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The mission of the UCAR ESL group is to help scientific staff for whom English is a second language to become world-class communicators, orally and in writing. Promoting exchanges among staff from around the world; increases mentoring and collaborating opportunities, prepares any staff member who travels abroad by improving language skills and enhancing cultural awareness, and enhances appreciation of the diversity of NCAR and UCAR staff.


Current Events

*NEW* UCAR ESL Writing Workshop: Lessons in Clear and Effective Writing - Mastering Compounds, Hyphens, and Dashes Creating Coherent and Powerful Paragraphs

 9:00am-12:00 noon, Monday, 20 May 2013, FL2, Room 1003

 by Alice Levine,  Alice Levine Editorial Services

Is it bandwidth or band width? Should we hyphenate beamwidth and low frequency? Our first goal in this session will be to identify closed, open, and hyphenated compounds and learn how to handle compound nouns, compound adjectives, compound adverbs, prefixes, and suffixes. We’ll explore the use of hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes to clarify meaning.

Our second goal is to examine how we construct paragraphs. Many of us begin a new paragraph simply by pressing the indent key, but that the approach is unlikely to result in an effective and coherent unit of thought. Paragraphs are like paper chains; each link holds one idea to the next one. Without a sturdy chain, a paragraph falls apart. We will analyze weak paragraphs and learn how to transform them into successful transmitters of our message.

If you would to submit questions and text samples on these two topics, please send them to Alice Levine ( by May 14, so she can address them in the session.

To be sure that there are enough handouts for all participants, please email Jielun Sun ( if you plan to participate in this workshop.



TableTalk is a low-pressure way to practice English conversational skills, to form relationships with each other and with native speakers of English, and to have a good time. If English is your first language, come join us to get to know more of your colleagues from abroad.

Currently, we have focused discussions about American cultures, and we will recruit some professionals in local area to talk with us. By organizing these focused table talks, we hope participants can gain professional knowledge and vocabularies in different professional areas during this one hour program. Experts agree on that people need broader knowledge to build a good life, and a better career. See you in the Table Talk.   

We meet from 12-1 p.m. in the Foothills Cafeteria Atrium. Look for the TableTalk sign. We usually meet on the first Tuesday of a month. Check the ESL calendar for our next meeting. Reminders are also posted in the Today@UCAR Calendar.

For more information, contact Charlie Krinsky .

ESL Writing/Presentation Clinics & Events

We meet regularly for brown-bag lunches and special workshops to improve presentation and writing skills in a casual, supportive environment. We also arrange lectures on pronunciation and other subjects as opportunities and requests arise.

Please email Jielun Sun ( with suggested topics.

Missed an event?

Catch up via the Presentations & Events Archive, where you can download the slides or watch a webcast of past writing & presentation clinics.

Cultural and Language Groups

From time to time, we sponsor lunchtime groups for those interested in a particular culture or language. Maintain foreign language skills, prepare for travel abroad, or learn more about a culture and multicultural potluck events .

Let us know your interests by contacting Jielun Sun (mailto:

Previous UCAR ESL Events

Photo Gallery

The UCAR ESL Group Steering Committee

Huaqing Cai, Charlie Krinsky, Jielun Sun, Leiwen Jiang, Qian Wu, Daniel Packman, and Liangying Zhang

ESL Email Access

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Contact Us

Let us hear from you about your language needs and interests. And if you find any information on this site that is outdated, please let us know.


ESL Resource Pages

We maintain an extensive list of resources to assist you with.

Pronunciation Help

Advice for Practicing English

Phonetics: The Sounds of Spoken Languages (University of Iowa). An online audiovisual guide to spoken American English as well as German and Spanish.

Speech pronunciation training

For individual coaching, contact Mary Golden to set up an appointment.

Quick Tips

English Speakers: Learn a Foreign Language

Learning English as a Second Language

How to use the UCAR Wiki

Useful Websites

About English as a Second Language

UCAR Websites

American Meteorological Society

Dictionaries & Thesauri

Among many others, we suggest:

  • Longman Dictionary of American English, 2nd ed. White Plains, NY, Longman, 1997
  • Long, T.H. ed. Longman Dictionary of English Idioms, Rev. ed. Harlow, England, Longman, 1984.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus
  • Oxford Fowler's Modern English Usage Dictionary, Fowler

Handbooks & Grammar Guides

Among many others, we suggest:

Presenters: UCAR Staff Development Workshops


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JPEG File JSMSE-sm.jpg Jan 15, 2010 by Zhenya Gallon
JPEG File DSCF0433-sm.jpg Jan 15, 2010 by Zhenya Gallon
PDF File potluck_report.pdf Jan 22, 2010 by Jielun Sun
PDF File esl_survey_all.pdf Jan 22, 2010 by Jielun Sun
PDF File ESL-WritingWorkshops-ByMaryG-2011.pdf Feb 03, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word 97 Document ClearTalkLevelOne-ByAntoniaJ-2011.doc Feb 03, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word 97 Document ClearTalkLevelTwo-ByAntoniaJ-2011.doc Feb 03, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word 97 Document ClearTalkLevelThree-ByAntoniaJ-2011.doc Feb 03, 2011 by dongl
File Dr.Johnson's-wrting-tips.rtf Mar 02, 2011 by dongl
PDF File Antonia-2011Mar.pdf Mar 19, 2011 by dongl
PDF File authguide.pdf Apr 13, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word Document Bates-Intro Sci Writing.docx Apr 13, 2011 by dongl
PDF File prepositions-discussion-U_Minn.pdf Apr 13, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word Document Preposition Summary-MG 20110403.docx Apr 13, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Word Document LEARN AMERICAN ENGLISH ONLINE.docx Apr 13, 2011 by dongl
Microsoft Powerpoint 97 Slideshow JHacker.ppt Apr 23, 2011 by dongl
JPEG File 025_24_smaller_another.jpg Mar 16, 2012 by Liangying Zhang
JPEG File 025_24_2in.jpg Mar 19, 2012 by Liangying Zhang
PDF File Biasca cv 01 02 12.pdf Debra H. Biasca's CV Oct 19, 2012 by Liangying Zhang
Microsoft Word 97 Document Steven_T_Olson.doc Steven_Olson's CV Nov 02, 2012 by Liangying Zhang
Microsoft Word 97 Document Mary_Golden_Bio_20130115.doc Jan 30, 2013 by Liangying Zhang
PDF File AcademicWritingStyleWorkshop-UCAR_ 05015013d.pdf May 16, 2013 by Jielun Sun

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