Brief 2011 Course Descriptions
Overall description of the organization of IEI Levels 600 and 500
TRACKS and ELECTIVES
Level 600 and Level 500 students make two kinds of course choices, about "TRACKS" and about "ELECTIVES."
TRACKS: Students choose either the Academic Track or the Everyday Track. Both tracks have two core courses: a Listening and Speaking course and a Reading and Writing course. Students may not mix courses from the two tracks.
The Academic Track prepares students for the English language skills that are required for university study in the English medium: listening to lectures, writing essays and papers, and orally presenting ideas to a group. The Academic Track is a two-course sequence. At level 500, students work on the main skills of writing in multiple paragraphs and understanding key points in short lectures. At level 600, there are new advanced goals: students are challenged to understand and integrate information from multiples sources, to construct written arguments based on information sources, and to analyze complex readings and lectures.
The Everyday Track is for students who are ready to begin using English at an advanced level and who do not plan to use English for academic purposes. In the Everyday Track, students practice reading materials from Internet sources, magazines and non-fiction and fiction books and students listen to materials from popular sources such as television talk shows, radio and movies. At level 600, students typically read and listen to longer, more complex materials. In some semesters, there is only one combined Level 600 and 500 course. If there is insufficient enrollment for the Everyday Track, the courses may be cancelled and all students placed in the Academic Track.
SPECIAL NOTES FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS:
1. If you are planning to enroll in a US university and you have completed Academic Track Level 500, the IEI recommends that you continue in the level 600 Academic Track and in order to continue university preparation.
2. If you are a continuing student and you "switch tracks" from the Everyday Track to the Academic Track, you may need to start at Level 500 Academic regardless of your previous placement.
ELECTIVES: The IEI offers several elective courses each semester. Level 600 and Level 500 students enroll in two elective courses. (However, IEI asks students to indicate four choices because sometimes a course is cancelled or there is a scheduling problem.) Level 600 and Level 500 students are together in the elective courses. Level 500 students are expected to complete the course tasks successfully with clear and coherent expression in English. Level 600 students are expected to complete course tasks successfully and to strive for a high level of control over the nuances and implications of their word choices, grammar and logical organization in the work of the course.
Level 600 Academic Reading and Writing (ARW) (6 hours/week)
In this course, students increase their awareness of reading and analyzing academic texts to write source-based papers. Students learn how to look for connections between ideas in readings and expand on them in writing. Going beyond simple patterns of organization, students learn to combine patterns for more complex writing. Students become better at research skills and the skills needed to properly document sources in their writing. On successful completion of the course, students should be able to do individual research to produce a longer paper that is based on many sources s/he has read.
Level 600 Academic Listening and Speaking (ALS) (6 hours/week)
In this course, students learn advanced academic listening and speaking skills. Students give research-based individual and group presentations and develop effective participation and discussion leading skills for classroom interaction. By listening to real lectures, either recorded or live, students develop advanced listening strategies and note-taking skills.
By the end of the course, students who have worked hard should be able to do a well-developed presentation based on a research paper they have written for their Academic Reading-Writing class. They should also be able to show their understanding of the main ideas and important details from a real lecture.
Level 500 Academic Reading and Writing (ARW) (6 hours/week)
This course is designed to introduce many of the aspects of academic reading and writing needed in university courses. Students explore topics through reading and discussion before writing paragraphs and essays on those topics. Among the organizational writing patterns students will learn are summary, compare/contrast, cause/effect, and argument. Students practice paraphrasing and other documentation skills needed to use sources in their writing. By the end of the course, students who have worked hard should be able to write a short, well-organized paper with documentation from articles they have read.
Level 500 Academic Listening and Speaking (ALS) (6 hours/week)
This course is an introduction to the academic listening and speaking skills needed to succeed in an American university environment. Students develop basic presentation skills by giving both group and individual presentations. Students also learn how to appropriately express a well-developed argument in a controlled discussion. The course uses a textbook to help students develop listening and note-taking strategies they will need when attending university lectures. By the end of the course, students who have worked hard should be able to do a simple presentation based on 2-3 sources. They should also be able to show their understanding of the main ideas and important details in a short lecture.
Level 600 and 500 Everyday English Core Courses
(In some semesters, there is only one combined Level 600 and 500 course).
Everyday Reading and Writing (ERW) (6 hours/week)
This course covers two main areas: the practical and the personal. The practical focus is on reading and writing letters and e-mail dealing with requests and responses, complaints, and apologies. The personal focus is on reading a book (a novel or an autobiography) and magazine articles on human interest topics, with vocabulary, discussion and short personal writing assignments on the same topics as the readings. Students will also write a résumé to explain personal strengths in a balanced and effective way.
Everyday Listening and Speaking (ELS) (6 hours/week)
This course provides students with the opportunity to improve their listening to real world sources, such as TV, movies and radio as well as their ability to express ideas in the course of a conversation by working on specific skills such as expressing an opinion appropriately in a variety of contexts and telling a story effectively. By the end of the course, a student who has worked hard should be able to be able to understand main ideas and important details in 10-15 minute listening segments as well as be able to perform the conversational skills studied in class.
