Courses for 300-400 Level Students

Courses for 500-600 Level Students

Courses for 700-800 Level Students

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Course Times

Most SIP Courses are evening courses meeting once a week, Monday through Thursday, from 6:00pm-7:40pm. The TOEFL SIP course meets twice a week in the evening. 

Friday SIP Courses meet 10:00am-11:40am Fridays for the first six classes. The final class meets Wednesday from 10:00am-11:40am.

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Courses for 300-400 Level Students

Oral Communication 1: In many English listening and speaking textbooks, the materials are “scripted”, not always natural language. In Oral Communication 1, English language learners will be introduced to English as it is spoken, to natural language in speaking and listening activities in social and academic situations. In the social domain, students will practice giving introductions and invitations, describing themselves and others, speaking politely, and offering help. In the academic domain, students will practice asking for and confirming information, expressing doubt, and explaining problems. Students will also review and practice grammatical and pronunciation features of spoken English such as question formation, modals of doubt and possibility as well as intonation and reduced forms.

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Pronunciation Basics: Pronunciation Basics introduces students to high-frequency pronunciation targets that are both essential and challenging for most English language learners. The course presents specific pronunciation points and then provides practice activities that encourage interaction and communication with others. Class activities include guided conversations, information gap exercises, interviews, and short oral reports.

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Spelling Basics: Spelling Basics guides students through the basics of spelling correctly in English by listening for sounds and by examining patterns in the vowel and consonant systems of English. The course is designed with short lessons followed by frequent accuracy checks as students build their spelling competency. Students will learn why hopping has a double vowel while hoping does not, will distinguish homophones like stairs and stares, and how to spell compound words like nightlife.

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Courses for 500-600 Level Students

Academic Skills for the TOEFL iBT: This 500/600 level course will help students prepare for the TOEFL iBT by focusing on 3 main areas: developing key academic vocabulary necessary to better comprehend reading and listening passages, developing the language mini-skills needed to respond better to the individual tasks, and giving learners multiple opportunities to practice TOEFL iBT-like tasks.

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Academic Spelling Power: Spelling can be the first impression that a student’s writing makes on a reader/teacher. Poor spelling can cause not only misunderstandings but may put English language learners at a serious disadvantage in academic and professional life. To help position students for success, Academic Spelling Power teaches rules for spelling, provides exercises for practice, and introduces students to spelling strategies.

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Oral Communication: Oral Communication 2 is designed to integrate listening, speaking and pronunciation practice to help students build both fluency and accuracy. Topics may include Family; World Entertainment; Environmental Activism; Living in Two Cultures; and Making It Work. Listening skills targets are identifying attitudes, time order, and inference; pronunciation targets are correctly producing thought groups, reductions, and stress as well as recognizing the features of fast speech; and speaking skills include requesting clarification, defending an opinion, evaluating fact and opinion, speaking persuasively, and presenting to a small group.

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Speaking on Society and Cultures:  Make your study abroad experience well-rounded by exploring the local community and its cultures. By starting conversations with people who live and work in Philadelphia, attending local events and observing customs firsthand, you can go beyond stereotypes to form a deeper understanding of diverse patterns in thinking and behavior. In this course, you will develop a more global mindset by working in teams to research and present findings on American culture in Philadelphia. In the process, you will gain skills and confidence in starting and maintaining conversations, interviewing, and presenting information.

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Debating Contemporary Issues: Students will engage in a 7 week course that runs as a "town hall" meeting; it will focus on a variety of facilitated debates. Students will become familiar with 'Hot Topics' in the US and around the world such as same sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and freedom of speech. They will develop their opinions on these sensitive topics and strategically support and defend these topics. Likewise, they will observe and practice the skill of politely disagreeing, as well as becoming comfortable discussing controversial topics and acknowledging opposing viewpoints. This course will allow students the opportunity to spontaneously and authentically speak and 'listen to respond' to current controversial issues in the US. Along with their personal viewpoints, students will be provided with a variety of sources that they will then synthesize in order to participate as informed speakers. Students will be required to both affirm and negate each topic. {Friday SIP Course}

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Courses for 500-600 Level Students

Applying Advanced Grammar:  The primary aim of Applying Advanced Grammar is to help students increase their knowledge and use of advanced English grammar. Students will participate in a variety of lively activities that will help them gain confidence in speaking and writing English accurately and fluently, bridging the important gap between knowing grammar and using it. The course takes students from a review of English verb tenses including “interesting” verb aspects such as the future perfect progressive (will have been studying) to advanced constructs such as appropriate usage of the passive voice as well as continued review and practice of gerunds and infinitives.

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Building Fluency with Idioms and Metaphors:  Fluency in a language is more than grammar and basic vocabulary. Fluency also includes the ability to understand and use the language at a deeper level. In Building Fluency with Idioms and Metaphors, an interactive and fun course, students will be introduced to idioms and metaphors used regularly by native speakers of English, for example, sports metaphors such as “hitting it out of the park”, (being very successful at a task). Students will create team skits and role plays using targeted idioms and metaphors. Each student will also give a short presentation on a metaphor of their own choosing.

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Listening and Speaking with Confidence:  Students in Listening and Speaking with Confidence will use a variety of authentic listening segments as the starting points for increasing their conversational skills and fluency in English. Topics will include Turning Points, Learning a New Language, Law and Order, and Memories.  Skills will include using context to increase understanding, recognizing and using signposts, recognizing and using expressions of contrast and logical division, synthesizing information from various sources, and making generalizations and digressions. The speaking assessments in this course are closely linked with the skills required for success on the speaking components of the TOEFL.

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 Pronunciation Improvement:  Pronunciation Improvement is designed to help students speak English more clearly, confidently, and accurately. The course concentrates on the vowel and consonant sounds that occur frequently in English and which can be challenging for non-native speakers. Other important features for clear communication included in the course are advanced speaking challenges such as contrastive stress, appositives, and listing intonation. Each unit has a theme and ends with a communicative speaking activity that practices the targets in that unit. Themes include Happiness, Gender, Health, Working, and Living Independently. A Student Audio CD-ROM is included with the text.

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Art in Philadelphia:  Students will explore art in Philadelphia institutions through lectures, class discussions, and three site visits. The course will cover three themes: abstraction/form, stories in art, and public art. Students will increase their art-related vocabulary and focus on the language used to describe, compare, contrast, and narrate. Site visits could include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Penn Museum, The Free Library of Philadelphia's Print and Picture Collection, The Institute of Contemporary Art, The Fabric Workshop, Center City murals, Love Letter murals along the Market-Frankford SEPTA line, and sculptures on Kelly Drive/Benjamin Franklin Parkway (site selections will depend on exhibition schedule and weather). {Friday SIP Course}

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