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Academic English Courses

The Academic English Courses in our ESL program are designed to systematically raise students’ language proficiency through six levels, from the foundational Level 100 to the advanced Level 600. Spanning two terms, each level offers an 8-week immersive educational experience. The curriculum is divided into two main series – Listening/Speaking and Reading/Writing – each honing distinct academic skill sets.

Listening/Speaking (LS) Series (Lecture: 64 hours per level or two 32-hour terms)

This series is specifically tailored to improve aural and oral competencies, commencing with essential communication skills and progressing to intricate academic discourse. Through level-specific thematic lessons, students enhance linguistic functions, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, all essential for academic proficiency.

Level 100 – Beginner Listening/Speaking Course (LS 101 & 102)

Course Goals: Develop basic auditory and verbal communication skills for everyday contexts.

Course Objectives:

  • Introduce basic conversational phrases and greetings.
  • Practice listening for general understanding and specific information.
  • Engage in simple dialogues and exchanges.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize and use familiar spoken phrases for basic needs.
  • Participate in simple conversations, asking and answering questions about personal details.
  • Understand clear, slow speech on familiar topics and follow short, simple spoken directions.

Prerequisite: None
Textbook: “Top Notch Fundamentals” (3rd Edition) by Joan Saslow and Allen Ascher

Level 200 – High Beginner Listening/Speaking Course (LS 201 & 202)

Course Goals: Enhance listening and speaking skills for more complex everyday interactions and social situations.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop the ability to provide detailed descriptions of familiar places, such as hometowns.
  • Expand practical language functions for making requests and discussing future plans.
  • Improve conversational skills for socializing, such as accepting invitations and asking for help.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Accurately describe familiar places with a richer vocabulary.
  • Confidently engage in exchanges about future plans and social events.
  • Navigate social interactions, such as accepting or declining invitations and making requests.

Prerequisite: LS 102, RW 202, or GE 202
Textbook: “NorthStar Listening and Speaking 1” by Frazier & Mills, Fifth Edition

Level 300 – Low Intermediate Listening/Speaking Course (LS 301 & LS 302)

Course Goals: Build upon listening and speaking abilities for practical everyday use and begin the transition to academic language.

Course Objectives:

  • Refine listening comprehension skills for main ideas and details in spoken English.
  • Practice producing and identifying common rhythm patterns, intonations, and sounds in English speech.
  • Apply language skills in making predictions, expressing opinions, and inferring meanings in various contexts.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Accurately make and confirm predictions about spoken content.
  • Identify main ideas and supporting details in conversations and lectures.
  • Use conjunctions and target structures to express opinions and conjectures clearly.

Prerequisite: LS 202, RW 302, or GE 302.
Textbook: “NorthStar Listening and Speaking 2” by Frazier & Mills, Fifth Edition.

Level 400 – Intermediate Listening/Speaking Course (LS 401 & LS 402)

Course Goals: Further enhance listening and speaking skills for deeper engagement with academic content and more complex life situations.

Course Objectives:

  • Strengthen the ability to discuss, narrate, and explain using more complex language structures.
  • Expand listening skills to include understanding lectures and longer discourse.
  • Develop clarity and precision in spoken English through practice with intonation, stress, and rhythm.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate improved ability to follow and analyze extended speech on academic topics.
  • Express ideas and experiences with a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.
  • Participate effectively in discussions, giving clear explanations and reasoned arguments.

Prerequisite: LS 302, RW 402, or GE 402.
Textbook: “NorthStar Listening and Speaking 3” by Frazier & Mills, Fifth Edition.

Level 500 – High Intermediate Listening/Speaking Course (LS 501 & LS 502)

Course Goals: Advance listening and speaking skills for complex academic discussions and high-level interactions.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop the ability to analyze spoken information critically and infer the speaker’s tone and attitude.
  • Refine pronunciation and understanding of nuanced grammatical structures for clear communication.
  • Enhance discussion skills, including the use of idiomatic expressions and language functions.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Discern the main ideas and underlying purposes in academic listening contexts.
  • Accurately infer tone and attitude from spoke n language and organize information effectively.
  • Engage in extended discussions on a range of topics, employing advanced vocabulary and correct pronunciation.

Prerequisite: LS 402, RW 502, or GE 502.
Textbook: “NorthStar Listening and Speaking 4” by Solorzano and Schmidt, Fifth Edition.

Level 600 – Advanced Listening/Speaking Course (LS 601 & LS 602)

Course Goals: Perfect listening and speaking abilities to engage with complex, abstract content and professional-level interactions.

