English for Academic Purposes Offers Advancing Levels of
Attending an English language offering serves several purposes. Most obviously it
helps speakers to become more comfortable with all aspects of the language.
However, it also provides the opportunity for personal reflection and familiarization
with on-campus facilities should students wish to continue their education.
Of Toronto’s various ESL programs, Centennial College’s General Arts and Science –
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is well respected and known for its success
stories. As former EAP, and current Practical Nursing Student Xingfei Jiang sums its
up, “I think EAP helped me a lot. I became familiar with the facilities of the school
and I enhanced my communication skills, especially my writing skills. I got great
benefit from the writing class and now feel confident to deal with the higher level
college English courses.”
Here is a breakdown of the three semesters of the English language program and
the type of learning each offers to students.
Semester One: The first semester consists of a series of courses called “Building
Basic Language Skills”. Students attend four courses that are focused on reading
(includes practice in scanning for information, identifying topics, main ideas and
details, and learning new vocabulary); writing (looks at the fundamentals of building
strong sentences); listening (practice in listening to a variety of spoken material
both inside and outside of the classroom environment); and speaking (basic
speaking skills give students practice in participating in conventional communicative
Semester Two: Once a base is established, students delve into more
in-depth learning. For example, Basic Reading Skills is replaced with
ESL Reading Technique, which teaches student to read with greater
speed and fluency focusing on practical processing techniques such as
following written instructions, scanning for information, identifying
topics, main ideas and details, and using vocabulary comprehension
strategies. The fundamental speaking course, meanwhile, now
becomes Speaking Up, which works on pronunciation skills and
interactive speaking and listening strategies. A course that deviates
from teaching the English Language is Skills of Student Success, which
looks at a variety of academic skills and strategies for success at
college including test preparation, test taking, goal setting, time
management and an awareness of learning styles.
Semester Three: The final semester offers advanced topics such as
Reading College-Level Texts, Approaches to English Composition,
Communicating in the Classroom, Academic Life and A Wellness
Approach to Stress Management. At this final level, students should be
prepared to transition to college or university programs.
Students may not have to complete each English language course
in this offering. That’s because they are placed into one of three levels
depending upon the results of a placement test. Each level lasts for
one semester. Students who achieve a B grade or higher in Level 3 reading, writing
and speaking courses are considered to have met the College English requirement
for most Centennial College programs and will be placed in COMM 161 in their
program of study. Level 3 students also earn a college credit to apply to future
As a respected ESL program Toronto has to offer, Centennial College’s undertaking
is accredited by Languages Canada. This means it has met rigorous standards in
terms of curriculum, teacher qualifications and administration.