Communication Development Programs

The Canaccord Learning Commons offers a variety of programs to help students develop their communication skills throughout their time at UBC Sauder.

The Writing Improvement Program

Staffed by professional business writers, the Writing Improvement Program (WIP) provides writing assistance to students of all years and ability levels on both a one-on-one and small group basis. Students can get help with composition, as well as constructive feedback on professional and academic writing assignments. The program runs weekly throughout the winter and summer terms in the Canaccord Learning Commons (CLC). This is not an editing service, and coaches may not have time to look over all aspects of your work, but they can help you self-edit, read for clarity, and focus your thoughts. In consideration of others, students are limited to one appointment per week.

LPI exam preparation

For UBC Sauder students who need to pass the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) exam, the CLC offers weekly sessions to work through practice questions, and to help you improve your grammar and essay writing skills before taking the exam. Workshops are facilitated in the Canaccord Learning Commons by our Communication Coach who has many years of experience working with students new to studying and writing in English. Sessions run as part of a series so we recommend students attend every week and write the exam after attending all sessions. Weekly topics are listed on COOL.

Advanced Grammar Workshops

An eight part series offered once each term, Advanced Grammar Workshops allow students to learn more about the finer points of English grammar in a group setting. Workshops are one and a half hours long and topics vary week to week. To find out what topic will be featured check on COOL under Workshops, or attend each week to learn more about all areas of speech.

Study Groups

Study Groups are hosted throughout the week for students to discuss COMM 292 course concepts, practice academic English, and meet other Sauder students. These small groups are facilitated by our Communication Coach, with topics varying week to week. Study Groups provide targeted support to first year students who are new to studying in English. Interested students should attend a session to learn more, or you may be refered by your TA or Instructor. You may attend multiple sessions a week. All sessions are run in CLC 314.

Programs are offered at the following times during term 2:

Writing Improvement Program (CLC 219)

Monday to Friday 1:00pm to 4:00pm

RSVP on COOL under Appointments

LPI Preparation

Tuesday 12:30pm to 2:00pm (HA 293)

RSVP on COOL under Workshops

Advanced Grammar Workshops (HA 292)

Tuesday 5:00pm to 6:30pm and 6:30pm to 8:00pm

RSVP on COOL under Workshops

Study Groups (CLC 201)

Tuesday 11:00am to 12:00pm

RSVP on COOL under Workshops

Other Language Workshops

The CLC's Communication Coach will run other workshops throughout to help students develop different aspects of speech and language. For a full listing of times and locations, and to sign up, check COOL under Workshops.

Pronunciation improvement program

This new program explores and corrects common English pronunciation difficulties. These one on one sessions focus on making words sharper by improving individual sounds and correcting syllable stress. Additionally students will practice getting proper pausing and intonation patterns into longer pieces of speech. These sessions will be most helpful if you bring something to the workshop (an article, a presentation, a chapter in a book) that you want to work on.  Feel free to bring a friend if you want to practice together.

Times are available Tuesdays between 2:30pm to 4:30pm or Thursdays between 11:30pm and 3:30pm. All sessions run in CLC 201.

Two minute presentations

Come to this workshop, select a topic and start speaking!  A coach will give you feedback on all parts of your speaking  including grammar, pronunciation, and delivery. This workshop will help you pracrice quickly putting your thoughts into words, and speaking to a group.

This workshop runs Wednesday 12:00pm to 1:00pm in CLC 201.

Current events

Do you like reading, watching or listening to the news?  Do you want to discuss these issues in-depth with others?  Come to this workshop with a piece of news you want to discuss.  Provide a brief summary of it and then the discussion begins.

This workshop will run on alternating Thursdays at 12:30pm check COOL for availability.

Conversation strategies

This workshop will help you practice the skills you need to engage in rewarding and comfortable conversations, and to network effectively at events or in business.  Learn how to join, leave, or extend a conversation, and how to use the body language that is so important to keep a conversation going.

This workshop will run on alternating Mondays at 12:00pm, check COOL for availability.

Small talk

Come to this workshop to learn the basics of small talk. Discover what topics are acceptable for small talk, and how to start and end one of these short conversations. Small talk a valuable skill in school and in business that you can practice with the support of the Communication Coach.

This workshop will run on alternating Mondays at 12:00pm, check COOL for availability.

Canadian cultural topics

Are you curious about social etiquette and unspoken rules in Vancouver and Canada?  Do you wonder what the hot topics in Vancouver and Canada are right now? Are you confused about things that you see? Bring your questions to this workshop to share and discuss.  Let’s try and understand what happens in Vancouver and work on soft skills at the same time.

This workshop will run on alternating Thursdays at 12:30pm, check COOL for availability.


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