Grammar/Vocabulary Skills Courses

Reading/Writing Skills Courses

Speaking/Listening Skills Courses

Test Preparation Courses

University Application and Preparation Courses

Business English Skills Courses

Academic Language Courses

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Academic Speaking (AS; 800 level): The aim of this course is to develop your ability to communicate effectively in the following academic situations: a) getting information on campus, b) controlling a conversation in the classroom, c) making appointments with teachers and effectively using the time spent in the teacher's office, d) participating in and leading group discussions, e) getting and receiving advice, f) giving presentations, and g) completing a group project.  The focus will be on your identifying common strategies for each setting.  The teacher will assist you with the linguistically and socially appropriate language for these strategies.

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Advanced Grammar A (AG A; 800 level): This course is part of a two session elective course designed to help you activate and refine your grammar at the advanced level. This course is a continuation of Intermediate Grammar (IG) and will give you the opportunity to further expand your understanding of a variety of grammatical structures that will be chosen based on the results of a first day diagnostic activity. Throughout the course, you will participate in various communicative activities with your classmates to examine the form, meaning, and use of those structures in different spoken and written texts. Through such communicative activities and written practice, you will continue to improve the accuracy and precision of your speaking and writing. By reviewing grammatical structures at and slightly above your level, you will reflect on and enhance your ability to use grammatical structures accurately, meaningfully, and appropriately. Some of the grammar points covered in this course include aspect, relative clauses, conjunctions, connectors, modal perfective verbs, among others. This course alternates with Advanced Grammar B (AG B), and is offered in the Spring 1, Summer 1, and Fall 1 sessions.

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Advanced Grammar B (AG B; 800 level): This course is part of a two session elective course designed to help you activate and refine your grammar at the advanced level. This course is a continuation of Intermediate Grammar (IG) and will give you the opportunity to further expand your understanding of a variety of grammatical structures that will be chosen based on the results of a first day diagnostic activity. Throughout the course, you will participate in various communicative activities with your classmates to examine the form, meaning, and use of those structures in different spoken and written texts. Through such communicative activities and written practice, you will continue to improve the accuracy and precision of your speaking and writing. By reviewing grammatical structures at and slightly above your level, you will reflect on and enhance your ability to use grammatical structures accurately, meaningfully, and appropriately. Some of the grammar points covered in this course include adverbial clauses, preposition clusters, complements, fronting structures, among others. This course alternates with Advanced Grammar A (AG A), and is offered in the Spring 2, Summer 2, and Fall 2 sessions.

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Academic Vocabulary A (AV A; 800 level): This course focuses on increasing both recognition and use of common academic vocabulary, using the words and word families of the Academic Word List (AWL) as a starting point. The course will provide you with opportunities to encounter the selected vocabulary multiple times and in various contexts, and you will learn about the words’ grammatical characteristics, frequency, register, and collocations. You will also become more proficient in word analysis and the use of a monolingual, collegiate dictionary. (The A and B versions of the course use different chapters and materials, so you may take this course more than once; you do not need to take “A” before “B”.)(Fall 1, Spring 1, Summer 1)

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Academic Vocabulary B (AV B; 800 level): This course focuses on increasing both recognition and use of common academic vocabulary, using the words and word families of the Academic Word List (AWL) as a starting point. The course will provide you with opportunities to encounter the selected vocabulary multiple times and in various contexts, and you will learn about the words’ grammatical characteristics, frequency, register, and collocations. You will also become more proficient in word analysis and the use of a monolingual, collegiate dictionary. (The A and B versions of the course use different chapters and materials, so you may take this course more than once; you do not need to take “A” before “B”.)(Fall 2, Spring 2, Summer 2)

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Vocabulary Development A (VD A; 700 and 800 levels) (offered every session, alternating course A & course B): This course increases your knowledge of English words and idioms. Vocabulary is classified and learned according to notions (i.e. color; size), topics (i.e. family; weather), functions (i.e. inviting; asking for directions), and use (public speaking; showing respect). You have opportunities to practice new vocabulary in ways that require you to speak, read, and write, and you learn new ways to discover and remember words and expressions that you will find particularly useful in your daily life. In addition, this course helps you improve upon your dictionary skills. (The A and B versions of the course use different chapters and materials, so you may take this course more than once; you do not need to take “A” before “B”.)