Level 600 and 500 Combined Elective courses
(Students must take TWO elective courses. Each course is 4 hours/week.)
In this course, students work in teams to examine various business situations, based on readings from the news and Internet. Students make oral presentations (proposals, press briefings, and negotiation) or create written documents (memoranda, and short reports). Emphasis is on communicating in an appropriate style for business. Please note: IEI Business Communication classes are English classes with a business focus; we do not teach business theory. Returning students: You should not repeat this course.
Advanced Oral Communication
This course focuses on developing students’ skills in understanding and using conversational English in many daily life situations. Students practice language for real-world tasks such as telephoning, making apologies, and making requests. Special attention is given to language use variations according to level of formality, situation, and participants. In class, students do a variety of pair, small group and whole class activities to improve spoken fluency and accuracy. They participate in planned and unplanned conversations in class, and perform real-world tasks outside of class. Assignments include role-plays of daily life situations and group projects.
The current events class gives students an opportunity to improve their listening ability, increase their vocabulary, and intelligently discuss the events that are in the news. Since most news sources focus on US news or present the news with an American perspective, students will get a better understanding of certain aspects of American history and culture. At the same time they will be encouraged to look at the same issues from different perspectives from around the world. Because of the nature of the news, many of the issues under discussion are generally political in nature. In-class activities will include the use of current news videos, radio news, newspaper and magazine articles, group discussions, and group presentations.
Advanced English Grammar
This class is important for students who want to improve their ability to analyze English grammar and use it meaningfully and accurately. There is much more to English grammar than completing grammar exercises! In this course, students analyze real-life written and spoken English in order to understand the meaning of English grammar more deeply. Short writing assignments are an important part of the class, so that students can demonstrate that they can understand and also apply meaning distinctions through grammar.
Students learn how to improve their ability to both perceive and produce individual sounds and how they are combined in words and longer phrases. The course covers English melody, rhythm, word stress and phrase stress. In addition, students learn about common patterns of reduction and assimilation in American speech – patterns that can make it difficult for them to understand native speakers. There is plenty of opportunity to practice and improve under the guidance of the instructor.
Integrating Language Skills and the TOEFL iBT (Fall/Spring ONLY)
In this course, students put together language skills in order to practice the Internet-based TOEFL test, which combines listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn about the test format, test-taking strategies, and vocabulary development skills. Every different type of question on the test in each section is analyzed and practiced, so students learn how to answer questions more efficiently and accurately. In addition to preparing students for the TOEFL, this course is good additional practice for students who want to improve their English for academic purposes.
TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing Section Preparation Course (Summer ONLY)
This course focuses on developing the language production skills necessary for improving scores on the TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing sections. Students will learn about the format and content of the six types of speaking questions and the two writing tasks they will encounter on the test. Strategies for preparing and steps for organizing answers will be learned. Students will also practice giving both oral and written responses to a variety of practice questions. Responses will be analyzed and feedback will be provided on written and spoken responses, and students will take a complete practice Speaking and Writing Exam at the conclusion of the course. This course can be taken independently of or in conjunction with the TOEFL iBT Reading and Listening Section Preparation Course.
TOEFL iBT Reading and Listening Section Preparation Course (Summer ONLY)
This course focuses on developing the language processing skills necessary for improving scores on the TOEFL iBT Reading and Listening sections. Every different type of reading and listening question on the test in each section is analyzed and practiced, so students can learn how to answer questions more efficiently and accurately. Students will learn to identify their own reading and listening strengths and weaknesses, and do developmental exercise to overcome deficiencies. They will also learn new test-taking strategies and vocabulary development skills. This course can be taken independently of or in conjunction with the TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing Section Preparation Course.
Level 400 required courses
Listening and Speaking (6 hours/week)
In this course, students listen to materials from a variety of sources and contexts and develop skills to help them understand the meaning and purpose of the speaker as well as how the speaker uses specific language to help them communicate ideas clearly. Students will also use information from the listenings and their own experiences to think critically about topics and to participate in a variety of speaking tasks such as presentations, discussions, and group projects. There is a focus on speaking with accuracy and clarity.
Reading and Writing (6 hours/week)
In this course, students focus on understanding the connections of ideas in reading and on clearly expressing connections of ideas in writing. There is a variety of types of reading from different contexts and in different styles, both from a course textbook and from outside sources. Students read not only to understand meanings but also to understand the organization of the texts. Regular writing assignments focus on expressing ideas in paragraphs in an organized way so that relationships between sentences are clear. There is also regular work with expanding vocabulary and understanding the relationship between vocabulary and context. Students also read a short novel over the course of the semester.
Grammar (4 hours/week)
The aims of this course are for students to be able to use grammar to build more complex sentences to express themselves and for students to refine understanding of grammar systems in order to improve accuracy and fluency in writing and speaking. Regular exercises come from the course textbook as well as outside sources, and students practice grammar skills related to the work of the Reading / Writing and Listening / Speaking courses.
Level 400 elective courses
(Students must take ONE elective course. Each course is 4 hours/week.)
