This intensive course is designed to rapidly improve oral communication, listening comprehension, and knowledge of American culture. Students participate in classes focused on the rhythm of English pronunciation, American idioms, slang, and use of grammar in context. Class activities include contact assignments, interviews and oral presentations that significantly increase student confidence. Included in the course is an afternoon elective class such as: English for Business, Listening and Pronunciation, English through Film, or TOEFL Preparation. Additional after class activities such as, conversation practice class provide an opportunity for improving fluency.
COURSE FOCUS This course focuses on empowering students to communicate in English in the real world. We believe that people learn English if they are actively engaged. We encourage students to speak freely and use their English in class through discussions, student-created role-plays, pair-work and group-work activities. This student-centered approach enables paricipants to gain confidence and fluency in spoken idiomatic English.
Classroom activities include:
• Functional language appropriate to specific situations (social and practical everyday activities)
• Pronunciation, intonation, and listening comprehension including comprehension of reduced American speech
• Vocabulary and knowledge of idioms and slang
• Facilitating student awareness of American culture through cross-cultural contact, observations, and projects
• Fluency practice in real-world situations
• Helping students refine grammatical structures important for oral communication
Our instructors are highly qualified professionals with graduate degrees in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or a related field. They have many years experience teaching English at the former UC Berkeley Extension English Language Program and lots of enthusiasm for their students.
Elementary to Advanced
Average of 15 students
18 class hours per week
DESCRIPTION OF COURSE CONTENT
Fluency Development (daily): Students practice listening and speaking skills through the introduction of new vocabulary (including American idioms & slang), reduced speech, listening comprehension activities, and communicative exercises. Grammar is taught in context only. Classroom practice is related as closely as possible to the students’ activities outside of class, so that the skills learned can be used immediately in real situations. Tests and quizzes are given on a weekly basis. A textbook or reader is used in the Fluency Development Class and is included in the student course fee.
Cultural Discussion and Projects (daily): This class provides additional opportunities for conversation practice and discussion of topics in American Studies. Students debate current topics, create their own role plays, etc. Reading assignments for this course focus on American Studies and cross-cultural learning. One to two times per week, students go outside the classroom to have direct contact with the Bay Area community, including the campus, neighborhoods, and museums. By the end of the course, each student is expected to produce a project that demonstrates his or her increased understanding of American culture and improved English fluency.
Elective Classes (2 afternoons per week): Students will choose one elective class before the start of the course. An additional elective class may be selected for an additional fee. Elective class offerings vary from course to course and some electives may not be offered every session. Elective offerings may include the following: Listening and Pronunciation, Reading and Vocabulary, TOEFL Preparation, Business English, Academic Writing, English through Songs, English through Film, and English through Art.
ESI also organizes many exciting after-class cultural and recreational activities for students each week.
We hope this information answers most questions about our Communication Skills course. However, if you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.