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Vocabulary Development B (VD B; 700 and 800 levels): This course increases your knowledge of English words and idioms. Vocabulary is classified and learned according to notions (i.e. color; size), topics (i.e. family; weather), functions (i.e. inviting; asking for directions), and use (public speaking; showing respect). You have opportunities to practice new vocabulary in ways that require you to speak, read, and write, and you learn new ways to discover and remember words and expressions that you will find particularly useful in your daily life. In addition, this course helps you improve upon your dictionary skills. (The A and B versions of the course use different chapters and materials, so you may take this course more than once; you do not need to take “A” before “B”.)

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Advanced Writing for Academic Purposes (AWAP; 800 level): Students in English-medium universities must be able to demonstrate critical thinking through writing.   Typical assignments require students to analyze information and argument from a variety of sources and select and shape the relevant information into clearly written and well organized papers.  This course gives you practical training in writing orderly and clear analytical essays.  Emphasis is on (1) developing your ability to critically evaluate academic sources; (2) selecting credible sources to support claims; and (3) writing full-length essays in expository, analytical, persuasive, and argumentative modes.  The topics you read and write about are contemporary and debatable issues chosen to motivate your analytical thinking.

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Advanced Reading and Discussion (ARD; 800 level): This course is designed to improve your reading skills and ability to participate in class discussions, as well as your appreciation of different styles of writing in English. You read one novel, a variety of American short stories, and several poems. Student choice is central to this course: you select your own novel, design your own projects, and choose roles to play in literary discussion circles. You are encouraged to debate your personal interpretations as well as examine cross-cultural differences in all the class members' interpretations.

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Advanced Reading for Academic Purposes (ARAP; 800 level): In this course, you will continue to develop your ability to comprehend and interpret authentic college-level texts. In particular, you will read lengthy and complex texts likely to be encountered in various academic disciplines (humanities, science, and business) and work on your ability to identify finer points of detail including attitudes and implied as well as stated opinions. You will also focus on refining your study skills (particularly note-taking), summarizing and paraphrasing skills in addition to synthesizing information from various selections. By the end of this course, you should be able to enter an American university ready to undertake the challenges of reading and expressing your understanding of various readings in class discussions and assignments.

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News in English (NEWS; 800 level): The aim of this course is to increase your ability to comprehend and evaluate the news in American English. You analyze stories in all forms of the media through which the news is reported, including: television, radio, newspapers, and news-related periodicals. You increase your vocabulary and improve your reading and listening comprehension skills in general, and more specifically, in relation to current events and topics that are of particular interest to you. The course requires extensive reading, as well as viewing television news and documentaries, and listening to news broadcasts.

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Reading Academic Texts (RATS; 800 level): Professors and students both agree that the ability to read with understanding is the most important skill for students at American universities.  This course helps you improve your reading comprehension, study skills (particularly note-taking), critical thinking, library search skills, and your ability to use reading assignments to complete typical university-level assignments.  You read selections from textbooks and journal articles in various academic disciplines and discuss the organization, content, vocabulary and difficult grammatical forms characteristic of academic writing.  The course exposes you to academic writing characteristic of the different academic areas.  All of this knowledge, by saving you time, makes you a more efficient reader who is better able to understand the content and arguments of academic texts. (offered Fall 1, Spring 1, Summer 1, and Summer 2 sessions)

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Writing: Style and Rhetoric (WSR; 800 level): This is a course that examines the stylistic features and rhetorical structures that writers use in essays. A variety of essays will be read and analyzed, and then students will attempt to create similar essays employing the same styles and features. This is a useful course for anyone hoping to do academic study in English.

