English Partners in Communication

word cloud graphic of words that go with leadership


Thank you for your interest in the EPIC Program. Each spring, EPIC offers six weeks of classes to adult nonnative speakers of English to help them improve their oral communication skills in a goal-driven program.

Over the past several years, EPIC has used both in-person and virtual formats. For example, in 2024, our Tuesday evening classes were in Wells Hall on the Michigan State University campus, and for both local and distant participants, our Thursday evening classes were held virtually on Zoom.

Decisions on the format for 2025 will be made in late fall of 2024. Please return to this website then for information.

Here are some comments from recent participants in EPIC:

“I really appreciate this valuable opportunity to join this joyful journey again! As a second language speaker who didn’t have much chance to practice and was not confident/comfortable to speak in public, EPIC gave me the opportunity to grow, to improve, to practice, and to go beyond. I can definitely feel the difference before and after joining this program every time. One of the amazing things that impressed me the most is, every time the topics are completely different! (except the small talk, which is the key and necessary 😊). The teachers have all been super nice and helpful. The recap session at the end of each class to correct our pronunciation and misuse of words is very helpful…EPIC is an ideal learning opportunity for second language speakers.”

Cheng Yu

“This program helped me a lot in acknowledging American culture, and I hope it will help more people in the coming semester. It gives us an occasion where people from different backgrounds respect and talk with each other.”

Li Wei

“This is a great program! I love the team.”


“Great appreciation for this EPIC program and I really enjoyed it!”


“I think the program is useful and meaningful to me. I can feel my English is better than months before. Especially, I think teachers did really excellent jobs. It was a really happy experience with all participants.”


“Thank you very much for conducting the EPIC program every year. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I learned a lot from all the instructors and my classmates! I am grateful and truly appreciate the effort that the instructors put towards constructing each and every lesson plan for us. I would like to return next year as well.”


Whether in person or virtual, our teachers address important topics such as –

  • Appropriate topics for starting a conversation
  • Ways to keep a conversation going
  • Small talk
  • The elevator pitch!
  • How to disagree politely and offer a different opinion in a discussion
  • Vocabulary and idiomatic expressions for daily English conversation in person or online.

Just a few of the benefits of learning English with EPIC:

  • All levels of ability are welcome!
  • Experienced teachers and native-speaking conversation partners
  • Opportunities for speaking practice.

Snapshots from Virtual EPIC

In this video clip, one of the participants expresses her views on the issue of financial dependence on or independence from one’s parents after reaching age 18. We are grateful to the participant for allowing us to include this recording on our website


Contact Dr. Debra Hardison at hardiso2@msu.edu for more information.

EPIC Photos

EPIC Potluck – Spring Semester 2024

This class created a Word Cloud using some new vocabulary based on the participants’ discussion of the qualities they look for in a friend.

In this session, participants listened as teachers pronounced the past tense of regular English verbs and then determined which column each word belonged in.

In this class, teachers presented some tips and phrases which could be used to ask for and give directions. Participants then watched a video and discussed the answers to the questions on the slide.

Snapshots from In-Person EPIC