Intensive English Program (IEP)


Course Descriptions

Below are descriptions for every course offered by the Intensive English Program (IEP). Some courses have multiple levels – a higher number after the course title indicates a more advanced course. All IEP students must take a placement test to determine what level course they should start with. Courses are one hour long unless otherwise indicated.

Academic Listening & Speaking 5: Academic Presentation Skills

This course is designed to prepare students for the listening and speaking activities common in American college classrooms. The focus is on evaluating, preparing and delivering formal presentations. Students also develop competence in listening to and speaking about academic topics and in academic situations.

Academic Listening & Writing 5

This course is designed to prepare students for the listening and writing skills needed to succeed in an American college classroom. Students learn strategies for listening and taking notes during college lectures, asking questions, working with other students and taking tests.

Academic Reading & Speaking 5

This course is designed to prepare students for the reading and speaking skills needed in an American college classroom. Students improve their reading, discussion, pronunciation, and fluency skills and demonstrate comprehension and critical thinking through speaking.

Academic Reading & Writing 4

In this two-hour course, students actively read and respond to college-level readings. At the same time, they improve their reading fluency and critical thinking skills. Students communicate their ideas about readings in paragraph and multi-paragraph academic compositions. They also develop their knowledge of academic vocabulary.

Academic Reading & Writing 5

This two-hour course integrates the reading and writing skills students need in a college classroom. Students develop skills in comprehending, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating longer academic readings. They demonstrate their comprehension and critical thinking skills by writing researched, organized and correctly documented papers. Basic library research skills are also introduced.

Advanced Conversation

Students expand their awareness of the cultural norms for American conversations, increase fluency and range of expressions, enhance skills in discussing personal knowledge and opinions, and apply critical thinking skills in conversation.

Advanced Vocabulary & Idioms

This course is designed for students who want to improve their vocabulary. About 60 percent of the course focuses on written skills and the rest on oral skills. Two-thirds of the time will be devoted to vocabulary development and one-third to acquiring idioms.

American Culture Through Film

This course uses film as a medium to explore various aspects of American culture. In addition to watching films, both in and out of the classroom, students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The course examines several cultural topics as well as language patterns in everyday speech.

American Culture Through Music

This course introduces students to musical genres and styles found in the historical and contemporary United States. Students explore various topics in American history and culture through American music. Students develop their language skills in all areas (reading, writing, listening and speaking) as they cover class material, as well as by making connections with their own musical interests and expressing themselves.

American Culture Through Sports

This course is for students who are interested in increasing their knowledge of popular sports in America. Specific aspects of each sport will be discussed, such as the subculture of the sport, its historical roots, and the rules and fundamentals of the game.

Applied Academic Skills

This course is considered a capstone for students completing the Academic Preparation track of the IEP. AAS is a thematically based content course that introduces students to the type of assignments, projects and activities they will encounter in higher education. Students use critical thinking to comprehend, evaluate and apply information from readings and class lectures.

English Language & Culture: Advanced

Within the context of American culture, and through topics of study chosen with input from students, advanced students work on English language skills that will increase their overall confidence and communication ability. Topics at this level might include the legal system in the United States, gay and lesbian culture, Seattle businesses, art and music, or immigration.

In the companion Grammar and Pronunciation course, students focus on advanced grammar and pronunciation topics to help achieve their language goals. Students will improve their accuracy and develop greater awareness of conveyed meaning through tone, modality and aspect in both written and spoken English.

English Language & Culture: High Intermediate

Within the context of American culture, and through topics of study chosen with input from students, high-intermediate students focus on English language skills that will increase their overall confidence and communication ability. Topics at this level might include disabilities, education, Native Americans, humor or sports.

In the companion Grammar and Pronunciation course, students work on high-intermediate grammar and pronunciation topics to help achieve their language goals. Students focus on verb forms, including tense and voice, and study techniques for phrasing and combining sentences.

English Language & Culture: Intermediate

Within the context of American culture, and through topics of study chosen with input from students, intermediate students focus on English language skills that will increase their overall confidence and communication ability. Topics at this level might include safety, travel, restaurants and manners, Seattle neighborhoods or American families.

In the companion Grammar and Pronunciation course, students work on intermediate grammar and pronunciation topics to help achieve their language goals. Students are introduced to clause structures, word forms and idiomatic word use. Students will also practice consonant and vowel production, rhythm, stress and intonation.

Evening Advanced Conversation

In this course, students expand their awareness of the cultural norms for American conversations. They will increase their fluency and range of expressions, enhance skills in discussing personal knowledge and opinions, and apply critical thinking skills in conversation. The course is divided into two sections: Vocabulary & Idioms and Conversation Management. Each section meets twice a week in the evening for 2.5 hours each time.

Grammar & Writing 2

In this two-hour course, students learn sentence basics: the parts of a sentence, parts of speech, basic sentence patterns, and the grammar structures they need to write well-formed sentences that communicate their ideas in English. Emphasis is placed on writing at the sentence level and short compositions on topics that allow students to demonstrate their control of specified grammatical structures.

Grammar & Writing 3

In this two-hour course, students learn a range of grammatical structures that are then applied to writing paragraphs using various rhetorical styles. The emphasis is on fully explaining personal opinions, reasons and examples.