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Research Paper Writing A (RPW A; 800 level): This course is part of a two session elective course designed to help you through the process of writing papers based on research you do on a topic of your choice. Even if you have written papers before in your home country, you may find the conventions of organization and style in an American university new and difficult. You are introduced to the university library’s electronic search facilities to collect and evaluate sources. You take notes, learn how to quote, paraphrase and synthesize information. You become familiar with and demonstrate mastery of one particular standardized format for writing citations of your sources and undertake a series of writing tasks leading up to a final paper with proper references and citations. This course alternates with and is a prerequisite to Research Paper Writing B. Research Paper Writing A is offered in the Spring 1, Summer 1, and Fall 1 sessions.

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Research Paper Writing B (RPW B; 800 level): This course is the second part of a two session elective course designed to help you through the process of writing papers based on research you do on a topic of your choice. The course will cover the following; an overview of the considerations involved in successful academic writing, an examination of common patterns in expository prose (general to specific and problem to solution), a guide to the interpretation and discussion of data, an explanation of the skills involved in writing summaries and critiques, and an analysis of the construction of a research paper. This course alternates with Research Paper Writing A (RPW A), which is a prerequisite to this course. It is assumed that students taking this course will have a body of work, either generated in RPW A or from their own research, which they will be refining. Research Paper Writing B (RPW B) is offered in the Spring 2, Summer 2, and Fall 2 sessions.

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Advanced Speaking and Listening for Academic Purposes (ASLAP; 800 level): This course prepares students for the demands of college-level academic listening and speaking tasks. The readings and lectures present concepts and language that many students will encounter in future college courses. Academic vocabulary related to the readings and lectures will be presented. Pre-listening and note taking strategies prepare students to listen and take notes from academic lectures and classroom communication. Effective academic speaking skills will be enhanced as the students practice the following: participating in small group formal and informal discussions on lecture content, case studies, or personal experiences; presenting oral summaries, giving short presentations; and participating in study groups. Reading, listening and speaking strategies, activities, and practical advice will be provided throughout the course.

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Conversational Strategies (CS; 800 level) (offered Fall 2 and Spring 2 and Summer 2 sessions): This course encourages more spontaneous and natural use of English in social and community settings.  You develop effective conversational skills by (1) taking part in simulated and real conversational interactions (starting a conversation, making small talk, continuing a conversation, closing a conversation); (2) developing interactive listening (clarifying or checking understanding, giving signals of attention or misunderstanding); and (3) choosing appropriate language for specific situations (like giving invitations, making excuses, complaining).

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Listening to Lectures (LL; 700 and 800 levels): The goal of this course is to develop the listening comprehension skills you need in order to understand academic lectures, and the writing skills you need to take effective notes while listening to a lecture. In class and for homework you listen to audio-taped lectures on topics of general interest, on cross-cultural communication and language learning issues, and on subjects related to specific academic disciplines. You work with classmates and the teacher to ensure that your notes reflect the essential content and organization of the lecture. This course is recommended if you want to increase your comprehension of long, connected passages of spoken English presented in typical lecture style.

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Speaking Clearly about the Issues A (SCI A; 800 level): This course stresses spoken accuracy in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Through a variety of recordings provided by National Public Radio, you will critically analyze current issues in the United States while focusing on specific pronunciation, grammar and lexical points. You will improve the accuracy of your speech through a variety of tasks that encourage real conversational interactions in which you will achieve a particular goal - by describing, narrating, explaining, supporting an opinion, hypothesizing, or expressing needs, hopes, and wishes. This course alternates with Speaking Clearly about the Issues B, and is offered in the Spring 1, Summer 1, and Fall 1 sessions.

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Speaking Clearly about the Issues B (SCI B; 800 level): This course stresses spoken accuracy in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Through a variety of recordings provided by National Public Radio, you will critically analyze current issues in the United States while focusing on specific pronunciation, grammar and lexical points. You will improve the accuracy of your speech through a variety of tasks that encourage real conversational interactions in which you will achieve a particular goal - by describing, narrating, explaining, supporting an opinion, hypothesizing, or expressing needs, hopes, and wishes. This course alternates with Speaking Clearly about the Issues A, and is offered in the Spring 2, Summer 2, and Fall 2 sessions.

