This course description includes our goal for the courses, the details of the curriculum, the method for placement of students into levels and courses, and the elements for success.
A curriculum is a plan of study. It is like a road map which leads to a certain place. It is necessary to travel along the road step by step. Each class is a section of the road to success.
Conversation and Listening Classes
You will be given a conversation and listening level after you take a listening test and have an oral interview. You will work at your own speed in the Listening Lab. As soon as you finish the materials for one level, you may take the exam to pass into the next level. If you do not finish the materials for a level by the end of one term, you will stay in the same level until you complete the materials and pass the exam.
To pass from one level to another in Conversation, you must be able to do certain things in English. Your teacher will give you a syllabus at the beginning of each conversation class. Your syllabus in each class will tell you what you should be able to do at the end of the level and go up to the next level. In order to do these things, it is necessary to practice often, so you must attend class every day. Do your homework each day to be prepared for the next day. Study at night to try to remember the things you did in conversation that day, and try to speak English outside of class as much as possible. Some students need practice in a level more than one term.
You will take a test on your first day of registration. This test will tell your teachers which level of reading you will need to take. Since reading is very important, you will have five hours of reading a week in addition to what you have in your other classes. These hours will be done in reading lab where you will read at your own speed and work on problem areas that your test has shown that you have. Since reading is an area which the TOEFL tests, and since all university work demands a great deal of reading, reading is a necessary skill for you to have. At IEI we try to encourage the student to read as much as possible. Reading in another language is not easy, but we believe that with practice and attention reading will continually improve.
You will be given a writing level after you take the composition examination. To pass from one level to another in writing, you must understand the writing conventions of English. Your teacher will give you a syllabus on the first day of class. It will tell you what you need to do in order to pass to the next level of writing. In order to learn the conventions of written English, it is very important that you attend class every day and do all the homework your teacher assigns. Because writing is difficult, many students repeat the writing levels once or even twice.
You will do two kinds of writing: extensive writing and intensive writing. Extensive writing means writing much about many things. Research shows that the best writers are those who write a lot. Intensive writing means working to perfect something written. You will write more than one "draft" of the same writing. You will learn to improve content, organization, vocabulary, grammar, and the mechanics of English. These five areas are the most important areas for good writing for the Michigan and TOEFL tests, for success in the university, for pleasure writing, and for business writing.
The purpose of grammar classes is to provide a framework upon which you can hang your language. Grammar is not a skill but it is necessary for every class - writing, reading, listening, and speaking - in order to say what is in your heart and mind in English. During the term, each of the levels presents grammatical structures which students must learn before going to the next level. At the end of the term, you will be given a final grammar exam that tests the knowledge you have of the target structures. If you make 80% or higher on this exam, you go to the next level.