Friday, January 25, 2013

English Communication Training - The Door to Success

Every job in the Canadian market has one thing in common: It requires a grasp on the English language to guarantee long-term success. For new Canadians, this may seem like a daunting task but Centennial College’s English communication training (officially known as General Arts and Science – English of Academic Purposes) offers a solid base so that students can build English language skills for success in college, university or careers. As graduate H. Wei notes, “The English for Academic Purposes program provided good preparation for my major program. If I hadn’t taken the EAP program, I couldn’t have successfully studied in Early Childhood Education. I have advised many students to enroll in EAP. It provides a good foundation.”

This foundation Wei mentions consists of developing: reading, writing, speaking and listening academic communication skills. Essentially, this English second language training serves as an academic pathway for students who, like Wei, wish to enter a specialized program. As such, training is fully accredited by Languages Canada, Canada’s premier language organization. This means it has met rigorous standards in terms of curriculum, teacher qualifications, student services and administration.

Based out of Ashtonbee Campus, which houses a variety of resources to support students in English second language training including computer labs, the library, conversation practice groups and tutoring, the English communication training fosters an inclusive environment. In this supportive academic environment, students build their language skills through communicative activities, practical exercises, group work, presentations, and assignments.

The courses in English communication are attended five days a week and include: Speaking Up (emphasizes the development of pronunciation skills and interactive speaking and listening strategies for students to participate effectively in the classroom); Skills for Student Success (focuses on developing student awareness and understanding of a variety of academic skills and strategies for success at college including test preparation, test taking, goal setting, time management, dictionary use and an awareness of learning styles); Guided Writing in English (introduces students to the writing process. Students are given practice in a variety of grammatical and structural forms); and more.

Learners of English communication training are placed in Level 1, 2 or 3, based on the results of a diagnostic placement test. At the end of the third level, students obtain an Ontario College Certificate and may apply to more specific Centennial College academic programs.

English second language training applicants must possess at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must complete a language skills assessment. It should be noted that this is not an offering for absolute beginners. Students must have completed a beginner’s level language program prior to applying to the English for Academic Purposes program.

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