This course focuses on developing basic paragraph writing skills with the aim of building an academic essay. Students learn the basics of such writing processes as generating and organizing ideas, the writing of paragraphs, and editing/re-writing their work. Both general English language skills as well as specific writing skills will be covered in this class.
In this course, students do targeted work on pronouncing the sounds of English as well as work with rhythm, stress and intonation in English. In class, students work to understand the principles of the English sound system and practice with various speaking and listening activities. Students are also expected to complete independent work outside of class in order to improve accuracy in English pronunciation.
Introduction to the TOEFL iBT (Fall/Spring/Summer)
This course combines listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises and assignments that will help learners to begin to prepare for the TOEFL iBT. Basic communication and vocabulary building skills will be developed through in-class exercises, homework exercises, quizzes, and pair and small group activities. Students will learn about the iBT test format, test sections, and the different types of test tasks. This course is a first step in identifying the skills needed for the iBT; however, it usually takes more than one semester for intermediate-level students to attain an English proficiency needed for success in an academic setting or in the TOEFL iBT.
(All courses are required courses at level 300.)
Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation (6 hours/week)
This course develops students' skills in understanding and using English in a variety of conversational and informational settings. Students perform real-world tasks such as obtaining information over the phone, finding an apartment, and making travel plans. Particular attention is given to skills such as explaining problems and giving instructions about how to fix a problem. Further, students work on improving their pronunciation through guided, individual sound practice and in-class activities on stress, intonation, and natural speech phenomena. At this level, students also practice listening for a speaker’s attitude and position, and for fairly complex relationships between facts, people, and ideas.
Grammar (5 hours/week)
The general focus of this class is on clarifying and broadening the students' understanding of the major grammatical systems of English by comparing what is in their textbook, what they find in other sources, and what they already know. Class time is spent discovering and/or reviewing grammatical points, examining written and spoken English – from the textbook, newspapers, magazines, the internet, radio/television, etc. – to understand what choices are available in building English sentences, and the effect different choices may have on meaning in different contexts. The writing of class members is also examined.
Reading (5 hours/week)
This class works to develop basic reading skills for overall comprehension. Students focus on vocabulary, the structure of the texts they are reading, relationships between ideas, and different purposes for reading. Students practice vocabulary and answer basic and more complex comprehension questions in writing assignments. Students are also given opportunities to discuss what they have read in class.
Writing (4 hours/week)
In this class, students learn the basics of such writing processes as generating and organizing ideas, the actual writing of paragraphs, and editing/re-writing their work. Both general English language skills as well as specific writing skills will be covered in this class.
(All courses are required courses at level 200.)
Listening and Speaking (5 hours/week)
This course focuses on developing students' skills in understanding and using conversational English in many everyday situations. Tasks include placing a simple order at a restaurant, making a doctor's appointment, and interacting with salespeople. At this level, students also review basic listening skills such as listening for the gist/details, and practice listening to and understanding the speaker's attitude and basic relationships between facts, people, and ideas.
Grammar (5 hours/week)
The general focus of this class is on developing students’ skills to use a variety of parts of speech and simple complex sentences in expressing ideas in spoken and written English. Class time is spent examining written and oral texts of English -- from the textbook, and selections from newspapers, magazines, the internet, radio, television, etc. -- to understand these grammatical systems. The writing of class members is also examined.
Reading and Writing (6 hours/week)
In this class, students work on developing vocabulary families (travel, geography, health, business, etc.) and read different types of texts. Students practice vocabulary and answer basic comprehension questions by writing about the reading texts. Students are given opportunities to discuss what they have read in class. Student practice writing about topics from their readings. Students work to organize ideas into clear paragraphs with correct punctuation. Students learn to develop and support a topic sentence with evidence, examples, and/or details.
Pronunciation (4 hours/week)
Students learn how to improve their understanding and production of consonant and vowel sounds, as well as rhythm, stress, and intonation. Students work on accurate pronuncation at the sound-, word-, and phrase-level.
(All courses are required courses at level 100.)
Listening and Speaking (5 hours/week)
In this course, students develop skills in understanding and using conversational English in everyday situations. Intensive in- and out-of-class listening and oral practice help students' language to perform basic real-world tasks, such as introducing themselves, asking for directions on campus, and talking about food. Students learn about and practice listening skills such as listening for the gist/details, and participating in simple conversations.
Grammar (5 hours/week)
This class gives students an introduction to basic grammatical elements of English by comparing what is in the textbook (and occasionally in other sources) and what they may already know. The class encourages grammatical production of simple written and spoken English.
Reading (5 hours/week)
The general focus of this class is on developing students’ skills to use a variety of parts of speech and simple complex sentences in expressing ideas in spoken and written English. Class time is spent examining written and spoken English – from the textbook, and selections from newspapers, magazines, the internet, radio, television, etc. – to understand these grammatical systems. The writing of class members is also examined.
Pronunciation (5 hours/week)
Students practice hearing and saying the basic sounds, rhythm and intonation of English. Work includes regular exercises from a course book, recording student speech and listening practice from a variety of sources.