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Clergy & Religious Summer Institute

Improve your English language skills at La Roche this summer!

About the Program

The Clergy and Religious Summer English Institute prepares priests and religious for English communication in professional and parish environments. [Brochure (PDF)]

Working with trained ESL instructors, students of all levels will focus on: 
  • Vocabulary building
  • Speaking fluency
  • Accent reduction
  • Conversation norms
  • Writing and reading for professional purposes
  • Building cultural competence
  • Focus on liturgical nomenclature
  • Public speaking skills

Housing Accommodations:

On-campus housing and dining is available and included with the cost of tuition. Weekend meals are not included, but local dining options are available.

Total Tuition Cost

Daily Course Format

Morning session – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Lunch – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon session – 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Course Descriptions

Vocabulary and Culture – This daily 2.5-hour session focuses on building conversational and professional vocabulary associated with the needs of clergy members. It also focuses on sociopragmatics and cultural aspects of learning the English language. 

Speaking Skills and Accent Reduction – This daily 2.5-hour session emphasizes and promotes the use of English language for conversational purposes. Exercises focus on fluency of speech, accent reduction and pronunciation skills. Participants also work on public speaking and presentation skills in English.

Proposed Learning Activities and Experiences

  • Dialoguing
  • Pronunciation and fluency exercises
  • Guest speakers
  • Video clips
  • Situational role play
  • Email writing and phone call practice
  • Computer exercises
  • Presentations
  • Lunch conversations and cultural discussions

Program Highlights

  •  Students receive 20 contact hours per week in an English immersion program that focuses on their immediate language acquisition needs such as: conversational English skills, accent reduction, vocabulary building, cultural competence, public speaking, and writing and reading for professional purposes.
  • Small class sizes allow for intensive study and a personal, supportive environment for all types of learners.
  • Courses focus on the English skills and vocabulary that working clergy members need to actively participate in their communities and parish environments.
  • A focus on accent reduction and fluency provides clergy members with confidence in using English in everyday settings and public speaking situations.
  • Students work with trained ESL teachers who hold years of experience helping adult learners achieve their specific language learning needs.
  • Guest speakers from various areas and fields will visit the classroom.
  • Students can apply what they learn during regular conversational practice with native speakers.
  • Participants will explore the city of Pittsburgh through planned cultural excursions.