Elective Courses

Intensive English Program

Electives, which include 4 hours per week of instruction, complement the IEP core courses, and provide students with the opportunity to focus on a specific skill or content area. Classes are multi-level. Students in Introductory, Basic 1, Basic 2, and Intermediate 1 enroll in the lower level elective courses. Those in Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Advanced 1, and Advanced 2 enroll in the upper level electives. Not all electives are offered each session.

Lower Level Electives

(Introductory, Basic 1, Basic 2, Intermediate 1)

Grammar Foundations

In this interactive course, students gain a strong foundation in English language grammar. Through structured exercises and fun activities, students improve their accuracy and fluency in writing and speaking.

Life Skills

In this course, students practice using English in practical situations through in class role-plays and outside of class field trips. Through practice listening to and speaking English, students work to improve their pronunciation and structure and expand their vocabulary. Students have the opportunity to go out into the community to practice speaking skills in real settings.

Pronunciation Foundations

Students work on English pronunciation errors that are common among second language speakers. They practice individual sounds, with emphasis on rhythm, stress, and intonation. Students also receive feedback on their comprehensibility from native speakers outside of the classroom.

Speak Out

In this beginner to low-intermediate course, students focus on gaining confidence and fluency in speaking English. Students practice using target pronunciation and grammar structures, and practice speaking English through a variety of interactive speaking-activities.

Sports & Nutrition

Students develop their English fluency in a fun and interactive way. They learn about healthy eating and fitness through videos, readings, and guest speakers. Students explore Boulder actively while learning new vocabulary related to fitness and health. They also play indoor and outdoor sports such as volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, basketball, hiking or cycling.

Vocabulary & Idioms

Students expand their vocabulary and learn strategies for understanding the meanings of new words. Using digital media, film, TV shows, songs and readings, students focus on comprehension, recognition, and the application of new words and phrases. They learn how to make their speech clearer, more varied, and more native-like.

Upper Level Electives

(Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Advanced 1, Advanced 2)

Academic Vocabulary

This course is designed for those preparing for university, graduate school, and standardized exams, such as the iBT TOEFL and IELTS. Students learn new academic vocabulary related to business, economics, psychology, the US education system, science, history, and more. Practice exercises are challenging and interactive, and provide students with strategies for enhancing their English reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Business English

In this course, students learn how to write and speak effectively in U.S. business situations. They practice writing clear, concise, accurate, and persuasive texts, emails, memos, and short reports. Students learn the art of "small talk." They also conduct short presentations, conference calls, and simulated meetings. Students gain confidence as they develop their abilities to target communication for managers, colleagues, direct reports, and clients. They learn how to communicate good, bad, and neutral news.

Communicating about Math

In this course, students learn how to communicate more effectively about math concepts, equations, and word problems. They review US and metric measurement systems, as well as U.S. mathematical notations (for example, when to use a decimal point vs. a comma). Students learn how to break down word problems in English and focus on relevant vocabulary. Sample math problems from the SAT, GRE, and GMAT exams will be included.

English for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

Students learn how to write and speak effectively in academic and professional STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) situations. They gain practice in writing clear, concise, accurate, and persuasive reports and informal proposals. Students improve their ability to describe, interpret, and analyze quantitative and visual data. They also gain confidence as they develop their abilities to target communication for classmates, professors, prospective employers, and other STEM-related stakeholders.

English through Video Presentation

This course provides instruction and practice in pronunciation, listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills as students create screenplays and short videos in English. Students create and practice short dialogues, watch short clips of films to analyze diction, setting, and tone, and work together in groups to create original storyboards and short scripts to perform on video. The course provides practice with pronunciation and opportunities for students to learn and use vocabulary related to film or their video project. It also includes opportunities for impromptu, informal, and/or formal presentations.

Grammar

In this higher-level grammar course, students learn more complex forms and structures to help them create more sophisticated, nuanced, and effective written and oral communication. Students also have an opportunity to practice their editing skills in order to write more like a native speaker of English.

Life Skills

In this course, students use English to explore a variety of social and cultural topics. Students learn conversation strategies and appropriate social and academic vocabulary to discuss and respond to these topics. Students have the opportunity to go into the community to practice using English in real, practical situations such as visiting a courthouse, senior citizen center, or high school.

Pronunciation

In this higher-level pronunciation course, students polish their English speaking skills by doing short presentations, oral readings, and impromptu speech activities. In addition to practicing rhythm, stress, and intonation, students focus on articulation and vocal projection.

Sports & Nutrition

Students develop their English fluency in a fun and interactive way. They learn about healthy eating and fitness through videos, readings, and guest speakers. Students explore Boulder actively while learning new vocabulary related to fitness and health. They also play indoor and outdoor sports such as volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, basketball, hiking or cycling.

Test Preparation

This course provides students with strategies and test-taking practice for the iBT TOEFL and IELTS exams. Practice includes reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills for these components of the tests. Special emphasis is placed on writing about graphs and charts as well as on writing an essay under timed conditions. In this course, students have the opportunity to take actual TOEFL and IELTS exams, and increase their academic vocabulary.

Test Prep Rotation

Spring 1 2018: IELTS
Spring 2 2018: TOEFL/IELTS

 

U.S. History and Culture

In this course, students improve their English skills by learning about periods in the history and culture of the United States through songs, TV shows, movies, and readings. Students develop content-based vocabulary, read and write about cultural events and changes throughout U.S. history, and learn about important cultural references such as famous music and movies.

Volunteering

In this course, students develop their English language proficiency through service-learning projects in the community. Students learn new vocabulary related to volunteerism and service learning. They have the opportunity to go into the community to practice English. Students volunteer at University of Colorado Boulder events and at local organizations that serve both the local and global community.