Course Objectives:

  • Master critical listening skills to identify main ideas and detailed information in diverse academic and professional settings.
  • Exhibit advanced control over pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm in English speech.
  • Conduct and contribute to sophisticated discussions and presentations using a wide range of linguistic resources.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a high level of comprehension when listening to academic lectures and professional dialogues.
  • Participate effectively in debates and presentations, using advanced grammatical structures and specialized vocabulary.
  • Utilize knowledge of idiomatic language and analogies to enhance communication clarity and effectiveness.

Prerequisite: LS 502, RW 602, or GE 602.
Textbook: “NorthStar Listening and Speaking 5” by Solorzano and Schmidt, Fourth Edition.

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Reading/Writing (RW) Series (Lecture: 80 hours per level or two 40-hour terms)

The Reading/Writing series nurtures comprehensive literacy skills vital for academic and professional communication. Starting with basic reading comprehension and writing techniques, the series advances students through a curriculum that includes rich vocabulary, advanced grammatical understanding, and detailed writing practices, all contextualized within thematic content appropriate for each level.

Level 100 – Beginner (RW 101 & 102)

Course Goals: Develop basic reading comprehension and writing skills for everyday communication.

Course Objectives:

  • Introduce students to essential reading strategies and fundamental writing structures.
  • Practice recognizing topics, main ideas, and supporting details in texts.
  • Begin constructing simple sentences and paragraphs.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the main idea and recall details from short readings.
  • Write basic summaries and sentences, employing learned vocabulary and grammatical rules.

Prerequisite: None.
Textbook: “New Password 1” by Butler, Third Edition.

Level 200 – High Beginner (RW 201 & 202)

Course Goals: Enhance reading and writing skills for academic contexts.

Course Objectives:

  • Engage in more complex reading tasks to discern main ideas and undertake text analysis.
  • Cultivate paragraph writing skills, leveraging pre-writing techniques and grammar knowledge.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Infer attitudes and opinions from a variety of reading materials.
  • Craft structured paragraphs, refining vocabulary usage and grammatical precision.

Prerequisite: RW 102, LS 202, or GE 202.
Textbook: “NorthStar Reading and Writing 1” by Haugnes and Maher, Fifth Edition.

Level 300 – Low Intermediate (RW 301 & 302)

Course Goals: Build broader reading and writing abilities to establish a foundation for academic achievement.

Course Objectives:

  • Enhance text analysis strategies and deepen understanding of vocabulary and grammar.
  • Write concise paragraphs with a focus on clear structure and coherence.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Accurately pinpoint the main idea and extract specific information from texts.
  • Revise and edit writing to ensure precision in vocabulary and grammar usage.

Prerequisite: RW 202, LS 302, or GE 302.
Textbook: “NorthStar Reading and Writing 2” by Haugnes and Maher, Fifth Edition.

Level 400 – Intermediate (RW 401 & 402)

Course Goals: Advance reading analysis and writing abilities for cohesive text production.

Course Objectives:

  • Apply comprehensive reading skills to corroborate main ideas with textual evidence.
  • Improve essay writing skills by integrating complex grammar and diverse vocabulary.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Selectively gather information that substantiates main ideas and discern authors’ intentions.
  • Compose concise essays, utilizing various rhetorical patterns and paragraph structures effectively.

Prerequisite: RW 302, LS 402, or GE 402.
Textbook: “NorthStar Reading and Writing 3” by Barton and Dupaquier Sardinas, Fifth Edition.

Level 500 – High Intermediate (RW 501 & 502)

Course Goals: Deepen comprehension of academic texts and enhance essay writing proficiency.

Course Objectives:

  • Analyze intricate texts and utilize context for vocabulary development.
  • Write essays that are academically oriented, incorporating advanced writing techniques.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Interpret main ideas and subtle cues within academic readings.
  • Produce cohesive, well-structured essays with a focus on organizational prowess and stylistic maturity.

Prerequisite: RW 402, LS 502, or GE 502.
Textbook: “NorthStar Reading and Writing 4” by English and English, Fifth Edition.

Level 600 – Advanced (RW 601 & 602)

Course Goals: Achieve mastery in reading and writing for complex academic and professional settings.

Course Objectives:

  • Analyze and deduce information from sophisticated textual material.
  • Construct detailed, research-oriented essays and reports demonstrating high linguistic aptitude.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically evaluate texts for main ideas, detailed support, and use of rhetorical techniques.
  • Write comprehensive essays showcasing an advanced command of language and stylistic nuances.

Prerequisite: RW 502, LS 602, or GE 602.
Textbook: “NorthStar Reading and Writing 5” by Miller and Cohen, Fourth Edition.

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