Our English class semesters are one month per level, with a minimum of 3 hours of class per day (more hours are available). At the end of each semester, students will receive a Certificate of Completion, and a re-assessment of their level. There are 14 main levels in our ESL program, but more advanced students also have the option of taking specific ESL courses such as Literature Studies, English for Academic Purposes, and Business Communication, depending on their future educational or professional goals.
LANGUAGE COURSES OFFERED AT DUKE ACADEMY:
Course Description – ESL 1
Absolute Beginner 1
This course is designed mainly for those with no experience of the English language, and who cannot communicate even the most basic of needs or requests. By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate on a basic level about personal information, and ask for assistance in a variety of situations.
Course Description – ESL 2
Absolute Beginner 2
In this course students will move beyond the basic phrases and begin to learn basic grammar rules. Students will work on increasing their vocabulary to a more useful size, and categorizing the words they know into parts of speech. Students will also practice making whole sentences. Finally students will study phonics to improve pronunciation of new and unfamiliar words and phrases.
By the end of this course, students will understand the basic terminology for grammar, vocabulary, and sentence creation. Students will also be able to pronounce basic words and sounds.
Course Description – ESL 3
This course builds on students’ previous education and language knowledge to introduce the English language and help them adjust to their new cultural environment. Students develop the ability to use oral and written English for daily needs, acquire basic conversation skills and vocabulary, and use simple sentence patterns. Students also acquire basic orientation information related to their needs as newcomers to Canada.
By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate orally and in writing on a variety of cultural topics, both about Canada, and about their home country. Students will be able to recite basic facts about Canada, and present their knowledge in a formal (if simple) manner.
Course Description – ESL 4
This course extends students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English for everyday and academic purposes. Students will participate in conversations in structured situations on a variety of familiar and new topics; read a variety of texts designed or adapted for English language learners; expand their knowledge of English grammatical structures and sentence patterns; and begin to link English sentences to compose paragraphs. The course also supports students’ continuing adaptation to their new country of residence by expanding their knowledge of diversity in their province and country.
By the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a consistently broadening vocabulary. Students will be able to talk about the past, present, and future effectively, organize information relating to a central idea in a short paragraphs, and present ideas and information orally for academic purposes in structured situations.
Course Description – ESL 5
The last beginner course continues to develop students’ abilities to discuss day to day life and activities. Students will study practical vocabulary for daily use, and discuss topics relevant to life in Toronto. Students will also research and discuss practical matters such as getting around the city, ordering food, asking for directions, etc.
By the end of this course, students will be fluent in speaking about themselves, their day to day lives, and where they live. They will identify specific features of adapted texts and use them to locate and extract information. Students will also be able to create compound sentences and questions.
Course Description – ESL 6
This first intermediate course will introduce some broader topics, outside of the day to day realm, but still relevant and practical. Students will begin to develop a broader vocabulary, focused on more advanced and complex topics. Students will begin as well to focus on more academic, and less casual, listening and writing. Students will begin to explore how to organize ideas coherently, and the various methods of academic writing; note-taking, summary, opinion, and argument.
By the end of this course, students will be able to present ideas and information for academic purposes, while beginning to understand literary and stylistic elements. Students will begin to develop formal research skills, being able to locate, organize, and source materials.
Course Description – ESL 7
Ecology will be used as a vehicle for English language development and as a step in preparing students for study in other academic courses. Students will be introduced to a new range of vocabulary and determine the meanings of unfamiliar words using pictures and short structured compositions. Students will be challenged to express their viewpoints on ethical and economic issues regarding what is to be done to protect the world’s environment in the future.
By the end of this course, students will be able to organize ideas into linked paragraphs, using connecting devices and transition words. Students will develop a broader understanding of texts, both traditional and media based, that provide information to the reader.
Course Description – ESL 8
This course further extends students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will make short classroom oral presentations; read a variety of adapted and original texts in English; and write using a variety of text forms. As well, students will expand their academic vocabulary and their study skills. This course also introduces students to the rights and responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship, and to a variety of current Canadian issues.
