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English for Business Purposes

The English Language Center (ELC) has been working with Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management since 1994 to develop and deliver support programming for incoming students who have a first language other than English.

US Business Communication & Culture (USBCC)

Finalists in the USBCC Marketing Challenge.

The USBCC program is specifically designed to help students, who have a first language other than English and have been accepted into an Owen Graduate School of Management program, begin the fall semester with the language skills and cultural knowledge necessary to benefit more fully from Owen’s academic program. The summer program combines advanced-level language instruction with orientation and cultural activities:

  • a two-week pre-arrival, on-line orientation and assessment program
  • a three-week face-to-face, pre-MBA academic program
  • completely customized curriculum with Vanderbilt- and Owen-specific content and course simulations
  • highly individualized feedback and coaching on writing and oral skills
  • complementary curricula with Owen Managerial Writing
  • coordination with multiple aspects of orientation (library, laptops, etc.)
  • chatELC, a tuition-free conversation group for spouses and domestic partners

Program Objectives:

USBCC Students Gathering on the Final Day of the Program.
  • Adapt more quickly to the Owen environment
  • Communicate effectively in groups and individual presentations
  • Comprehend rapid American speech in lectures and discussion
  • Read and write English efficiently and effectively

Important Dates:

  • July 7–July 28, 2017 Monday through Friday
  • 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.—ELC instruction
  • 12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.—Business Writing, Simulated Class, Career Services Orientation, and Socials (a few evenings)


Students should enroll through the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Pronunciation and Speaking for Business

This 2-Mod program is offered in Mods 1–2 and again in Mods 3–4. The program targets pronunciation (priority) and academic speaking skills (secondary focus) while continuing to develop business-specific vocabulary and language usage. This course will also offer students an opportunity to improve their academic speaking skills in order to enhance their experience at OGSM. Organized around speaking tasks in U.S. business settings, this course is very interactive. Students learn to communicate with classmates, teachers, and general audiences through role-plays, presentations, debates and discussions.

Program Objectives:

  • communicate effectively in groups and individual presentations
  • comprehend rapid American speech in lectures and discussion
  • apply stress appropriately at word and sentence level
  • recognize and produce stress for contrasts and contradictions
  • demonstrate ability to recognize and produce reductions
  • identify and approximate the phonemes of Standard American English
  • identify the number of syllables in a word
  • correctly use stress at the word, phrase, and sentence level
  • identify content and function words
  • separate speech into appropriate thought groups
  • demonstrate ability to link and blend within thought groups
  • produce common intonation patterns in extended discourse segments
  • approximate American English rhythm in extended discourse segments
  • increase intelligibility
  • increase fluency
  • increase accuracy


  • All interested Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management students and scholars should contact regarding enrollment in Pronunciation and Speaking for Business.

In the Media


For more information regarding course content, please contact:

Jim Cracraft, Assistant Director
Tel: +1 615-322-2277

For more information regarding eligibility content, please contact:

Susan M. Barone, Executive Director of Global Learning and Education
Tel: +1 615-322-2277