Don’t be Misunderstood! Mastering Email Etiquette

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Taper Hall (THH) 201

This practical seminar addresses issues in email communication that often cause problems for second language English writers in both business and academic settings. We discuss common mistakes – even ‘good mistakes’ - that many times result in misunderstanding or negative feelings. Effective email communication involves giving feedback, making requests, and responding to problems. The 90-minute workshop does not focus on grammatical issues, but rather looks at vocabulary usage and the overall structure of written emails. Special emphasis will be given to tone, voice (using you/me/we), and consideration of primary and secondary audiences. We will discuss examples based on both well-constructed and problematic emails. Materials will be provided for attendees to reference at home. 

Eric H. Roth: Eric, a Master Lecturer in the USC American Language Institute (ALI), teaches international graduate students the pleasures of academic writing and public speaking in English. A former journalist and Congressional aide, Roth directed the CES Adult Education Center from 1996-1999, assisting over 1,000 immigrants and refugees in becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. He also co-authored  Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics in 2007, and a sequel Compelling American Conversations: Questions and Quotations for Intermediate American English Language Learners in 2012. Roth served on the Fulbright National Selection Committee for English Teaching Assistants in 2015 and 2016. 

Richard Jones is a Lecturer of English as a Second Language at USC.  He holds an M.Ed. in TESOL from Temple University and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from UCLA. Richard taught academic and business English for ten years in Japan, working in both Tokyo and Osaka. In addition to teaching, Richard works as an editor He has revised English editions of books in fields ranging from Anthropology to Psychology and has helped researchers in China, Korea, and Japan submit manuscripts for publication in English language journals.

About the Organizers:

The Office of International Services: The Office of International Services (OIS) supports international students and scholars as they strive to achieve their educational, professional, and personal objectives. OIS is a resource center that provides advising, information, and opportunities for involvement to help members of the USC international community make the most of their USC experience. Recognizing the many benefits of international educational exchange, OIS advocates for these benefits on campus, locally and nationally.

The American Language Institute: The American Language Institute provides instruction in English as a Second Language for international students who need or desire to improve their English language skills in order to participate successfully in their degree programs. The institute also provides student advisement.

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Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop




University Park Campus


careercenter, Career, workshop, international, OIS

Office of International Services
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