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Courses

The ESL Center offers a unique, intensive language program with a variety of classes that are designed to complement each other as well as provide in-depth English language instruction. The intensive program consists of 7-week long modules and allows students to develop those language skills needed in an academic environment as measured by standardized tests such as TOEFL.

There are two kinds of courses: "Core Skills Courses" and "Elective Courses." All full-time students will enroll in five different courses during each 7-week module. They choose their courses from the list of Core Skills and Electives whereby each student needs to be enrolled in a minimum of 4 Core Skills courses.

Initial placement is based on test scores only. Students will automatically advance to the next higher level through passing grades; they may skip one or several levels through excellent test scores at the end of a 7- week module. All students participate in first-time placement tests as well as in achievement tests after each 7-week module.

All Core Skills courses are taught at ten different proficiency levels. At each level, students will improve their proficiency through a wide host of communicative activities, including TOEFL-style forms of practice. The levels correspond to the following designations:

Level 1: Beginner

Level 2: Beginner

Level 3: Pre Intermediate

Level 4: Pre Intermediate

Level 5: Intermediate

Level 6: Intermediate

Level 7: High Intermediate

Level 8: High Intermediate

Level 9: Advanced

Level 10: Advanced

Core Skills Courses:

Speaking: 1 credit at each level

Students develop oral communication skills for various communicative settings in academic and non-academic environments. Students practice giving both independent and integrated spoken responses.

Listening: 2 credits at each level

Students develop listening skills pertaining to student life/out of the classroom as well as to academic situations selected from the natural and social sciences, the arts and business. Classes will focus on developing basic comprehension, pragmatic understanding, as well as connecting information and building note-taking skills.

Writing: 2 credits at each level

Students will learn about the process of writing and how to write different texts genres, including journal entries, essays and research papers. Students will practice writing independent and integrated short essays.

Reading: 2 credits at each level

Students will improve their reading skills through finding and understanding main ideas, comprehending vocabulary from context, making inferences, summarizing and other techniques. Note-taking, timed readings and vocabulary building are important components of this course.

Grammar: 2 credits at each level

Students will learn how English phrases, clauses and sentences are formed to support building fluency and accuracy when practicing speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

Elective Courses:

Pronunciation: 1 credit

In various communicative situations, students will learn how to identify their pronunciation problems and how to improve their pronunciation of utterances, words or individual sounds.

Debate: 1 credit

Students learn the skills necessary for debates. The focus is on persuasive speaking, making effective arguments, and active listening. Students engage in both formal and informal debates and make several small presentations.

American Culture: 1 credit at each level

Students will demonstrate comprehension of basic American values and beliefs, the frontier heritage, the heritage of abundance, history, immigration, ethnic and racial diversity, geography, the 50 states, leisure.

American Culture: 1 credit at each level

Students will demonstrate comprehension of basic American values and beliefs, education, holidays, government and politics, the criminal justice system, religion, music, family, America in the 21st. century.