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Levels

The English Language Center has up to seven levels of study. At all levels, students focus on English for Academic Purposes to prepare for university study.

  • BEGINNER: This level is for students who have some comprehension of English. The courses focus on reading, writing and speaking skills at a simple level.
  • INTERMEDIATE: This level introduces English academic skills and is for students who need more study about and practice using English.
  • HIGH INTERMEDIATE: Students at this level work on English skills necessary for academic work at US colleges and universities.
  • ADVANCED: At this level, students are required to read academic readings, make presentations, and learn the conventions of academic writing. Students may be allowed to take one academic course when they reach this level of study.
  • ACADEMIC & GRADUATE: Students refine the English academic skills necessary for success in university courses while taking full- or part-time academic courses if eligible. Separate courses are offered to undergraduates and graduates at this level to meet the different academic needs of these students.
  • ADVANCED ACADEMIC: This is the highest level of English study and is for students who are qualified for full-time academic study at RIT but who desire further exposure to the types of readings, presentations, and writing expected of college students studying in the US.

Combined courses and levels

Information about any class changes will be distributed through SIS, email, orientation sessions, or advising.

Combined sections:  When there aren’t enough students for a specific class section, different sections of a class will be combined into one class.  Every effort will be made to ensure a good learning environment including possibly changing the time of the class or the room for the class.

Equivalent courses: When there aren’t enough students for a specific course and an equivalent course is available, a course substitution will be made.  For example, an undergraduate academic speaking and listening with low enrollment will be cancelled and students are enrolled in an equivalent course. In this example, a graduate spoken communication course can be substituted.

Combined levels for beginners:  When there aren’t enough students for a beginner level, students are placed into the Intermediate courses and are given an additional support course or support tutorial of at least 3 extra hours at no additional cost.  In this class, students will have extra time to practice the skills and spend extra time on the class materials in order to help them be successful and progress through the program. With this additional support, students are expected to meet intermediate SLOs.  

If students do not meet intermediate outcomes, they repeat the intermediate level with no penalty.Suspension and probation rules for GPA do not apply.

If students meet intermediate outcomes, they are eligible to progress through the program with the other regularly placed intermediate students.

Other combined levels:  When a level must be cancelled, students have two options:

“Challenge” option:  Students study at the next higher level with a level promotion with free 3-hour/week tutorial or class.  Students must meet the SLOs of the higher level. (This is the same option as described for beginners).   Suspension and probation rules do not apply to students who select the challenge option and do not succeed.  Students may repeat the level without penalty.

“Cautious” option: Students remain enrolled in their placed level, but attend classes with a lower level.  Instructors will provide assignments for the student to meet the SLOs of their originally placed level but students will be learning alongside classmates from the lower level.   Students receive grade and SLO reports for their placed level, not the lower level.
 

In the case of a cancelled level, each student will be asked to choose between the challenge option and the cautious option.   Students must choose one option the first day of class, but will be allowed to change their option during the add-drop period.  Students must notify the ELC advisor if they would like to change their option by the last day of the RIT add-drop period.  Changes are not allowed after the RIT add-drop period.

 

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) by Level

Beginner

 

Reading & Writing

 

1.  Identify main ideas and supporting details in a controlled text and explain the connections between those ideas.

 

2. Explain context, purpose, and relevance of a simple, controlled text in order to summarize and paraphrase reading passages.

 

3.  Identify sound and spelling patterns in words in order to promote word recognition and improve spelling skills.

 

4. Use new vocabulary appropriately in sentences and examine their function and meaning in context.

 

5. Respond critically to course readings both in speaking and writing, using various rhetorical strategies (cause-effect, compare-contrast, argumentation-critique, problem-solution, definition, etc.).

 

Speaking & Listening

 

1. In short listening texts identify purpose, main ideas and supporting details on familiar topics.

2. Produce planned 2-3 minute oral descriptions or explanations

3. In structured conversations of 2-3 minutes, students ask and answer questions and respond to simple statements on familiar topics.

4. In short listening texts and speaking tasks, students use and understand vocabulary on familiar topics.

5. In listening and speaking tasks, express and understand meaning through correct grammar choices and elements of pronunciation appropriate for this level.

