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ALA resources

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FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSES

General Foreign Language courses are designed for language learners who need to use an additional language to interact with other speakers of the target language on an everyday basis, whether they live in the United States or in other countries. The program teaches accurate language grammar for conversation, listening and speaking skills for daily life, and reading and writing skills for social and employment purposes. It is a language for life and work program.

Instruction at the beginning levels focuses on basic survival language skills for learners new to the targeted language-speaking environment or to interactions with target language-speaking colleagues. Knowledge of the targeted language grammar and listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are improved and further developed at higher levels so they can be applied and used in more and different kinds of situations. At the highest levels, students learn to apply their ever-increasing knowledge and skills in more diverse and work-oriented types of contexts.

Finally, when students complete the general language courses, they are ready to pursue the target language study in a particular employment area if they wish to do so.

Foreign Language Courses Overview

Method of Instruction: On Campus or Online

Prerequisites: Placement Test

Foreign Languages:

  • Spanish
  • German
  • French
  • Italian

General Foreign Language Levels:

  • Level 1- Beginner
  • Level 2- High Beginner
  • Level 3- Low Intermediate
  • Level 4- Intermediate
  • Level 5- High Intermediate

Foundation Foreign Language Levels:

Foundation language courses are designed for language learners who want to use an additional language to interact with target language speakers in causal ways and on an everyday basis, whether they live in the United States or in other countries. The program teaches accurate language grammar for conversation, listening and speaking skills for daily life, and reading and writing skills for social and employment purposes.

  • Level 1- Beginner
  • Level 2- High Beginner
  • Level 3- Low Intermediate
  • Level 4- Intermediate
  • Level 5- High Intermediate

Foreign Language for Specific Purposes Courses:

In coordination with the general language curriculum, American Language Academy (ALA) provides supplemental online language courses for specific purposes in the areas of business, medical, military, restaurants and retail. These courses compliment the general language curriculum and is included as student course materials. These courses provide reading, speaking, listening, writing, vocabulary, and pronunciation practice and includes an online resource library and dictionary.

  • Language for the Military
  • Optician
  • Pharmacy
  • Commercial Director/Management
  • The Office
  • Shoe Store
  • Clothing Store
  • Jewelry
  • Restaurant
  • Supermarket

Est. Completion Date: 12-18 months from the start of the program

Certificate: Completion certificate provided at end of program

Duration per Level: 9 weeks per level section/6 hours per week

Program Completion Requirements: Completion of all general levels

Total number of units: Number of course units vary per language

Enrollment: Open enrollment throughout the session

Course Schedule: Morning, Afternoon, or Evening hours available

General Foreign Language Level 1- Beginner

This course welcomes newcomers to the target language and introduces them to the most fundamental elements of that language through exposure to rich, meaningful language—the letters of the alphabet and their related sounds, the ability to write the alphabet, basic punctuation and capitalization, and the basics of sentence structure. Students will develop the ability to engage in very basic listening and speaking tasks they will encounter in daily life, such as understanding and answering questions about their address, nationality, marital status, date of birth, and daily schedule and activities. They will also begin to ask and answer questions about the weather, clothing, food preferences, meals, prices, locations, means of transportation, types of housing, illnesses and types of medications and healthy habits.

Students will learn to read and write what they are able to comprehend and say. Instruction at this level focuses on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs. Classroom activities include paired interactions, role-plays, and simple problem-solving activities involving team-work. The four language skills are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts. Students learn functional language in order to carry out real-world tasks relevant to their daily life.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: GSP Level 1- Beginner
  • German: GGP Level 1- Beginner
  • French: GFP Level 1- Beginner
  • Italian: GIP Level 1- Beginner

General Foreign Language Level 2- High Beginner

At the second level of their language study, newcomers expand their vocabulary dramatically through exposure to rich, meaningful language used in real world contexts. Students begin to be able to use their new language creatively and no longer have to rely only on memorized phrases. Students improve their knowledge and ability to use the basics of word order and sentence structure. Students learn to create their own sentences, using the simple present, present continuous, and imperative in their affirmative and negative forms and continue to develop both yes-no and WH interrogative forms. With the addition of adjectives, adverbs of frequency, the structure want to plus infinitive, and the modals can and should, students are able to share more detailed information about themselves, their family relationships, and other people in their lives.

