English for academic purposes offers advancing levels of learning


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English for academic purposes offers advancing levels of learning

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English for academic purposes offers advancing levels of learning

  1. 1. English for Academic Purposes Offers Advancing Levels of Learning 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 situations). 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
  2. 2. 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 study. 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.