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Listening and Speaking Skills for the TOEFL iBT (LSS TOEFL; 700 and 800 levels): This course is one of two complementary electives, the other being Reading and Writing Skills for the TOEFL iBT, designed to help you develop the skills needed on the listening and speaking sections of the TOEFL iBT. Throughout the course, you will examine sample questions from both these sections, practice responding to them and develop the specific skills needed to complete those sections successfully. Emphasis is placed on the integration of these skills through listening to lectures and campus conversations, note-taking, identifying main ideas in listening, and organizing main and supporting ideas in speaking. You will also have multiple opportunities to practice these skills in authentic practice mini-tests and in a TOEFL-like practice test towards the end of the course.

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Reading and Writing Skills for the TOEFL iBT (RWS TOEFL; 700 and 800 levels): This course is one of two complementary electives, the other being Listening & Speaking Skills for the TOEFL iBT, designed to help you develop the skills needed on the Reading and Writing sections of the TOEFL iBT. Throughout the course, you will examine sample questions from both these sections, practice responding to them and develop the specific skills needed to complete those sections successfully. Emphasis is placed on the integration of these skills through identifying main ideas in reading and in listening passages, and organizing main and supporting ideas in writing. You will also have multiple opportunities to practice these skills in authentic practice mini-tests and in a TOEFL-like practice test towards the end of the course.

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Test Strategies for the TOEFL iBT (TS TOEFL; 600, 700 and 800 levels): This course complements the Academic Skills for the TOEFL iBT course that is offered in alternating sessions. In particular, the aim of this course is to develop your ability to approach the TOEFL iBT with the appropriate strategies for each section of the test (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). The focus will be on your identifying effective strategies (e.g. planning, time management, text handling, etc.) for each set of tasks, practicing these strategies frequently in practice test assignments, and developing priorities for further practice that can be self-directed. The teacher will assist you in determining when and how to apply various test-taking strategies and give you practice with authentic TOEFL-like tasks and materials.

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Applying to US Universities (APUSU; 600, 700 and 800 levels): This course is designed to guide students through the application process from self-assessment of preferences as well as strengths and weaknesses as a candidate, to identification and selection of appropriate universities and colleges, managing test preparation and scheduling, requesting and collecting letters of recommendation and transcripts, and effectively emphasizing strengths in application forms, interviews and essays. The goal is for each student to better understand the process of applying, to develop strategies and a plan for applying, and to complete a portfolio of materials that can be used for completing their applications.

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Transition Workshop (TW; For students taking an LPS class): This course is intended for students taking an academic credit course through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies as preparation for an undergraduate or graduate program at an American college or university in the near future. In a workshop format, the course focuses on practical experience to explore and actively investigate issues affecting learning in the university and the expectations and demands of an academic classroom. The course also focuses on developing study and learning strategies and on making use of learning resources available to students. Students engage in discussions of readings and experiences in credit courses, prepare and deliver presentations, and regularly reflect on experience in written learning journals.

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University Application Essay A (UAE A; 600, 700 and 800 levels): This course is based on materials developed with the input of a panel of university admissions officers from across the U.S. It includes brainstorming exercises, examples of different types of introductions and conclusions, sample essay structures, editing checklists, and question-specific strategies for the most common admissions essay topics. You can choose an instructional path designed specifically for your needs as you prepare your application essays for medical school, law school, MBA programs, graduate degree programs, or undergraduate degree programs.

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University Application B (UAE B; 600, 700 and 800 levels: This course is designed for students who are actively working on one or more application essays or personal statements for U.S. university admission. It is intended as a practical workshop for both graduate and undergraduate applicants to explore essay topics and structures, brainstorm ideas, develop an essay, and follow the writing process. Essays will receive extensive instructor feedback and peer review. The course will introduce expert advice, sample essays, editing checklists, and strategies for creative and effective writing. By the end of the course, students will make significant progress towards final essay drafts for submission to US universities. University Application Essay A is a prerequisite for this course.

