREE
  • Visiting Scholars, Faculty, Dependents: $25 per quarter

Add/Drop Deadline: 

Participants will be allowed to add/drop classes until the end of 2nd week of American Culture & Conversation. After the 2nd week of classes, rosters will be finalized for the quarter. Any students who are registered for the course but do not attend any classes during the first two weeks, will be dropped from the course. 

Questions regarding AC&C?

Please email intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu