English Programs for Full-time and Part-time Students
Academia Language School offers full and part-time intensive English programs for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level students.*
Full-time students take a minimum of 20 hours per week and may take additional courses within their program of study on an audit basis at no extra charge.
Part-time students usually take 15 hours per week, depending on their immigration status. Some part-time students who live in Hawaii or who have certain types of visas may take more hours.
The minimum age for all programs of study is 16.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact Academia Language School directly if they have any questions.
Brief Program Descriptions
The Basic English Program (for beginners) is designed to help students develop communicative skills that are fundamental to engaging in simple but meaningful communication about everyday life. The Basic English Program curriculum provides students with opportunities to work on fundamentals, such as pronunciation, basic sentence structure, and the use of common words and phrases.
The English for Communication Program (for intermediates) is designed to help students develop a mastery of English sufficient to engaging in meaningful communication about most aspects of daily life. The English for Communication Program gives students opportunities to expand their knowledge of the idioms and slang that are indispensable to living and working in an English-speaking environment.
The English for Applied Purposes Program (for advanced students) is designed to help students develop a mastery of English sufficient to engaging in meaningful communication about all aspects of daily life as well as a variety of specialized topics. Students in this program concentrate on applying their English skills to future academic or professional ambitions.
Registration for all programs is conducted every Monday. In the event that a federal or state holiday falls on a Monday, registration is held the next business day. On the day of registration, students are administered diagnostic tests in grammar and interviews are conducted in order to determine appropriate program placement.
Upon completion of testing and interviews, the Director of Language Programs or Assistant Director of Language Programs assists students in finding coursework within their program of study appropriate to meeting their learning goals. Students have one week to try out recommended courses and select the ones that best fit their needs. Classes are offered at the following times throughout the day:
|Monday – Friday (full classes)|
|Monday – Friday (mini classes)|
*While Academia Language School provides opportunities for students to engage in avocational language studies, it is not a degree-granting institution.
General Description of Course Offerings
In order to complete a program of study, students must take required courses in conversation and grammar, which are determined at the time of placement, and a specified number of elective courses (i.e., courses other than conversation and grammar, which students can choose freely).
Academia offers the following conversation courses:
Beginning I, II, and III – In these courses, students acquire elementary skills in listening and speaking. Conversations are guided through the use of textbooks that introduce English expressions in the contexts of various everyday situations.
Intermediate I, II, and III – In these courses, students acquire more sophisticated skills in listening and speaking. Conversations continue to be guided through the use of textbooks that approach conversation on the basis of theme-oriented situations, but frequently conversations are allowed to stray from the textbooks as students demonstrate the ability to speak more naturally.
Advanced I, II, and III – In these courses, students acquire the high level listening and speaking skills that are required in more natural and spontaneous situations. Teachers teach vocabulary and idioms that seem appropriate to the needs of students as they encounter new or unfamiliar situations in the course of conversation.
Academia offers the following grammar courses:
Beginning I, II, and III – Generally speaking, students at the beginning level learn the parts of speech and their various functions as well as the basics of sentence structure. In beginning level courses, students focus on the use of the “be”-verb, verb tenses, nouns and pronouns, count and noncount nouns, modal auxiliaries, possessives, and expressions of comparison.
Intermediate I, II, and III – Students taking intermediate level courses broaden and increase their understanding of verb tenses, nouns and pronouns, modal auxiliaries, conjunctions, passive voice verbs, count and noncount nouns and particles, adjective clauses, gerunds and infinitives, noun clauses, and phrasal verbs.
Advanced I, II, and III – Students taking advanced level courses broaden and increase their understanding of perfect and perfect progressive verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, nouns and pronouns, modal auxiliaries, passive voice verbs (including stative passives used as adjectives), noun clauses, adjective clauses, gerunds and infinitives, coordinating conjunctions, adverb clauses, reduction of adverb clauses into adverbial phrases, connectives, and conditional structures.
All students at Academia Language School are encouraged to learn how to diagram sentences. Sentence diagrams visually depict the grammatical structures found in sentences. They demonstrate how every word in a given sentence is related to every other word in that sentence. Sentence diagramming, therefore, forces students to consider how words are used in relation to one another.
Sentence diagramming examples used at Academia Language School are taken from the “Diagramming Sentences” section of the Guide to Grammar and Writing website, sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation (found at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/diagrams2/diagrams_frames.htm) and from the “Sentences & Diagrams” section of the Grammar Revolution website (found at http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/).
Academia students also use the sentence diagramming information found at the following link.
Sentence Diagramming Book.