They are also able to engage in transactions in a wider range of situations and function more independently in the areas of shopping, finding housing and furnishings, dealing with health care personnel in doctor’s offices and the hospital, and finding out about and taking advantage of the resources offered in their community. Students will learn to read and write what they are able to comprehend and say. They can send an email and fill out simple forms independently. Instruction at this level continues to focus on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs. Classroom activities include paired interactions, role-plays, and simple problem-solving activities involving team-work. The four language skills are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts. Students learn functional language in order to carry out real-world tasks relevant to their daily life.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: GSP Level 2- High Beginner
  • German: GGP Level 2- High Beginner
  • French: GFP Level 2- High Beginner
  • Italian: GIP Level 2- High Beginner

General Foreign Language Level 3- Low Intermediate

At the third level of their language study, students expand their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge in ways that allow them to comprehend and express more detailed, elaborated messages. Students are able to use their new language creatively and construct their own messages. They have a good grasp of affirmative and negative word order and a better ability to use interrogative structures. They are able to participate in more extended conversations about their family and their daily lives. Students are also able to engage in a wide variety of transactional situations, find the information they need, and interact independently so they can carry out the functional tasks of everyday life. Students learn to read connected discourse on familiar topics and write what they are able to comprehend and say. By the end of the course they are able to fill out a variety of forms and applications and send longer, personal email and written letters.

They learn language related to the workplace and job skills and habits. Instruction at this level continues to focus on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs but begins to move toward past and future experiences. Classroom activities include paired interactions, role-plays, and more complex problem-solving activities involving team-work. The four language skills are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: GSP Level 3- Low Intermediate
  • German: GGP Level 3- Low Intermediate
  • French: GFP Level 3- Low Intermediate
  • Italian: GIP Level 3- Low Intermediate

General Foreign Language Level 4- Intermediate

At the fourth level of their language study, students continue to expand their knowledge and ability to use a wide variety of vocabulary and grammar so that they can express themselves with more precision and elaboration than at previous levels. Instruction at this level no longer focuses on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs, but on their past, present, and future experience of the world. Students can now speak at length about past experiences and events, make plans for the future, discuss obstacles to these plans, and develop possible solutions. They can compare and contrast information presented in charts, graphs, diagrams and short readings in order to make choices. They can participate in extended conversations about their daily lives as equal participants and begin to use their language to engage in common communicative functions, such as thanking, apologizing, inviting, agreeing and disagreeing, making suggestions, and giving advice. Students learn the skills necessary for participating in more formal types of oral interactions, such as a job or college interview and practice these skills during simulations.

Students are exposed to oral and written texts of increasing complexity and work on developing the ability to interpret and react to authentic real- world language. They begin to produce more formal, short, functional written texts, such as a cover letter or complaint. Classroom activities continue to include paired interactions, role-plays and more involved simulations. Problem-solving activities at this level involve the use of all four language skills, critical thinking, and a jigsaw organization which forces students to rely on each other. Students take part in experiential learning activities which involve them in interactions with native speakers of the target language. The four language skills are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: GSP Level 4- Intermediate
  • German: GGP Level 4- Intermediate
  • French: GFP Level 4- Intermediate
  • Italian: GIP Level 4- Intermediate

