Oral English Proficiency Screening (OEPS)

GAs who are required to complete a screening will receive details on scheduling in their GTAP Welcome Letter. Screenings are typically scheduled for the week before classes (Fall and Spring). Screenings take approximately fifteen minutes and students do not need to prepare in advance for the screening. The screening is based on the Compton Screening Assessment of Foreign Accent to assess intelligibility in words, sentences, and conversation.

The purpose of OEPS is to ensure GAs will be able to understand the spoken content that is presented in class, office hours, and/or labs. 

Accent Modification 

GAs who do not pass the screening will be referred for accent modification for the semester at the GWU Speech and Hearing Clinic. (GAs who pass can refer themselves optionally to the Speech and Hearing Clinic.) 

During accent modification sessions, students will meet weekly with a graduate clinician to focus on speech sounds (consonants and vowels) and other “naturalness” factors such as rate of speech, syllable stress, intonation, and professional speaking skills. Those in accent modification are expected to attend all scheduled sessions and practice outside of these weekly sessions to ensure progress. Students will be re-screened at the end of the semester to assess progress. Students who pass are allowed to continue with accent modification for one more semester or are excused.  

Sessions address intelligibility and naturalness of speech and target the following areas:

  • Sounds: Consonants and Vowels
  • Suprasegmentals: Rate of Speech, Pausing, Key Words, Intonation, Syllable Stress, Word Linking, Volume and Resonance
  • Professional Speaking: Body Language, Grammar, Small Talk, Visuals, Phone, Humor, Presentations
  • Benefits of accent modification:
  • Overall improvement in pronunciation skills 
  • Greater confidence when speaking and presenting
  • Less confusion for listeners as speech becomes clear and understandable
  • Improvement in communication and confidence in social, academic, and professional settings

The Speech and Hearing Center also offers  workshops through the English for Academic Purposes program throughout each semester. These are through Gelman Library.

All Graduate Assistants are welcome to self-refer to accent modification. Please email [email protected] for more information.