Reading (3 hrs.)
This course will build strategies for improving reading speed and comprehension, while improving the students' vocabulary.
Grammar (3 hrs.)
This course will focus on the structure of American English as it is used for reading, writing, and speaking, especially in an academic context.
Listening & Speaking (3 hrs.)
This course will improve listening and speaking skills for academic purposes, including listening to lectures and taking notes, giving oral presentations, and participating in group discussions.
Writing (3 hrs.)
This course will focus on several types of academic writing: journal writing, summary writing, essay writing, and scholarly reports or research papers.
American Culture (3 hrs.)
This course is an introduction to the basic characteristics of American culture: its government/politics, education, economics, family lifestyles, ethnic diversity, historical background, basic values and beliefs, so students can put what they know into perspective, gain insight into why Americans are the way they are, and achieve a better understanding of U.S. society. The coursework for this class includes regular field trips to various locations around the City of Des Moines.
Academic Language Preparation (3 hrs.)
This course is designed to sharpen communication skills in academic or business settings. It includes training and practice in preparing and giving oral presentations, writing business letters and reports, leading as well as participating in discussions and group projects.
The ALP course is flexible and its emphasis is determined by the major fields of study of its class members. For example, at least once a year the emphasis is business because the class is composed mainly of undergraduate and graduate business majors, or the focus could be journalism, social studies, agriculture, or some other field. It could also include additional training in research methods, documentation, and writing theses, depending upon the needs of the class members.
TOEFL Preparation (3 hrs.)
This course will prepare students for taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is required at many U.S. institutions in order to take academic programs. It will use exercises and practice tests, and will focus on developing the students' test-taking skills.