Learning Environment

  • State-of-the-art ESL classroom featuring 9 HP computers, 2 42-inch smart TVs, 1 65-inch smart TV, a projection system, and surround-sound speaker system.
  • Tables and chairs are arranged to promote dialogue and discussion among peers to maximize speaking and listening opportunities.
  • Reading Corner – area of the classroom that offers learners with recommendations of various reading materials for increasing vocabulary, phrases, idioms, and developing reading comprehension skills.
  • Opportunities Corner – area of the classroom that offers learners a variety of activities on campus and in the community that provide learners with an opportunity to practice their English language skills and learn American culture.
  • Smart TVs provide learners with an opportunity to practice presenting their PowerPoint presentations, practice research skills on the Internet with their peers, peer review written assignments in groups, research current affairs to generate topics for discussion, and practice listening skills by listening to current local, national, and global news stories.
  • Video Recording System – Learners will be able to record their presentations so that they will be able to review and reflect on their strengths and learn from identified weaknesses.
  • Active Design – the learning environment has been designed to be learner-centered and engaging. Learners should be prepared to speak, present, discuss, debate, and engage with classmates extensively.
  • Mistakes OKAY! – Learners will be encouraged to take risks with their language production and will be reminded on a regular basis that mistakes are okay and part of the learning process to becoming a proficient user of the English language.

Learning Materials

  • Curriculum – all learning materials align with the targeted educational goals and expected learner-achievements as stated in the curriculum that has been specifically designed to maximize learners' progress toward proficiency in academic English skill sets.
  • Course textbooks come from the leading professional publishers in the English as a second language field. The two primary publishers used in the IC-ESL Program are Pearson and McGraw Hill. Both publishers provide online learning management systems that IC-ESL Program learners will have access to throughout the program.
  • Variety – Learners will be presented with a wide variety of learning materials from the latest published ESL textbooks to multimedia (DVDs, music, recorded interviews) to real-world materials (newspapers, magazines, government/business documents) to real-world environments (excursions to local museums, parks, historical locations, business establishments, and of course to the Big Apple – NEW YORK CITY!).
  • Guest speakers – Learners will have numerous opportunities to listen to native-English speakers as well as fellow second-language speakers. Speakers will be Iona College students, faculty members, staff, and representatives from campus clubs and organizations. During these sessions, learners will be able to practice asking questions and listening to responses.
  • Handouts – Learners will receive handouts designed to target specific grammar patterns providing the learners opportunities to practice while learning academic English vocabulary and phrases at the same time.

Learning Activities

  • Learner centered – all learning activities are learner-centered designed. Learners will always be the focus and will always be active during lessons.
  • Peer and group work – almost all activities will be peer and group focused. Learning how to work in small groups not only promotes English language proficiency but also replicates real-world college classrooms. Learners will be expected to actively participate in discussions, debates, presentations (as an active audience member), and other in-class assignments.
  • Speeches and presentations – learners will have numerous opportunities to speak in front of their classmates and practice developing and presenting presentations (PowerPoint skills will also be taught if the learner does not already possess them).
  • Role-plays – learners will not simply repeat after their instructor but rather immerse themselves in the English language by putting the targeted vocabulary, phrases, and grammar structures into practice in situational-based role-plays.

Assessment of Progress

  • Learners’ initial assessment will be the TOEFL IPT.
  • Learners will be assessed in class using written and spoken forms of quizzes, exams, presentations, and interviews.
  • Assignments will be evaluated for accuracy, clarity, and level for the purpose of assessing progress in the learners' academic English proficiency.
  • Online speaking, listening, reading, and writing assignments will be assessed to measure progress in the learners’ academic English language proficiency.
  • TOEFL IPT will be used as the final assessment for the measurement of learners' academic English language proficiency.
  • Learners will be encouraged to take the TOEFL iBT.