Sunday, August 3, 2014

English for Academic Purposes Is a Base for Success

Accreditations are essential when it comes to post-secondary programs. They signal to employers that students have received an education approved by their peers in the industry. Accreditations are especially important when it comes to English as a second language programs. That’s because, in Canada, having a functional grasp on the language is the base for success in the workplace, having a social life and general upward mobility.

Take Centennial College’s English language program — General Arts and Science – English for Academic Purposes. It is an Ontario College Certificate offering that is accredited by Languages Canada. This organization is the country’s premier language organization representing its two official languages: English and French. Membership is limited to programs from the public and private sectors that meet the rigorous standards of the association and that are committed to upholding them. Languages Canada is recognized by the Canadian government and internationally. This means Centennial College’s offering has met rigorous standards in terms of curriculum, teacher qualifications and administration.

Unlike other ESL programs this isn’t a basic language course for absolute beginners but rather an undertaking for those who wish to build English language skills for success in college or university. As such, applicants are required to already posses an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years of age or older). Applicants are also required to take the specialized English Placement assessment to determine EAP Program placement. International applicants, meanwhile, require a score of 395 on the paper-based TOEFL test, 30 or higher on the iBT test or an overall 3.0 with no band below 2.5 on the IELTs.

Each English language course in this program is facilitated by faculty members who are not just highly qualified and dedicated ESL teaching professionals who provide quality instruction. They are also available outside of class time to offer encouragement and guidance to their students.

The offering aims to help students develop effective academic communication skills by focusing on the key areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. All language skills are developed and practiced through communicative activities, interactive exercises, group work and presentations. In addition, students obtain academic study skills through courses such as Reading College-level Texts, Communicating in the Classroom, Academic Life and A Wellness Approach to Stress Management.

As a respected ESL program Toronto offers, this undertaking gives students access to a range of resources and services at Centennial College’s Centre for Academic English. This safe environment includes tutoring, conversations groups, workshops and counseling. Academic advising, meanwhile, is provided to help with a smooth transition to college or university programs. Students also have use of Ashtonbee Campus’ computer labs and the library.

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