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Program Overview and Structure

 

ELA lessons focus on a series of highly engaging student-centered activities through National Geographic Life Series (Cengage’s Life 1-6 textbooks series. American edition 2015). Upon admission to UBT, students take the required standardized placement tests to determine their proper English proficiency level.

The entire program is delivered in six modules. Each module lasts eight academic weeks at the rate of 25 hours per week, ranging from Beginner (A1) to Advanced (C1) on the CEFR scale with its level descriptors.

ELA English Language Program Description

UBT’s English Language Academy’s six-level intensive English language course is an integrated-skills and content-based program that develops students’ fluency in American English, as well as the critical thinking skills required for success in the 21st century, ranging from Beginner (A1) to Advanced (C1) on the CEFR scale with its level descriptors. The entire course is delivered in six modules. Each module spans eight academic weeks at the rate of 24 hours per week.

The program utilizes Cengage’s LIFE American edition (2015) series’ textbooks which adopt a communicative approach emphasizing language learning in real life contexts, and the production of language in a broad range of speaking and writing situations – thereby mirroring the functional descriptors of the CEFR.

 

Levels

Textbook

CEFR

Course Duration

Hours per week

Level 1

Cengage Life 1

A1

8 weeks

25

Level 2

Cengage Life 2

A2

8 weeks

25

Level 3

Cengage Life 3

B1

8 weeks

25

Level 4

Cengage Life 4

B1+

8 weeks

25

CLE 500

Cengage Life 5

B2

16 weeks

12.5

CLE 600

Cengage Life 6

C1

16 weeks

12.5


 

Upon admission to UBT, students take the online Oxford University English Placement Test to ensure placement in their proper level. Accurate placement of students is essential for success in their English studies.

The Mid-Term Exam and Final Exam are scheduled in the fourth and eighth week respectively. Each module covers one level of the program and is considered a full and independent course. Students are assessed as having successfully completed and passed one level by acquiring a cumulative score of 65% at least.

The entire six-session program takes students from the Beginner Level (A1) up to the Advanced Level (C1). The ELA ensures that these are reliable and accurate language proficiency standards by correlating ELA levels to internationally accepted proficiency benchmarks.

Assessment and Evaluation:

The ELA utilizes various methods for assessing students to ensure proper learning. The evaluation criteria for courses include tests, quizzes, daily performance and participation, homework assignments, writing workshops, writing portfolio, research projects, presentations, a mid-term exam, and a final exam.
Mid-Term and Final Exams are scheduled in the fourth and eighth week respectively. Each module covers one level of the program and is considered a full and independent course. Students are assessed as having successfully completed and passed one level by acquiring a cumulative score of 65%. Upon completion of the six-level English Language program, students proceed to enroll in their desired college programs at UBT or any university.

 


Grading System

The grading system used is as follows:
(A) 90%—100%.
(B) 80%—89%.
(C) 70%—79%.
(D) 65%—69%.
(F) below 65%.
(DN) equivalent to AF (Absent Fail) or student who register and do not attend the courses.
(W) withdrew.
(IC) Incomplete.

Adoption of (CEFR) International standards

The ELA adopts CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Language Learning) international standards in structuring its English Language Program. CEFR is highly reliable and provides a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications around the globe, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility. It is increasingly used in the reform of national curricula and by international consortia for the comparison of language certificates. This framework consists of the following:


A1:refers to the student’s basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way. A student can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way - provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2:refers to the student’s ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts. A student can understand sentences and frequently use expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1:refers to the student’s ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with non-routine information. A student can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B1+:refers to the student’s ability to enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics, express personal opinions and exchange information on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events). A students is expected to understand straightforward factual information about common everyday or job-related topics, identify both general messages and specific details, speak in a clear, articulate, and familiar accent.
B2:refers to the student’s capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics. A student can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
C1: refers to a student’s ability to communicate with emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.

A student can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

ELA: Teaching Approaches

Communicative reading Strategies for students:
Pre-reading
Pre-reading tasks are adopted to raise students' awareness of what they are about to read (based on their pre-existing knowledge) as this knowledge will help them understand the text. This raising of awareness is collaborative. When reading, students are using their pre-existing knowledge to predict content. In class, predictions are communicated to partners.
Reading
Reading is done in pairs or collaboratively to promote greater interactions among students.
Post-reading
Students tell each other about what they have read and engage in:

  • Discussions about the text,
  • Summarizing the text,
  • Reviewing the text,
  • Perform role-play or a follow-up speaking task related to the topic.

Active Communication (speaking):(speaking):
Active communication is encouraged to:

  • Promote more efficient interaction between students in the communication process.
  • Ensure that each student has the opportunity to express his/her ideas or viewpoints.
  • Engage those who are in the group.
  • Express their thoughts, feelings, or issues while actively listening to others to allow a better understanding of different points of view.

The ultimate aim for most students is fluency. The ELA develops fluency through pair work and group work speaking activities by providing interesting discussion topics that offer students something to talk about.

Communicative Writing
Writing, like all other aspects of language, is communicative. ELA Students are required to write e-mails, SMS messages, lists, notes, cover letters, reports, proposals, memos, assignments, essays, etc. Students engage in doing research projects, publishing blogs, and creating individual and group profiles.