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Hours of operation

Mon-Fri 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Sat - 9:00AM-12:00M
Sundays by appointment only!

About Program

The General English Program is designed for English learners who need to use English to interact with English speakers on an everyday basis, whether they live in the United States or in other countries. The program teaches accurate English grammar for conversation, listening and speaking skills for daily life, and reading and writing skills for social and employment purposes. It is an English for life and work program.

Instruction at the beginning levels focuses on basic survival language skills for learners new to an English-speaking environment or to interactions with English-speaking colleagues. Knowledge of English grammar and listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are improved and further developed at higher levels so they can be applied and used in more and different kinds of situations. At the highest levels, students learn to apply their ever-increasing knowledge and skills in more diverse and work-oriented types of contexts.

Finally, when students complete the General English Program, students are ready to pursue English study in a particular employment area if they wish to do so.

GEP Overview

  • Method of Instruction: On Campus or Online
  • Prerequisites: Placement Test
  • Level Categories: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Est. Completion Date: 12-14 months from the start of the program
  • Certificate: Completion certificate provided at end of program
  • Duration per Level: 9 weeks per level section/6 hours per week
  • Program Completion Requirements: Completion of GEP Advanced Level
  • Total number of units: 7 levels (units)
  • Enrollment: Open enrollment throughout the session
  • Course Schedule: Morning, Afternoon, or Evening hours available

Beginning Levels

Instruction at this level focuses on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs. Classroom activities include paired interactions, role-plays, and simple real-life problem-solving activities involving teamwork. The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are taught in an integrated fashion that mirrors their use in social and work contexts. Students learn functional language in order to carry out real-world tasks relevant to their daily life.

Introduction to English

Students learn to engage in very basic listening and speaking tasks they will encounter in daily life, such as understanding and answering questions about their address, nationality, marital status, date of birth, and daily schedule and activities. They also begin to ask and answer questions about the weather, clothing, food preferences, meals, prices, locations, means of transportation, types of housing, illnesses and types of medications and healthy habits. Students learn to read and write what they are able to comprehend and say.

Beginner

In this level, students expand their vocabulary dramatically through exposure to rich, meaningful language used in real world contexts. Students begin to use their new language creatively and no longer have to rely only on memorized phrases. Students improve their knowledge and ability to use the basics of word order and sentence structure to create their own sentences and questions. With their new knowledge of vocabulary and sentence structure, students are able to share more detailed information about themselves, their family relationships, and other people in their lives. They are also able to engage in transactions in a wider range of situations and function more independently in commercial and social situations.

High Beginner

At the third level of their English study, students expand their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge in ways that allow them to comprehend and express more detailed, elaborated messages. Students are able to use their new language creatively and construct their own messages. They have a good grasp of affirmative and negative word order and a better ability to use interrogative structures. They are able to participate in more extended conversations about their family and their daily lives.  Students are also able to engage in a wide variety of transactional situations, find the information they need, and interact independently so they can carry out the functional tasks of everyday life. Students learn to read short articles on familiar topics. They are able to fill out a variety of forms and applications and send longer, personal email and written letters. They begin to learn language related to job skills and personal habits.

At the intermediate levels, students continue to expand their knowledge and ability to use a wide variety of vocabulary and grammar so that they can express themselves with more precision and elaboration than at lower levels. Instruction no longer focuses on the here-and-now and on students’ immediate surroundings and needs, but on their past, present, and future experience of the world. Students can now speak at length about past experiences and events, make plans for the future, discuss obstacles to these plans, and develop possible solutions. Classroom activities continue to include paired interactions, role-plays and more involved simulations. Problem-solving activities at this level involve the use of all four language skills, critical thinking, and a jigsaw organization which forces students to rely on each other, like people do in the workplace or in the community. Out of class learning experiences begin to involve students in situations where they need to demonstrate their knowledge of cultural values and norms of appropriate interactions.

Low Intermediate

Students learn to compare and contrast information presented in charts, graphs, diagrams and short readings in order to make choices. They participate in extended conversations about their daily lives as equal participants and begin to use their language to engage in common communicative functions, such as thanking, apologizing, inviting, agreeing and disagreeing, making suggestions, and giving advice. Students also learn the skills necessary for participating in more formal types of oral interactions, such as a job or college interview and practice these skills during simulations.

Intermediate

Students learn and practice strategies for guessing word meaning from context while reading and listening to authentic real-world texts. Students practice reading texts such as workplace manuals, instructions for completing various kinds of real-world or work-related tasks, and newsletters and bulletins from organizations in the community. Students practice filling out increasingly complex applications, such as applications for loans, writing formal business letters, such as cover letters or letters of complaint, and providing the necessary supporting documents. In addition, students also learn how to produce connected oral discourse by giving short oral presentations as part of a team. Finally, in the area of functional life skills, student become familiar with basic elements of American life, such as making goals for the future, managing one’s time and personal finances, applying for credit cards and loans in order to pay for major purchases such as a car, a house, or tuition, and volunteering in one’s community to make it a better place to live.

High Intermediate

At the sixth level of their English study, students receive an in-depth introduction to the work place and to work-life connections. They will first be introduced to the process of getting hired, and will learn strategies for how to read job postings, identify the skills and characteristics needed for certain job categories and the job responsibilities, conduct a job search, fill-out a job application, write a resume, an e-mail cover letter and follow-up e-mails, and prepare for a job interview. The course focuses next on workplace behavior, including appropriate actions, appropriate communication with supervisors and fellow employees, making ethical decisions, and asking for a promotion or a salary increase. Students learn about health issues that may arise because of work conditions or work-related stress, where and how to seek help, and how to apply for health and dental insurance coverage. The course also presents information about civic rights and responsibilities, such as following the law, accessing local services, interpreting the electoral process, and communicating with local officials.

Advanced Level

The final course of the General English Program provides students with the kinds of information they will need in order to function successfully and comfortably in the worlds of community, home, education, and work. One of the key areas addressed in this course involves students in discovering their individual learning styles and finding ways to connect these learning styles to their career and educational paths. Another key area addressed in the course is personal finance, which involves tips on organizing finances, reducing debt and saving money, identifying good investment strategies, maintaining good credit and protecting themselves against identity theft. The third key area relates to the workplace and ideas for creating an efficient and pleasant work environment and atmosphere. Students are introduced to the concept of conflict resolution and how conflicts in the workplace are handled in the United States and role-play these types of scenarios. The final key area addresses the democratic values which underlie American society and how they affect community life. Students study and discuss the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, pathways to immigration and citizenship, the benefits of involvement with civic organizations, and what politics and elections are. Because so much of the content of the course is concerned with real-world issues, the students will spend much of their class time together outside the classroom, observing, discussing, and evaluating what they have seen. In the classroom, they continue to improve their functional abilities in English and review and practice the strategies they have acquired throughout the program that will help be life-long learners of English.

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