GRE Curriculum

Advanced ESL curriculum for Post-graduates

Course focus:

The course will focus on 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).  Each concentration is designed to strengthen the student’s skills in all four areas through using topics of interest.  Topics include, but are not limited to, technology, communication, psychology, business, health sciences, folklore, law, and film studies.  The course aims to increase the student’s English skills and introduce test taking strategies.

Course duration:

This course is designed for students who plan to do intense TOEFL/ESL preparation for 2-3 months.  The class is divided into two sessions.  Students are required to attend both sessions.

       A. Morning Session: 4 hours

       B. Evening Session: 2-3 hours

Course textbooks and materials:

        A. Behrens, Laurence and Rosen, Leonard J. (2003). Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. (8th ed.). USA: Longman

        B. Educational Testing Service. (2010). TOEFL Test Prep Planner. USA: ETS.

        C. Fellag, Linda Robison. (2006). NorthStar: Building Skills for the TOEFL iBT, Advanced. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.

        D. Mometrix Media LLC. TOEFL Secrets (CBT & PBT Versions) – Study Guide: Your Key to Exam Success. USA: Mometrix Media LLC.

Course design:

        A. Morning Session: Reading, Listening, and Speaking

        B. Evening Session: Writing

 Areas of skill:

   1.  Reading:

             A. Teach students to properly scan text for key information.

             B. Increase reading fluency and speed.

             C. Boost comprehension through studying vocabulary in a context, identifying the main idea and purpose of text, understanding relationships between ideas, inferring and predicting how ideas are connected.

             D. Tips for becoming an effective reader (i.e. read often, read various texts, keep a notebook of new vocabulary, etc.)

   2.  Listening:

              A. Listening tasks will either come from online resources or resources provided at the school.

              B. Students will learn pre-listening vocabulary in preparation for some listening tasks.

              C. Students will focus on note-taking during the listening tasks. This will help them to organize their thoughts needed in response to the tasks questions.

              D. Learn how to recognize the speaker’s attitude and degree of certainty.

              E. Fine tune ability to listen for main idea and details.

              F. Recognize the organization of the information presented.

              G. Learn how to link ideas such as cause/effect, compare/contrast, or steps in a process.

              H. Connect pieces of information together to draw conclusions

               I.  Recognize when topics change throughout conversations or lectures.

              J.  Tips for becoming an effective listener (i.e. attentiveness, listening for details/gist)

   3.  Speaking (conversation):

              A. Academic conversation – How to speak when in class or talking to a professor.

              B. Casual conversation – How to speak with friends, grocery store clerks, at the library, cafeteria, etc.

              C. Professional conversation –How to speak in the workplace or other business settings

              D. Emphasis will be on proper vocabulary use, idioms, body language, and personal expressions

              E. Tips for becoming a better speaker (i.e. speed, grammatical errors, vocabulary use, organization of ideas, pausing, clarity, etc.)

   4.  Writing: 

              A.  Students will learn how to combine information that they have heard, read, seen, or discussed into written form.

               B.  Focus on essays and short responses.

               C.  Making an outline and organizing thoughts.

               D.  Using proper structure for writing essays and short responses.

               E.  Emphasis on summarizing, paraphrasing, citing information.

               F.  Emphasis on using proper support and evidence.

               G. Tips for becoming a better writer (i.e. identify grammatical errors; recognize if writing is cohesive and coherent, word usage,   etc.)

Skills development:

All areas of concentration will challenge students to increase vocabulary and fluency by strengthening their understanding and ability to properly use the following techniques. Each area will have tasks that are either independent (i.e. focus on one skill) or integrated (i.e. focus on two or more skills)

         Learning Techniques

          1.  Compare and contrast

          2.  Making inferences

          3.  Identifying and using main ideas and details

          4.  Using context clues

          5.  Summarizing

          6.  Skimming and scanning

          7.  Paraphrasing

          8.  Identifying and using cohesive devices

         9.  Identifying and using rhetorical structure

Test taking strategies and tips

        A.  Proper note taking

         B.  Reading and comprehending directions

         C.  Reading carefully and thoroughly

         D.  Using time wisely/pace yourself


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