The Language Institute of Georgia Tech offers a wide variety of programs. The largest program of the Language Institute is the Intensive English Program (IEP). The Language Institute offers five 8-week sessions of IEP courses each calendar year. Most students matriculated in the IEP are in the U.S. on an F-1 visa and are full-time students of the IEP. Full-time students account for 95% of the IEP student population. The IEP student population also includes some part-time students.
The IEP curriculum is divided into seven levels, 100 (elementary) to 700 (advanced). The IEP offers a skills-based curriculum. Within each level (100-600), four skills are offered: grammar, speaking and listening, writing, and reading. In level 700, the skills offered are writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Each skill offered represents one five-hour-per-week course.
Students who are accepted and decide to attend the Language Institute take a placement exam before beginning their first session. Students are placed in a specific level according to their placement exam results. Students are generally block scheduled so that all of their courses are in one section of one level (e.g., if the student places in 300, he/she would take all of the skills in a specific section of 300 like 300A). Students are observed by their instructors during the first week of classes. If it appears that a student is misplaced in terms of level, the placement of the student is discussed at a level change meeting at the end of the first week.
The curriculum of the IEP is divided into the following three tracks:
- Foundation Track (FT) which consists of Levels 100-400
- Academic Track (AT) which consists of Levels 500-700
- Specific Purposes Track (SPT) which offers courses for those beyond Level 400
Foundation Track (FT) Mission Statement
The Language Institute provides instruction in English for General Purposes (EGP) in the Foundation Track. The mission of the Language Institute's FT courses is to adequately and appropriately prepare our learners for the linguistic, social and cultural demands that face anyone, but particularly non-native English speakers who are living/working in English-speaking contexts or who are interacting with English speakers on a regular basis to accomplish daily goals. Through our innovation in effective teaching and learning, we help our FT learners to develop the linguistic, social and cultural competence they need to communicate effectively with English speakers to achieve their daily goals and needs.
Academic Track (AT) Mission Statement
The Language Institute provides instruction in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the Academic Track. The mission of the Language Institute's AT courses is to adequately and appropriately prepare our learners for the linguistic, academic and cultural demands that face any students, but particularly international students, in U.S. universities. Through our innovation in effective teaching and learning, we help our AT learners to develop the linguistic, academic and cultural competence 22 they need to gain admission to U.S. universities and succeed in their coursework in those universities.
Specific Purposes Track (SPT) Mission Statement
The Language Institute provides instruction in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in the Specific Purposes Track. The mission of the Language Institute's SPT courses is to adequately and appropriately prepare our learners for the special linguistic and cultural needs they may have. Through our innovation in effective teaching and learning, we help our SPT learners to develop the linguistic and cultural competence they need to achieve their individual goals.
Overview of Curricular Structure
The Language Institute's Intensive English consists of 20 hours of instruction per week over an 8-week session. There are five sessions in the academic year-- two in the fall (Fall 1 & Fall 2), two in the spring (Spring 1 & Spring 2), and one in the summer (Summer). Thus, a student who begins in Level 100 could complete Level 500 in a twelve-month period, assuming successful completion of each skill at each level. However, students who begin in Levels 100-200 would likely need more than 12 months to successfully complete through Level 500. Language acquisition, especially from beginning levels, requires a great deal of input over time. Students who begin at lower levels would likely find that their rate of language acquisition did not match the pace of all courses, and they might have to repeat some courses. This might occur at any level, but students who begin at lower levels often encounter this difficulty as they move into Level 500 of the Academic Track.
The skills-based courses for Levels 100-400 (FT) and 500-600 (AT) are Speaking/Listening, Reading, Grammar, and Writing. The skills-based courses for Level 700 (AT) are Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
Possible course offerings for SPT include but are not limited to TOEFL Prep Plus, Service Learning, Advanced Grammar 2, Business Case Analyses, Cross-Cultural Communication, American Movies, and Writing More Creatively. New SPT courses are developed and offered on a regular basis. Many but not all of these courses are appropriate for students who successfully complete Level 400.
In addition, 6-hour, 12-hour, and 18-hour electives are frequently offered. Topics for elective courses include but are not limited to TOEFL Preparation or GRE Preparation. New electives are developed in response to student needs.