UPenn’s Popular English for Career Development Course Now Available on ELSA!

UPenn’s Popular English for Career Development Course Now Available on ELSA!

Nearly half of ELSA’s users are practicing English in order to gain a competitive edge in the global job market and advance their careers. Some need proficiency in spoken English to land their first jobs, while others are hoping to move up in their fields. Regardless of where you are in your career, English speaking skills and knowledge of the job search process can help.

In order to empower our learners on their career journeys, we obtained a permission from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), one of the world’s most prestigious universities, to offer a special speaking course on career development via the ELSA Speak app. You can now learn about how to land your dream job while improving your pronunciation skills at the same time.

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Why is speaking out loud important for learning?

In a study released by the University of Waterloo, researchers found that reading out loud leads to stronger long-term retention of information than reading silently or hearing material read aloud by another person¹. Other researchers discovered that reading information out loud led to a 12% improvement in memory retention compared to reading the information silently². The magic behind reading out loud is the “production effect,” which describes how the dual action of speaking and hearing one’s own voice producing the information helps encode the memory more strongly³.

With this concept in mind, ELSA has launched a special module. Through our AI-powered platform, we’re empowering our users not only to learn valuable career development skills via reading and watching videos, but also to solidify that information by speaking out loud. At the same time, users will get detailed feedback about their pronunciation, like in all of our modules.

More about ELSA’s special career development module

We are excited to announce that ELSA is providing the first speech-focused format for the popular online course, English for Career Development. Speech skills are crucial aspects of English proficiency and can improve your chances of success in job hunting and career advancement.

ELSA’s module includes the variety of important job-related topics covered in the original course, and goes further by providing key takeaways in a multiple choice quiz format, strengthening understanding of the content. As the entire course is contained in a convenient in-app module, users can learn at their own pace, whenever and wherever they want.

We believe this interactive format, combining the original rich course content with quizzes and speaking practice, will support comprehension and retention of information. We’ve taken a popular course from a top Ivy League university with a famous English language education program, and we’ve made it even more effective and convenient!

Screen (1)
Left to right: Overview summary and video, Key Takeaway module, Interactive quizzes

Upon completion of this course, you’ll get a certificate, which you can add to your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Certificate ELSA Speak UPenn module

Why take the English for Career Development course?

English for Career Development is taught by specialists from UPenn’s English Language Program and was funded by the Office of English Language Programs at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The original course is available on Coursera, and the course is designed to help non-native English speakers interested in advancing their careers by covering several essential topics:

  • Searching for jobs
  • Applying to jobs
  • Networking
  • Job interviews

In addition to learning about these important career skills, you’ll learn relevant job-related vocabulary and expressions. Many learners have experienced the positive outcomes that come with this combination of career knowledge and language skills.

Outcomes (2)

As of August 2020, this course has been taken by close to a million users around the world and has received rave reviews.

  • Average rating of 4.8/5.0 for the learning experience, with 86.8% of the approximately 3,000 reviewers giving a perfect 5.0 score
  • Satisfaction score of 99% for the course’s content (approximately 190,000 total ratings total)
  • Instructor rating of 4.87/5 (approximately 1,900 total ratings)
Screenshot 2020-09-01 at 18.56.12

How to access the course in the ELSA app

This special module is available exclusively to ELSA Pro subscribers on iOS devices. In the ELSA Speak app, you can access the course in two places:

  • In the Skills tab, tap the rocket ship icon
  • In the Topics tab, look for “English for Career Development”

We hope English for Career Development is both enjoyable and becomes a valuable part of your career journey. Please share your experience and stories with us via email or connect with us on Facebook!

Happy learning!

The ELSA Team

This work, English for Career Development on the ELSA Speak app is a derivative of “English for Career Development” by the University of Pennsylvania, used under CC BY 4.0 by ELSA Corp.


  1. University of Waterloo. Reading information aloud to yourself improves memory of materials
  2. Busch, Bradley. Why you’re more likely to remember something if you read it to yourself out loud
  3. Noah D. Forrin, Colin M. MacLeod. This time it’s personal: the memory benefit of hearing oneself. Memory, 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2017.1383434
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