 

Language Analysis

 

1. Correctly identify language structures in a controlled text   and explain the purpose of these structures (100/200 words)

2. Accurately apply grammatical structures in speaking tasks for specific purposes (1 minute)

3. Compose basic paragraphs and essays with focus on coherence using targeted language structures 

4. Revise basic paragraphs and essays for grammar accuracy and cohesion

 

Intermediate

Reading & Writing

1.  Respond to a series of related readings by building a well-developed argument or point of view in writing in a cohesive and purposefully organized essay with a clear thesis, critical thinking, specificity, and depth.

2. Use information from multiple readings to support a logical argument through the integration of summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

3.  Implement in writing the basic formatting, in-text citations, and organization of academic writing.

4. Determine the meanings of vocabulary items by using contextual clues and apply vocabulary appropriately and meaningfully to an academic context.

5. Identify and evaluate the development of ideas in a reading and the purpose of various rhetorical strategies, grammar & vocabulary choices, and organizational patterns.

6. Identify and analyze how sources are used to develop and support the author’s ideas both within a single reading and between multiple readings.

 

Speaking & Listening

1. In short listening texts identify purpose, main ideas and supporting details and explain how the details support the main idea and the author’s point of view.

2. In oral presentations of 4-6 minutes which include an effective introduction with a clearly stated thesis, supporting ideas, relevant examples and an effective conclusion.

3. In spontaneous discussions of 3-4 minutes on a variety of topics, demonstrate appropriate discussion strategies and interact with fluency  (i.e. hesitations are not distracting) and accuracy appropriate for this level.

4. In short listening texts, determine the meaning of vocabulary by using contextual clues in addition to applying academic vocabulary in discussions and presentations,  apply academic vocabulary from the Academic Word List appropriate for the genre,

5. In speaking tasks, express meaning through correct grammar choices and through elements of pronunciation, such as intonation and rhythm. 

6. In listening tasks, identify elements of pronunciation such as phonemes, intonation and rhythm.

 

Language Analysis

1. Correctly identify language structures in various contexts and explain the purpose of these structures (300 words)

2. Accurately apply grammatical structures in speaking tasks for specific purposes (2 minutes)

3. Compose basic academic writings with focus on specific language structures for a specific rhetorical purpose

4. Revise basic academic writings for grammar accuracy and cohesion

 

High Intermediate

Reading & Writing

1.  Locate relevant article(s) related to a given topic in order to support a position or point of view in writing with a clear thesis, critical thinking, specificity and depth.

2. Smoothly integrate and connect material from multiple sources for specific purposes to further develop a logical argument in writing through summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

3.  Implement in writing the basic formatting, citation requirements, and formality expectations of academic writing.

4. Determine the meanings of vocabulary items by using the context and the meanings of affixes and word stems and apply academic vocabulary appropriately and meaningfully to specific contexts.

5. Identify and analyze in texts the ways that linguistic choices, organization & development, and rhetorical style vary from one genre to another.

6. Identify and analyze source use and their purposes both within a single reading and between multiple readings.

Speaking & Listening

1. Through analysis of various listening texts, demonstrate understanding of purpose, main ideas and supporting details and explain how the details support the main idea.

2. In oral presentations of 6-8 minutes, demonstrate knowledge of academic topics using several sources. Presentations include a sufficiently developed and supported point of view with specific evidence, adequate explanations and correct citations.

3. Interact with fluency (i.e. hesitations are not distracting) and accuracy in 6-8 minute spontaneous discussions on a variety of academic topics and in a variety of academic situations.

4. Understand and apply academic vocabulary from the Academic Word List appropriate for the genre in discussions and presentations.

5. In speaking tasks, demonstrate coherency in meaning through grammar choice and accuracy in pronunciation.

Language Analysis

1. Correctly identify language structures in academic and academic texts and explain the purpose of these structures in context    (400 words)

2. Accurately apply grammatical structures in speaking tasks for specific purposes (3 minutes)

3. Compose certain types of academic writing (200 words) with focus on specific language structures for a specific rhetorical purpose

4. Revise academic writings for grammar accuracy and cohesion

 

Advanced

Reading & Writing

1.  Conduct research to develop a position or point of view with a clear thesis, sufficient analysis, critical thinking, specificity and depth in writing.

2.  Compare, connect, and synthesize multiple readings for specific purposes in writing to further develop a logical argument through the integration of summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting.

3. Implement in writing the fundamental conventions, formatting, citation style, and formality expectations of academic writing.

