The American Language program is at its core a communications-based program. As a result, our speaking and listening courses provide real-life, meaningful communication practice. At all levels, students will develop their ability to participate in everyday conversation. In Addition, they will learn to voice their opinions clearly and precisely on a variety of topics. At the more advanced level students are prepared for the rigors of college-level lectures and discussions. Learning, using, and retaining new vocabulary is a major component of these courses.
In conjunction with speaking and listening, the reading and writing course is the other strong component of the American Language program. From beginner to advanced, students are engaged with an eclectic mix of reading materials from the news, feature articles and authentic literature. This academically-focused course systemically develops a student’s vocabulary and reading strategies. Through a variety of writing activities appropriate to each level, students become familiar with the fundamentals of written English. Students will move from simple prose to more linguistically sophisticated and complex discourse.
Using appropriate and accurate grammar is viewed as an absolute necessity to complete proficiency in English. The ALC believes that grammar cannot be successfully internalized in isolation from oral and written communications, and we recognize the inseparable relationship between the form, meaning and usage of grammatical structures. Blending communicative and interactive teaching approaches, the ALC program offers concise and accurate level-appropriate grammar instruction. By focusing on English grammar in context, students at every level learn more, remember more, and use the English language more effectively. At each level students are assessed to identify strengths and weaknesses, allowing instructors to customize a learning plan for each student.
Pronunciation is an integral part of the ALC program at all levels. Good pronunciation skills lead to improved speaking and listening skills. Instructors work rigorously with students to show the correct rhythm, stress and intonation of each word and sentence. Through the mastery of good pronunciation, students are able to strive for a more native-sounding “American accent." Students are individually assessed for pronunciation and strategies are developed to overcome any difficulties. Songs, poetry, play-acting and presentations are all used to practice and learn correct pronunciations.
In addition to improving their English language skills, students learn about different aspects of American society through texts, movies, music and news broadcast. Students are also immersed in American culture in their daily lives around the college and in New York City.