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Advanced Business Topics (Prerequisite: Students must have taken Issues in Business or receive permission from the instructor to take the course): This course will help students improve their reading, vocabulary, critical thinking, and oral and written communications skills with regard to global strategic management case studies and related topics. Students will increase their vocabulary and ability to read and discuss case studies effectively in English.  The readings will be challenging, because they are authentic texts from academic business journals and business newspapers and magazines.  Reading strategies, vocabulary acquisition exercises, and case study discussions will allow students to better develop their reading, speaking, and writing skills with respect to the content of the cases which, in turn, will allow students to analyze the situations more clearly.  Students will also learn a how to use a broad new range of business vocabulary in both spoken and written language.

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Issues in Business (IIB; 700 and 800 levels): This course strengthens your ability to read about themes such as corporate culture, management styles, technology in business, environmental issues, and global economics. It is of interest to people working in business and business students, who want to explore issues of constant importance. Specific reading skills and team discussions allow you to understand the content of articles more easily and to judge the validity of authors’ arguments. Vocabulary-building strategies will encourage you to learn and use more business-related words and expressions.

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English for Engineering A (ENGENG A; 800 level): This course will help you to communicate like a professional engineer in any field. You will build the vocabulary and grammar needed to accurately describe the inner workings of the technologies that we depend on every day, such as cars, touchscreens, bridges, lasers, alarm systems, and more. The course will simulate different methods of communication for the workplace, such as meetings, presentations, technical articles, and reports. Like all engineers, you will maintain a focus on analyzing problems and discussing solutions. This course alternates with English for Engineering B (ENGENG B), and is offered in the Spring 1, Summer 1, and Fall 1 sessions. (Any kind of prior experience in engineering is helpful but not necessary.)

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English for Engineering B (ENGENG B; 800 level): This course will help you to communicate like a professional engineer in any field. You will build the vocabulary and grammar needed to accurately describe the inner workings of the technologies that we depend on every day, such as cars, touchscreens, bridges, lasers, alarm systems, and more. The course will simulate different methods of communication for the workplace, such as meetings, presentations, technical articles, and reports. Like all engineers, you will maintain a focus on analyzing problems and discussing solutions. This course alternates with English for Engineering A (ENGENG A), and is offered in the Spring 2, Summer 2, and Fall 2 sessions. (Any kind of prior experience in engineering is helpful but not necessary.)

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English for Science (ENGSCI; 800 level): Engineering and Science students in English-medium universities must be able to master not only the scientific content of their courses but also the language that allows them to function appropriately both inside and outside the classroom. Typical speech areas include the lecture hall, the seminar room, the study group and the laboratory and each area requires the student to perform different language skills and registers. The course focuses on academic reading, listening, vocabulary, interaction, and writing skills and it is divided into several topics: mathematics, physics, chemistry, and/or biology. Within each theme-based unit, you will participate in discussions, labs, exercises, and presentations that focus on specific aspects of your academic language (e.g., reading and listening skills, vocabulary, interaction strategies, and writing abilities).

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Responding Critically to Science Texts (RCST; 800 level): Science is a diverse and continually evolving field. Peer through a critical lens at cutting edge research in criminology, intelligence, medicine and technology. In this class you will read articles that have been selected as the "Best American Science Writing" from 2012 on topics as varied as infant heart surgery, the limits of the human brain, commercial space travel, and Watson, the computer that defeated world renowned Jeopardy champions at their own game. Through active reading, small group discussions, formal presentation and critical writing, you will describe, personalize, analyze and apply the ideas of many of today's science writers. You will develop not only your critical thinking skills, but your ability to read, analyze and respond to complex texts using clear, sound argumentation. The course goals focus on academic reading and writing; however, coursework requires use of all skills.

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