General Foreign Language Level 5- High Intermediate

At the fifth level of their language study, students develop strategies that will help them become more self-directed and independent language learners. They learn ways to improve their language learning by participating in out-of-class activities and they keep learner logs which help them track those activities. In the classroom, they learn and practice strategies for guessing word meaning from context while reading and listening to authentic real-world texts. Other strategies for learning and remembering new vocabulary involve learning word families as a way of seeing the relationships between words and using a learner’s dictionary. To deepen their reading comprehension, students learn the strategies of previewing before reading, reading for main ideas during their first reading, and scanning for specific information during their third reading. Students also learn and practice the strategy of making inferences (reading between the lines) during and after reading. In writing, students continue to practice filling out increasingly complex applications, such as applications for loans, writing formal business letters, and providing the necessary supporting documents. In addition, at this level, students begin to learn how to produce connected written discourse, starting with paragraphs that have a strong topic sentence, good supporting sentences and a final conclusion sentence. Students also learn how to produce connected oral discourse by giving short oral presentations as part of a team. In this way, they begin their introduction to the kinds of academic tasks they will need to perform if they decide to pursue postsecondary study.

Finally, in the area of functional life skills, student will become familiar with basic elements of life within the country the language is spoken, such as making goals for the future, managing one’s time and personal finances, applying for credit cards and loans in order to pay for major purchases such as a car, a house, or tuition, and volunteering in one’s community to make it a better place to live. Students learn and practice the vocabulary related to these topics and become familiar with grammatical structures that allow them to think and talk about hypothetical life situations and events. Classroom activities continue to include paired interactions, role-plays and more involved simulations. Problem-solving activities at this level involve the use of all four language skills, critical thinking, and a jigsaw organization which forces students to rely on each other. Students take part in experiential learning activities which involve them in interactions with fluent language speakers of the target language. The four language skills are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts.

Available Language Courses:

  • German: GGP Level 5- High Intermediate
  • French: GFP Level 5- High Intermediate

Foundation Foreign Language Level 1- Beginner

In the first Foundational language level students will focus on the basic and most fundamental elements of the language such as the letters of the alphabet and their related sounds, the ability to write the alphabet, basic punctuation and capitalization, and the basics of sentence structure. Students will develop the ability to engage in very basic listening and speaking tasks they will encounter in daily life, such as understanding and answering questions about their address, nationality, marital status, date of birth, and daily schedule and activities.

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FFP Level 1- Beginner

Foundation Foreign Language Level 2- High Beginner

In this second level, students continued to develop their understanding of basic and fundamental aspects of the language. Students learn to create their own simple sentences, using the simple present, present continuous, and imperative in their affirmative and negative forms and continue to develop both yes-no and WH interrogative forms. With the addition of adjectives, adverbs of frequency, the structure want to plus infinitive, and the modals can and should, students are able to share more detailed information about themselves

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FFP Level 2- High Beginner

Foundation Foreign Language Level 3- Low Intermediate

At the third level of their language study, students expand their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge in ways that allow them to comprehend and express more detailed, elaborated messages. Students are able to use their new language creatively and construct their own messages. They have a good grasp of affirmative and negative word order and a better ability to use interrogative structures. They are able to participate in more extended conversations about their family and their daily lives. Students are also able to engage in a wide variety of transactional situations, find the information they need, and interact independently so they can carry out the functional tasks of everyday life.

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FFP Level 3- Low Intermediate

Foundation Foreign Language Level 4- Intermediate

At the fourth level of their language study, students continue to expand their fundamental knowledge and ability to use a wide variety of vocabulary and grammar so that they can express themselves with more precision and elaboration than at previous levels. Instruction at this level no longer focuses on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs, but on their past, present, and future experience of the world. Students can now speak at length about past experiences and events, make plans for the future, discuss obstacles to these plans, and develop possible solutions.

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FFP Level 4- Intermediate

Foundation Foreign Language Level 5- High Intermediate

At the fifth level of their language study, students develop strategies that will help them become more self-directed and independent language learners in the basics of communication both verbal and written. They learn ways to improve their language learning by participating in out-of-class activities and they keep learner logs which help them track those activities. In the classroom, they learn and practice strategies for guessing word meaning from context while reading and listening to authentic real-world texts. Other strategies for learning and remembering new vocabulary involve learning word families as a way of seeing the relationships between words and using a learner’s dictionary.

