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Test Preparation & Special Classes

Scantron Sheet

These test preparation and elective courses can be taken by anyone who wishes to improve their English language skills for personal, professional, or academic reasons. Most of these classes meet in the evening to accommodate schedules of working professionals. Non-native English speakers have to be at the intermediate level and above to take these classes (I.e., ELI levels 3, 4, 5, 6 or CEFR Levels B2, C1, and C2). Non-ELI students will be given a placement test to determine the level of English they are to begin studying.

Elective Courses: Intensive and Academic Program (Levels 3, 4, 5, & 6)

GRE Preparation

This course is designed to help upper-intermediate and advanced non-native speakers of English prepare for the GRE test. Topics include GRE format, test-taking strategies, and an emphasis on the GRE's language components. Through consistent practice and completion of assignments, students increase their chance of achieving a desirable GRE score and improve their preparation for graduate study. Note that this course does not focus extensively on math skills; the greater focus is on comprehension and the verbal and logic sections. The course lasts one session (7 weeks) and may be repeated. [5 hours per week]

IELTS Preparation (Face to Face and Online)

This course is designed for intermediate- and advanced-level English learners who plan to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.  As part of this course, students will work reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Course instruction focuses on the specific elements that are tested by the IELTS.  Students also learn test-taking strategies and practice the language and academic skills the IELTS test requires. Through consistent work, practice, and completion of assignments, students increase their chance of achieving a desirable IELTS score and improve their preparation for university study. The course lasts one session (8 weeks) and may be repeated. [5 hours per week]. 

TOEFL Preparation

This course is designed for intermediate- and advanced-level English learners who plan to take the TOEFL iBT. Students learn test-taking strategies and practice the language and academic skills the TOEFL requires. Through consistent work, practice, and completion of assignments, students increase their chance of achieving a desirable TOEFL score and improve their preparation for university study. The course lasts one session (7 weeks) and may be repeated. [5 hours per week]

English Language Elective Courses

Academic Study Skills

This course is designed to assist ELI students with acquiring and strengthening academic and study skills. It consists of seven one-hour modules addressing the following skills: Taking notes, time management, test taking, ELI student academic integrity, and organizing information for study, test preparation, communicating with instructors, tracking progress, and other skills.

Accent Reduction

This course is designed to provide students with the necessary tools to improve the speech and fluency of nonnative speakers of English. Through classroom work, individual practice, and real-life use, students will soon see a noticeable difference in their ease of speech and listening comprehension. This course focuses on the challenges of American English pronunciation, unclear individual sounds, stress, rhythm and intonation common to speakers of different language backgrounds. This Accent Reduction course includes classroom instruction on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and pronunciation vocabulary. Classroom time will be spent with specific sound repetition and practice as well as language resource applications, such as figuring out pronunciation of words from phonetic spelling in the dictionary. In addition to classroom work, students will utilize internet resources, music and videos as part of fun activities and exercises.  Students will be able to notice a different in their ability to speak clearly and effectively and communicate and listen with confidence. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week]

Advanced Grammar Skills

The purpose of this course is to support advanced academic writing by developing and refining the grammar and editing skills necessary to detect and remedy common ESL writing problems. The course will focus on complex and compound sentences (including relative clauses and embedded questions), comma splices, run on sentences, conditional form, passive, gerunds, and infinitives. It will also address sentence patterns, coordination, and subordination. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week]

Grammar and Vocabulary Skills

This multi-level course is designed to broaden students’ vocabulary and grammar and to practice those skills in particular contexts. Students will use a variety of material to enrich their vocabulary for everyday and academic situations. Newly-arrived learners as well as those students who need more vocabulary and grammar practice are welcome to enroll, so that they may increase their participation in the English-speaking academic environment and enjoy more success. This course will also support reading and writing skill development.

Introduction to Technical Communication at the American University, 1

This introductory course is designed for ESL students who plan to pursue academic studies in the STEM disciplines. This general college preparation course will focus on topics in both mathematics and engineering fields to include a) linear equations, matrix algebra, linear programming, probability and other basics mathematics concepts, and b) research design, error analysis, internet research along with an overview of major topics in mechanical, chemical, electrical and computer engineering. This course will also support the development of advanced reading and writing skills along with the development of academic skills needed to succeed at the American University. This course will be split into weekly science and technology modules and co-taught by the content area and ESL instructors. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week]

Introduction to Technical Communication at the American University, 2

This introductory course is designed for ESL students who plan to pursue academic studies in the STEM disciplines. This general college preparation course will focus on topics in both science and technology fields to include principles of software engineering, concepts of programming languages, overview of databases, scientific computations, introducing and reinforcing the importance of programming and computer science. This course will also support the development of advanced reading and writing skills along with the development of academic skills needed to succeed at the American University. This course will be split into weekly science and technology modules and co-taught by the content area and ESL instructors. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week]

Medical Terminology for EHS and Medical-Related Majors

This course is designed to provide intermediate and advanced students in Emergency Health Services and Medical related majors opportunities to discuss common medical terminology and to develop reading skills in analyzing and interpreting medical reports. Students increase their medical vocabulary knowledge and reading fluency to assist them in communicating about familiar medical topics with patients and other medical professionals. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week].

Professional Communication Skills

This course is designed to help intermediate to advanced students develop their professional writing, speaking and presentation skills. It emphasizes clear, accurate communication that adheres to international professional norms. Topics include business correspondence, writing and speaking for specific contexts, interviewing, and professional presentation development. The course lasts one session and may be repeated (7 weeks). [5 hours per week].

Pronunciation and Conversational English Skills

This course is designed to provide intermediate and advanced speakers of English opportunities to practice speaking in many different real-life contexts about a variety of topics. Students increase their fluency and grammatical accuracy when speaking about familiar and unfamiliar topics. Students also improve their pronunciation through a variety of exercises. They learn and practice vocabulary, including the use of American English idioms. This course lasts one session (7 weeks). [5 hours per week]

Special Topics

This course is designed to provide supplemental instruction in the area of speaking, listening and conversation skills. The course is centered around the themes and topics that are of interest to a current group of registered students. With an instructor's guidance, students discuss and engage in debates on a variety of current topics.

Not all our elective courses are offered every semester. Any of these classes can be offered for groups upon request.  


 



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