By the end of this course, students will be able to present a topic orally in a formal manner, but on familiar topics, including an introduction, question and answer exchange, and conclusion. Students will identify text features, including tables of contents, connecting devices, and grammatical structures. Students will continue to develop their vocabulary using word recognition strategies, and a variety of resources.
Course Description – ESL 9
This last intermediate level course brings together skills and content from the intermediate courses. Students will begin to express more complex ideas, and use their own experiences, combined with reading and research, to address more academic topics. Students will also begin to address critical thinking, and expressing opinions and arguments clearly and accurately, both orally and in writing.
By the end of this course, students will be able to identify sources of information and evaluate them for reliability and point of view. Students will begin to write more complex texts, for personal, workplace, and academic purposes. Students will be able to identify and follow the writing process, including creating drafts, editing and revising, and publishing.
Course Description – ESL 10
This advanced course will begin to challenge students academically, not only with regards to language, but also to applying their language skills to critical thinking and cultural topics. This course will expose students to a range of topics, and different media forms, to prepare them for the varied academic rigours of post-secondary education.
By the end of this course, students will demonstrate understanding of more complex spoken English on a variety of topics in interactive situations. They will be able to identify literary elements and explain how they help convey meaning. They will think critically about society and culture, particularly focusing on power and oppression, and the relationship of power and language.
Course Description – ESL 11
This course provides students with skills and strategies that will allow them to continue their education successfully and pursue pathways to employment that may involve apprenticeship and/or cooperative education programs. Students will develop greater independence in reading and writing, as well as in interpreting media texts, use a range of media and community resources, and communicate both orally and in writing on a variety of topics. This course also expands the critical thinking skills students will need in order to contribute to Canadian society as informed citizens.
By the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate their understanding that different media texts may reflect different points of view, and why particular perspectives are presented, and will create media texts for specific purposes and audiences. Students will also be able to write in a variety of forms for different purposes, accurately identifying the most appropriate form for a given situation.
Course Description – ESL 12
The final advanced course acts as a transition from language study (ESL) into the academic study of language. Students will be exposed to artistic uses of language, including word play, and rule breaking for artistic purposes. This course will focus primarily on analyzing language at a specific level, involving close reading and the use of literary and stylistic devices. The writing will include a small amount of creative writing, but focus mostly on essay writing, bringing earlier linked paragraph work into focus.
By the end of this course, students will be able to analyse texts in a range of genres, including essays, short stories, novels, poems, and drama, to identify literary elements and explain their effect on the reader. Students will respond to complex texts in a variety of ways, particularly focused on essays and reports.
Course Description – ESL 13
Advanced – Business Communication
This course develops transferable communication skills required for both academic and professional success: writing, reading, speaking, presenting, listening and visual literacy. Course work provides opportunities the student to read, analyze and practice a variety of structures and formats. This course teaches student how to solve communication situations by analyzing the intended audience, determining purpose and then applying appropriate business communication formats, including letters, memos and presentations. Practice individual and team communication skills and gain the knowledge necessary for communication success in both face-to-face and on-line format.
By the end of this course, students will be able to communicate appropriately for business purposes, and be able to write professionally in a variety of contexts. Students will understand that business communication includes: writing emails and reports, speaking face to face or over the phone, or delivering oral presentations. Students will also recognize how effective business communication saves time and reduces workload.
Course Description – ESL 14
Advanced – Novel Study
This course will focus on reading and thoroughly analyzing one long work, with short works (poetry, stories, etc…) acting as a supplement to understanding the major work. Students will apply their literary analysis skills to the novel, exploring cultural connections and implications. The course will also address the writing process, and allow for practice in essay writing, academic argumentation, and creative writing.
By the end of this course, students will be able to make and explain inferences of increasing subtlety about texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, supporting their explanations with well-chosen stated and implied ideas from the texts. Students will generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience, draft and revise their writing, using a variety of literary, informational, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience, and use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.