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FFP Level 5- High Intermediate

BUSINESS

Commercial Director/Management

Within this course, students will learn how to communicate using business language and expressions essential in a Management Department. Students will increase their communication skills related to working with clients and colleagues in different settings, effectively exchange information related to company facts, procedures, policies, job duties, and functions, analyze and evaluate data and competitors, make orders, and conduct interviews.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Commercial Director
  • German: GSP- Management
  • French: FSP- Commercial Director

The Office

Throughout the course, students will learn how to verbally and in writing communicate using business language and expressions within an office setting. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how to deal with routine information and express themselves in familiar situations, such as greeting people, asking for and giving financial information at meetings, taking notes and messages, solving common problems clients have, making plans and confirming arrangements face to face and on the phone, as well as identify the roles and duties of members within an organization.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- The Office
  • German: GSP- The Office
  • French: FSP- The Office

Language for the Military

In this course, student will learn specialized military terminologies for the three branches: Army, Navy and Air force. Students will become familiar with vocabulary in the areas of land-based operations, sea-based operations and air-based operations. It also helps to become familiar with the most common text types in this field, putting into practice the four key language components: reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Available Language Courses:

  • French: FSP- French for the Military

MEDICAL

Pharmacy

Throughout the course, students will learn pharmaceutical language terminology and how to communicate with customers within a Pharmacy setting. Students will increase their communication skills related to working with customers, understanding and identifying products found in a Pharmacy, and ask about and understand symptoms that patients describe, fill out prescriptions, and recommend the treatment patients need.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- The Pharmacy
  • German: GSP- The Pharmacy
  • French: FSP- The Pharmacy

Optician

Within the course, students will learn optical language terminology and how to communicate with customers within an Optician office and store setting. Students will increase their communication skills related to working with customers, understanding of products found in an Optician office, and ask about and understand symptoms that patients describe and recommend the treatment patients need.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Optician
  • German: GSP- Optician
  • French: FSP- Optician

RESTAURANTS & RETAIL

Restaurants

In this course, students will learn how to communicate and assist customers related to services provided in bars and restaurants, ask and understand a customer’s desires and instructions, identify and explain menu items, resolve complaints that are common, and comprehend the principal responsibilities and duties bar-workers carry out. Students will learn vocabulary related to common scenarios and conversations that are typical between workers and customers.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Restaurants
  • German: GSP- Restaurants
  • French: FSP- Restaurants

Supermarkets

In this course, students will learn retail related language terminology and how to communicate with customers within a supermarket/grocery store setting. Students will also become familiar with customer service and purchasing terms, typical conversational exchanges in the store and at checkout, names of items and products, and how to ask for and describe common products found in a supermarket.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Supermarkets
  • German: GSP- Supermarkets
  • French: FSP- Supermarkets

Clothing Store

In this course, students will learn retail related language terminology and how to communicate with customers within a clothing store setting. Students will also become familiar with customer service and purchasing terms, typical conversational exchanges, apparel items and their materials, how to ask for and describe common products in the store, how to greet people, and ask about and understand what clients require and make polite recommendations.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Clothing Store
  • German: GSP- Clothing Store
  • French: FSP- Clothing Store

Shoe Store

In this course, students will learn retail related language terminology and how to communicate with customers within a shoe store setting. Students will also become familiar with customer service and purchasing terms, typical conversational exchanges, footwear items and their materials, how to ask for and describe common products in the store, how to greet people, and ask about and understand what clients require and make polite recommendations.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Shoe Store
  • German: GSP- Shoe Store
  • French: FSP- Shoe Store

Jewelry

In this course, students will learn retail related language terminology and how to communicate with customers within a jewelry store setting. Students will also become familiar with customer service and purchasing terms, typical conversational exchanges, names of items, and how to ask for and describe common products on sale at a jewelry shop.

Available Language Courses:

  • Spanish: SSP- Jewelry
  • German: GSP- Jewelry
  • French: FSP- Jewelry
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