English for Academic Purposes Program Sets Students Up For Educational Success

  • Added:
    Feb 07, 2014
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English for Academic Purposes Program Sets Students Up For Educational Success Photo by Jason White

While most English Second Language programs (also known as ESL programs) require students to spend a particular amount of time in the offering, Centennial College’s undertaking takes a unique approach. The General Arts and Science – English for Academic Purposes program places students into one of three levels, depending upon the results of a placement test. Each level takes one semester to complete. So, if a student is placed in the second level, for example, he or she can complete the offering in just two semesters.

Whether they are in level one, two or three, students spend their time learning the skills they will need to succeed in specialized college or university programs of their choice. As such, the focus is on developing effective academic communication skills by focusing on reading, writing, listening and speaking. Everything that is taught in this English language program is reinforced through communicative activities, interactive exercises, group work and presentations.

Additionally, students have access to Centennial College facilities that will help them in meeting their academic aspirations. For example, the Centre for Academic English provides tutoring, conversations groups, and workshops. Student can also spend time in computer labs and the library. Academic advising, meanwhile, is provided to help with a smooth transition to college or university programs.

In the first level of the offering, students attend four “Building Basic Language Skills” courses in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The purpose of this level is to provide a solid foundation for those who require rudimental training.

The second level of English language course topics continues to deal with reading, writing, listening and speaking but also adds areas like The Canadian Context. In this course, students get insight into matters of significance to life in Canada, which enables them to understand Canadian studies more easily.

The third and most advanced level narrows in on giving students the skills they need for academic success. It consists of five courses that all relate to the college. For example, Reading College-level Texts focuses on offering students the know-how, strategies and skills to build vocabulary and elicit meaning from multi-paragraph texts in English. Meanwhile, Communicating in the Classroom takes the foundation of basic speaking skills students learned in previous levels and applies it to presenting and participating in conventional classroom situations in a college environment.
It is worth nothing that Languages Canada accredits the program, meaning it has met rigorous standards in terms of curriculum, teacher qualifications and administration. As a result of this ESL program Toronto-based training, 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.

Author's Profile

In his article, Jason documents the English for Academic Purposes program. He writes not only about the topics covered and the practical application students enjoy but also about Centennial College’s ESL resources.

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