Academia offers vocabulary courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Vocabulary is taught through the use of textbooks that introduce words and expressions on the basis of their frequency of use. Beginning level courses stress words and expressions that are used with the highest degree of frequency, while intermediate and advanced courses focus on words and expressions that are used with decreasing degrees of frequency. Advanced vocabulary courses stress vocabulary that is essential for use in specialized areas of work and study, such as business and college or university settings. Students interested in increasing their vocabulary are also encouraged to take related idioms and slang courses (only offered at the intermediate and advanced levels) in order to increase their expressive potential.
Academia Language School has the only ESL program in Hawaii that offers courses devoted solely to pronunciation. There are two pronunciation courses—one that focuses on vowel sounds and the consonant “r” and another that focuses only on consonants. These courses are among the most popular offered at Academia and are open to students of all levels.
Integrated skills courses are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. At each level, two courses are taught—a Reading and Writing course and a Listening and Speaking course. While students are not required to take these courses in combination, many students choose to take them both so that, over the course of two hours, they can improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities.
Comprehensive English courses combine all four of the major language skills—reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These courses, which are topic-based, require students to use each of the major skills at an advanced level. Students demonstrate their reading and writing abilities by doing outside research on a given topic. They demonstrate their listening and speaking abilities by presenting their research orally and responding to questions from their classmates and teachers. Course themes change from term to term, but have included such topics as Pacific Island Cultures, Business English, U.S. History, and American Culture in Cinema. These classes are only available to advanced level students.
Academia Language School offers test prep courses in TOEIC and TOEFL for upper intermediate and advanced level students.
The TOEIC test (Test of English for International Communication) measures the ability of non-native English speakers to use English in everyday workplace activities. This test is popular with students who are hoping to find a job in an English-speaking work environment. Academia Language School is an official test site for the TOEIC test, making it easy for its students to prepare for the test and take it in a familiar location.
The TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is used by most U.S. colleges and universities in determining admissions for non-native speakers of English. As most colleges and universities prefer that students take the Internet-based version of the test, Academia’s TOEFL courses are Internet-based.
Please note that test prep courses for TOEIC and TOEFL can be taken to satisfy elective requirements for students in both the English for Communication (Intermediate) and the English for Applied Purposes (Advanced) programs of study.
Academia Language School’s Achievement Scale
Programs of study and level divisions at Academia Language School have been determined with a considerable degree of reference to Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) standards of achievement. Students placed in the Basic English Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 1 (also known as “Elementary Proficiency,” i.e., able to participate in casual conversations about daily habits, work, family, and common, routine matters) upon exit from the program. Students placed in the English for Communication Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 2 (also known as “Limited Working Proficiency,” i.e., able to participate effectively in most conversations regarding practical, social, and professional concerns) upon exit from the program. Finally, students placed in the English for Applied Purposes Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 3 (also known as “General Professional Proficiency,” i.e., able to speak with sufficient fluency, structural accuracy, and vocabulary to participate effectively in all conversations on practical, social, and professional topics) upon exit from the program.
Description of ILR Levels
The ILR level descriptors below describe proficiency levels according to the standards that are in common use by the U.S. Government. These descriptions are used in determining course placement and progression in ESL and World Languages courses at Academia Language School.
The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 1:
- able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements
- able to ask and answer questions on familiar topics within the scope of limited language experience
- able to understand simple questions and statements, allowing for slowed speech, repetition or paraphrasing
- in possession of a speaking vocabulary adequate to expressing elementary needs despite frequent errors in pronunciation and grammar
- can be understood by a native speaker used to dealing with foreigners attempting to speak the language
- able to inquire about meals, shelter or lodging; able to ask and give simple directions, make purchases, etc.
The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 2:
- able to satisfy routine social demands
- able to handle with confidence, but not with facility, most social situations including introductions and casual conversations about current events, as well as work, family, and autobiographical information
- able to handle limited work requirements, but need help in handling any complications or difficulties; able to get the gist of most conversations on non-technical subjects (i.e. topics which require no specialized knowledge); and in possession of a speaking vocabulary sufficient to conversing simply with some circumlocutions
- having an accent which, though often quite faulty, is intelligible
- usually able to handle elementary constructions quite accurately, but lacking thorough or confident control of grammar
The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 3:
- able to speak with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics
- able to discuss particular interests and special fields of competence with reasonable ease
- having comprehension which is quite complete for a normal rate of speech
- having a general vocabulary which is broad enough that he or she rarely has to grope for a word
- having an accent which may be obviously foreign but, nevertheless, easily understood
- having good control of grammar; errors virtually never interfere with understanding and rarely disturb the native speaker