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American Culture Class

ACAD 1106 --  American Culture and the University Experience

3 credit course

This course provides a study of American cultural values and expectations and how they manifest in the structure and functioning of a university.  The emphasis is on effective cross-cultural communication and navigating daily student tasks both on and off campus. You will better understand American culture and the language used by your professors and classmates. This course is intended primarily for entering international students.


Tutoring and Workshops

One-on-one 60 minute tutoring (call 208-282-3662 or make an appoinment using our appointment book):

  • Receive feedback on all assignments and projects
  • Practice oral presentations
  • Refine pronunciation and develop skills for class discussions and interviews
  • Improve your documentation skills for academic writing and speaking
  • Strengthen your grammar and vocabulary for better writing and easier reading
  • Develop an individualized self-improvement plan
  • Take an Accent Modification Evaluation and follow-up for those who need professional level of spoken American English
  • SPEAK assessment and follow-up for International Teaching Assistants


Workshops:  For more information on attending any of these workshops, please contact Sue Akersten at (208) 282-3662 or email

  • Orientation to Research and Library Database Use — Learn how to use the Oboler Library and its databases.
  • Keys to Avoiding Plagiarism in Academic Papers and Presentations — Learn why plagiarism is a serious offense, how to avoid it through summarizing, paraphrasing, citing and documentation, how to create a Works Cited or References page, and where to find online resources.
  • Efficient Reading for Scholars — Learn "mapping" to increase your reading speed and comprehension.
  • Sounding American — Professional actors from many language backgrounds learn how to "sound American" and you can too. Learn strategies to lower the accent barrier and reduce the dreaded response, "Sorry, I don't understand."
  • Surviving Multiple Choice Tests — Success depends on your understanding of the logic used in constructing questions and on your knowledge of grammar, culture, idioms and synonyms. Get some surprising strategies.
  • Grammar Clinic — Tired of teachers marking you down for grammar, spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure errors? Bring your problem to any of these workshops and get the solution!



Handouts for more accurate academic writing.

Verbs Used in Signal Phrasing (APA/MLA)

CSE/CBE Style (scientific writing)

Checklist for Successful Interviewing