The Intensive English Program (IEP) offers courses to learners of English at seven different levels of proficiency, from beginning to advanced.
Our IEP curriculum has been divided into three different tracks. The track learners follow depends on their level of proficiency and their purpose for studying English.
In Levels 100-400, students take courses in the Foundation Track. The Foundation Track provides learners with the basics of English in grammar, reading, writing, and speaking/listening. This track will be useful to all learners who want to improve their English communication skills no matter what their goals are for studying English
In Levels 500-700, learners can choose to take classes in our Academic Track, our Specific Purposes Track, or both tracks.
The Academic Track is designed for learners who are preparing for study at an undergraduate or graduate program in the U.S. The curriculum in these classes helps learners develop the linguistic and study skills needed to be successful at a U.S. university. Learners develop skills in reading academic texts, listening to academic lectures and other types of communication, writing clear academic papers and professional communication, participating effectively in class discussions, and making presentations.
The Specific Purposes Track offers high intermediate to advanced learners a wide variety of courses, each focused on a particular skill or topic. Courses in this track include test preparation classes for the TOEFL or GRE, writing classes on blogging or creative writing, culture classes like Cross-cultural Communication, American Movies, American Literature, or courses focused on business like Business Case Analysis or Team Leadership.
- It is possible to start at any of the seven levels of proficiency that are available in the intensive English program, Lower Elementary to Upper Advanced depending on the results of a placement test.
- All new students are required to take a placement exam. The test determines the level at which students will begin. Students do not select the level at which they will begin. During orientation students will learn about the Specific Purposes Track options available during the current session.
- The placement test assesses students’ proficiency level in reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and writing. New students are placed in the same level for all skills in their initial session.
- Our lowest level is for beginners in English, but we expect all participants in our program to have at least the equivalent of two years of high school English.
Level Promotion and Length of Study
- Promotion to the next level is based on final course grades and teacher recommendation.
- Very few students in our program begin at the 100 Level and continue through the 700 level. Most learners who wish to follow the Academic Track (Levels 500-700) begin at the 200, 300, or 400 levels.
- The length of time that it takes to complete the program can vary from learner to learner. Some learners stay for only one session, while others may spend up to 18 months. How long a learner stays in the program depends on a number of factors including the following:
o Individual study goals
o Amount of time available to the learner
o Effort and motivation
o Beginning level of proficiency
o Overall language-learning ability
Courses & Workload
- Full-time students are required to take a minimum of 4 core courses every session.
- All students on F-1 visas are required to study full time. Non-F-1 students may choose to study full-time (4 or more courses) or part-time (1-3 classes) depending on their visa status. Students on an F-2 visa are not allowed to study full-time.
- Each core course meets 5 hours per week.
- All class participants are expected to attend class regularly and spend time outside class competing assignments, studying, and preparing for class.
- Because the courses in the IEP are university courses, learners are expected to take responsibility for their learning. This means that we expect learners to be motivated, participate actively in class, complete all assignments on time, make progress in their studies, and be respectful of their classmates and instructor.
- Courses at each level include grammar, reading, writing, and speaking/listening.
- Specific Purposes track courses include courses such as Advanced Grammar 2, Business Case Analyses, Current Events, and Service Learning.
- Students may also register for optional electives courses, which include TOEFL, GMAT/GRE, and IELTS Preparation.
- All classes are offered between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Your exact schedule will depend on your level. Full-time students should plan to be on-campus for approximately 5 hours each day.
- A computer lab is open to students several hours per day.
- Elective classes generally meet in the afternoon.
Grammar classes help students learn structures that will help them communicate more accurately in English. Emphasis is not on learning rules of English grammar. Instead, students learn how to use English grammar structures accurately in meaningful communication in both speaking and writing.
Reading and Discussion
In reading and discussion classes, students learn strategies and practice reading for detail, main idea, and inference. They also work on the skills of speed reading, skimming, scanning, paraphrasing, and summarizing and synthesizing information. Students can practice new vocabulary and participate in discussions about class texts. Texts include short, simple newspaper articles to scholarly journal articles and literature.
At the lower levels, courses focus on writing sentences and paragraphs related to students' experiences. In the intermediate levels, students work on different rhetorical styles, writing unified coherent paragraphs and essays that demonstrate a variety of cohesive devises, some mastery of punctuation rules and diction, and use of adequate support.
At the advanced levels, focus is on writing more academic topics. Students learn to research and use the techniques of paraphrasing and summarizing of information effectively in their writing. They are also introduced to a number of different citation forms.
In speaking/listening classes, students practice understanding spoken English in social, academic, and testing situations through guided exercises, listening exercises, note-taking practice, and vocabulary building. Listening material includes short controlled passages at the beginning levels to authentic lectures and video segments at the more advanced levels.
In speaking, students receive instruction and feedback on pronunciation issues including sound production, intonation, thought groups, and word and sentence stress. Fluency is emphasized. Students learn to participate more confidently in conversations and group discussions and to give both formal and informal presentations.
Specific Purposes Track Courses
The Language Institute offers a number of Specific Purpose Track courses every session. For a complete list of all course descriptions, visit Course Catalogue--Specific Purposes Track Courses. Download next session's Pre-Registration Form to see which courses are being offered in the next session.
In addition to core classes, students can register for Elective classes in standardized test preparation for TOEFL, IELTS, and GRE/GMAT Writing and a course on developing vocabulary in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).