4. Determine the meanings of vocabulary items from context and etymology, distinguish between the nuances of different meanings of a single word, and apply academic vocabulary appropriately and meaningfully to different contexts.

5. Identify and analyze in texts from multiple genres the ways that that language and grammar choices, organization, development, and rhetorical style are used by the author to develop an idea.

6. Identify and analyze source use and their purposes both within a single reading and between multiple readings to trace the development of the author’s ideas. 

Speaking & Listening

1. In various listening texts, identify and explain connections among ideas which allow the student to express the author’s and his own point of view on the topic.

2. In 10-12 minute presentations, demonstrate ability to incorporate academic sources and support for a thesis.

3. In 10-12 minute spontaneous academic discussions, interact with fluency (i.e. hesitations are not distracting) and accuracy on a variety of academic topics and social settings, including paraphrasing and summarizing.

4. Apply academic vocabulary and collocations in context and collocations from the Academic Word List in speaking tasks.

5. Use accurate grammatical structures in speaking tasks.

6. Produce clear speech by implementing segmentals and suprasegmentals.

Language Analysis

1. Correctly identify language structures in academic reading and explain their purpose (500 words)

2. Accurately apply grammatical structures in speaking tasks for specific rhetorical purposes (4 minutes)

3. Compose various types of academic writing (300 words) with focus on specific language structures for a specific rhetorical purpose

4. Revise academic writings for grammar accuracy and cohesion

 

Academic & Advanced Academic

Reading & Writing

1.  Survey a research topic in order to independently develop an original position or point of view with a clear thesis, sufficient analysis, critical thinking, specificity and depth.

2.  Compare, connect, and synthesize multiple readings through the integration of summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting for an original research purpose.

3. Identify and analyze in reading and implement in writing the finer details of structure, conventions, formatting, organization, citation style, vocabulary, and formality of scholarly articles.

4. Identify and analyze in texts from multiple genres the ways that language and grammar choices, organization, development, and rhetorical style are used by the author to convey a particular meaning, purpose, voice, etc.

5. Identify and analyze source use and their purposes both within a single reading and between multiple readings to determine how the writer uses sources to develop his/her ideas and the ways in which those sources are integrated with his/her ideas.

Speaking & Listening

1. Within a listening text, analyze and evaluate the purpose and structure of the text through speaker’s word choice and expression of voice, and how they determine main ideas and support of thesis.

2. In speaking and listening, critically compare academic listening and reading selections to synthesize ideas among texts.

3. Develop and deliver 10-15 minute presentations on academic topics that demonstrate purpose and meaning with support of thesis using various sources and appropriate citations, employing academic vocabulary, expression of voice and grammatical choices that are appropriate to the purpose.

4. Speak with fluency and accuracy in 8-10 minute spontaneous discussions and presentations based on a variety of academic topics and in various academic settings.

Language Analysis

1. Identify the purpose of language structures in academic reading (550+ words)

2. Compose various types of academic writing (400 words) with focus on specific language structures for a specific rhetorical purpose

3. Revise academic writings for rhetorical purpose and cohesion through grammar

 

Graduate

Reading & Writing

1. Identify and implement in writing the grammatical and stylistic conventions of research writing and the language forms which contribute to formality, flow, and purpose.

2. Identify and demonstrate various purposes of source use in research writing, as well as appropriate contexts for citation, paraphrasing, and summarizing.

3. Recognize and implement organizational patterns in academic writing showing authorial purpose.

4. Identify, analyze, and write about significant trends in a data set and employ the appropriate language of description, strength of claim, and comparison.

5. Synthesize information from readings in order to accurately summarize research articles for a specific purpose.

6. Develop a research question that identifies a specific research territory and niche and expresses authorial purpose.

Speaking & Listening

1. In s listening text, identify and explain the stylistic conventions of academic discourse and the language forms of specific genres and apply them to one’s own speaking, such as in presentations.

2. In a listening text, identify speaker purpose and meaning, including the usage of citation in speaking, paraphrasing and summarizing and apply these skills in one’s own speaking, such oral presentations.

3. Prepare and deliver speeches and oral presentations on academic topics incorporating specific presentation skills for the genre.

4. In oral presentations, identify and analyze information to provide support for the thesis.

5. Listen for and apply pronunciation strategies which enhance speaker’s purpose.

6. Listen to and employ grammar choices which demonstrate speaker’s meaning and purpose appropriate to the genre.

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