Introduction to English A-B
This course meets the needs of English learners who have little or no English language training. In this course, you will receive a thorough introduction to the English alphabet and its sounds as well as its basic vocabulary and grammar. In the classroom you will focus on learning about the new culture you are in and how to survive in it.
The language skills you practice in class will help you carry out all the activities you need to do in the real world of the U.S. every day. You’ll be having conversations and doing role-plays with other students and solving simple problems on a team. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to read, understand, and fill out questionnaires and forms; you’ll be able to ask simple questions in shops and offices and understand the answers people give you. You’ll be able to answer the questions they ask you. You’ll also have your first experiences taking tests that look like university tests and doing homework!
Levels 1A-B, 2A-B, 3A-B
During your courses at these levels you will work towards becoming fluent in everyday social English. You will develop your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills as they are used in the real world. You’ll be able to participate in English conversations about your family and friends, educational background, work experience, daily routines, hobbies, and interests. You’ll be able to read and talk about short books of fiction and nonfiction. You’ll be able to understand and discuss short news and entertainment programs and write about all these topics in English.
In the classroom you’ll be involved in partner and group activities to practice real-life language. You’ll participate in conversations, role- plays, and longer, more complicated simulations of everyday situations. You’ll be part of team problem-solving activities which require the use of all four language skills as well as critical thinking skills and which force you to depend on the other members of your team. After your practice in the classroom, you’ll go out into the community and use your skills to observe and interview people and participate in their projects. Finally, you’ll bring back what you’ve learned and share it with other students at ALA.
Throughout these levels you will begin to learn about and practice the kinds of academic and professional work you will be doing when you finish your English language learning. Level 3 is the bridge which connects social language to academic and professional language. At this level you will continue to improve your everyday social English and begin to apply all your language skills to academic and work-like situations. You will start to learn how to listen to, understand, and take notes during situations like a university classroom lecture or a professional work meeting. You’ll start learning how to write an academic paper or a report for work. You’ll start reading more complicated short articles about academic subjects and workplace issues and you’ll learn how to organize and give oral presentations about these topics to a large group. By the end of Level 3, you’ll be ready to start our Academic English courses.
Levels 4A-B & 5A-B
These are the courses that get you ready to attend an American university or begin a professional work assignment in the U.S. They focus on giving you the language you need to participate in situations involving more abstract topics and concepts and which require you to understand and produce English at increasingly complex levels. They also give you opportunities to participate in activities based on the kinds of critical thinking and research skills that are crucial for success in American academic and professional life.
In your Level 4 classroom you’ll be listening to complex academic lectures from a range of academic and professional fields. You’ll be learning basic research skills, writing 2-3 page research reports, and delivering research-based oral presentations. You’ll discuss and debate controversial issues in class and read fiction and nonfiction texts which describe related kinds of issues.
At Level 5 you’ll move from learning and practicing Level 4 skills to actually using them in the real world. You’ll participate in experiential learning activities which will bring you into contact with members of governmental, judicial, and educational institutions and community organizations. You’ll be involved in studying a real problem and trying to find solutions for it. You’ll conduct and write up your own research, which you’ll report on in different ways to different audiences. By the end of this level, you’ll be able to interact comfortably with professors, fellow students, and professional colleagues and carry out academic and professional work in culturally correct ways. Now, you are ready to start your academic or professional life in the U.S.