Grammar 4

In this course, students study high intermediate-level syntax in an explicit, focused manner and apply this knowledge to communicative tasks. The emphasis is on studying word order and analyzing and producing complex English sentences.

Grammar 5

In this course, students study advanced-level syntax in an explicit, focused manner and apply this knowledge to communicative tasks. The emphasis is on producing complex English sentences and on developing critical thinking skills by synthesizing and evaluating ideas from a variety of sources.

IELTS Preparation

This course is designed for students who are planning to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The course is appropriate for those preparing for both the Academic and General Training test types. It focuses on test preparation, with a particular emphasis on understanding the organization of the test as well as on the specific types of questions that students will encounter on the exam. The course also includes test-taking strategies specific to the IELTS. (Note: This class meets twice a week in the evening for 2.5 hours each time.)

Independent Writing

This course is for students who would like to continue improving their writing skills beyond the paragraph stage. Students have the opportunity to define individual writing objectives, such as multiple-paragraph essay writing, research papers, business communication and creative writing. During the first week, general writing skills are taught to the whole class. For the rest of the quarter, students work through individual and group writing tasks, conferencing with the teacher when appropriate.

Intermediate Conversation

This course focuses on topics important for an international student to have a successful experience in the United States. The emphasis is on learning more about aspects of American culture which apply to the student's experience here, as well as on becoming comfortable with basic functional communication skills in a variety of settings.

Language for Business

This is a functional business language course that focuses on professional communication. Students learn to use accurate and appropriate language needed for common professional interactions, such as requesting information, scheduling and making arrangements, socializing, and giving opinions. The class meets for 10 hours each week.

Level 1 (RW 110 / RSL 110)

Level 1 is an integrated skills course for students at the beginning level. The course meets twenty hours per week at our downtown Seattle location at 1325 4th Ave. The morning class (RW 110) focuses on the reading, writing, and grammar skills needed to understand texts, learn new vocabulary, and write about different topics using correct grammar. The afternoon class (RSL 110) focuses on the reading, listening, and speaking skills needed to read faster, understand more vocabulary, identify main ideas, talk about personal experiences, and improve pronunciation.

Listening & Speaking 2

This course focuses on English for conversation in social situations. Students learn and practice the language (grammar, vocabulary and formulas/chunks) needed for participating in informal conversations; listening to, understanding and responding to short conversations; and describing personal experiences (past, present and future events).

Listening & Speaking 3

This course focuses on English used for gathering information and expressing opinions in social and classroom situations. Students practice gathering information and opinions, organizing and reporting on gathered information, and identifying a speaker's main ideas and intentions.

Listening & Speaking 4

This course focuses on English used for analyzing and responding to information in social and classroom situations. Students practice listening, understanding how parts of a message relate to the whole, connecting information to personal knowledge and logically supporting their opinions.

Listening & Speaking 5

This course focuses on English used for evaluating information in social and classroom situations. Students practice the language needed to examine the relationships among ideas; distinguish between facts, opinions and assumptions; and make conclusions and predictions.

Multigenre Reading 4

Students develop their ability to comprehend and analyze readings from a variety of genres. Students explore how tone, structure and vocabulary are used in various types of writing. Some examples of genres students may read are: articles, biographies, brochures, stories, plays and poetry. Students demonstrate comprehension through short written responses and in-class discussions.

Multigenre Reading and Writing 5

In this two-hour course, students examine many genres of reading and writing and analyze how style, structure and vocabulary are used and influence one another. Students also complete a multigenre project, which includes a collection of writings about a topic or theme that personally engages them. Students expand their writing skills, broaden their knowledge and appreciation for different genres, and use their creativity to express themselves in a way that is personally meaningful. The focus is on expressive rather than expository writing.

Multigenre Writing 4

Students develop their ability to write expressively in different writing contexts. They explore how tone, structure and vocabulary are used in various types of writing. The focus of the course is on exposure to a variety of genres, not mastery. Some examples of the types of writing that students may practice are letters/email, biographies, interview scripts, stories, plays and poetry. Students also develop self-editing skills and learn the importance of the writing process.

News

Students use news from a variety of sources – newspapers, television, Internet, magazines and radio – to improve their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills.

Pronunciation

This course helps students improve their overall pronunciation skills by isolating the individual components of speech and training students in how to improve these components. Emphasis is on intonation, rhythm, stress, and vowel and consonant production.

Reading 2

Students develop language building strategies and practice many ways to read more fluently in English. They also increase their vocabulary and improve their understanding of English grammatical concepts.

Reading 3

Students practice being active, fluent readers of English, especially to expand on ideas they read. As students develop successful language building and reading strategies, they talk and write about a variety of general-interest readings. At the same time, students increase their vocabulary and improve their use of grammatical structures.

TOEFL Preparation

This course helps students in preparing for the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). It includes skill-building exercises as well as specific strategies for the test. (Note: This course meets twice a week in the evening for 2.5 hours each time.)

Topics in Business

In this course, students are introduced to a wide range of business topics, including finance, management, customer service, the hospitality industry, marketing and technology. Students develop their general business vocabulary and communication skills. The class meets for 10 hours each week.

Vocabulary & Idioms

This course assists students in developing strategies to expand their knowledge of vocabulary and idioms in American English.