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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). 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 a 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

UUBT’s English Language Academy’s six-level intensive English language course is an integrated-skills and content-based program that develops students’ proficiency in English. The entire course is delivered in six modules. Each module spans eight academic weeks at a rate of 25 hours per week.

The program utilizes Cengage’s LIFE American edition 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.





Course Duration

Hours per week

Level 1

Cengage Life 1


8 weeks


Level 2

Cengage Life 2


8 weeks


Level 3

Cengage Life 3


8 weeks


Level 4

Cengage Life 4


8 weeks


CLE 500

Cengage Life 5


16 weeks


CLE 600

Cengage Life 6


16 weeks



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

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

Assessment and Evaluation:

ELA internal assessment policy uses assessment as a tool for learning, rather than a tool for measurement. The vehicle of this support plan is the feedback sessions conducted after each quiz, midterm, or writing workshop. During feedback sessions, students and teachers collaborate to identify areas of weakness and knowledge gaps.

ELA utilizes various methods for assessing students to ensure proper learning.

  • Quizzes – Tests material up to the last Quiz.
  • Midterm – Tests material up to the last progress test.
  • Writing workshops – Assesses the students’ writing skills as an integral productive skill to embark on university studies.
  • Projects: Assess the students’ speaking and interpersonal skills as they have to present on multiple topics of interest.
  • MyELT: A digital platform for students to practice what they studied in class and to reflect on their learning.
  • Final Exam – Tests all material studied in the session/ semester.


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 reaching level 5, students can proceed to partially enroll in their desired college programs at UBT. Upon completion of level 6 students will have no academic English requirements at UBT.


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 85% of the courses.
(W) withdrew.
(IC) Incomplete.

Adoption of (CEFR) International standards

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 mutual recognition of language qualifications around the globe, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility
This framework consists of the following:

A1:refers to the student’s basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
A2:refers to the student’s ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
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.
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.
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.
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.

ELA: Teaching Methodologies

Communicative reading Strategies for students:
Pre-reading tasks are adopted to activate students’ schematic knowledge of what they are about to read (based on their pre-existing knowledge) as this knowledge will help them understand the text. When reading, students are using their pre-existing knowledge to predict content. In class, predictions are communicated to partners.
During Reading
Reading is done in pairs or collaboratively to promote greater interactions among students.
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):
Students are 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 aim for most students is fluency. 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.