For those who wish to become competent in the English language in order to confidently live and work in the United States, there are numerous English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available. These programs are designed to give the student, regardless of his or her age, a competent grasp of English that will allow him or her to feel comfortable interacting in English-speaking social and professional settings.
How Do I Begin an ESL Program?
For people in the Miami area looking to gain and improve their English language skills, Florida National University (FNU) offers several ESL Certificate Programs at varying skill levels. Before starting any program, each student takes a placement test that covers English vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. This text provides the student and his or her admissions advisor with a general measure of that student’s current skill level in the English language. Using the results of that placement test, an admissions counselor will advise the student about which level is best suited to his or her ability level and which course will likely be the most beneficial for the student.
ESL Programs: A Core Component of FNU’s Mission
The purpose of Florida National University is to “contribute to the education of a population of diverse, presently predominantly Hispanic, cultures”. The University realizes this mission through the employment and development of a faculty of scholars who are proficient in the art of teaching. The University strives to prepare the students for employment in their chosen career or advanced studies through the acquisition of the required skills and knowledge needed for the successful completion of the program of studies.
Florida National University strives to provide the educational facilities and resources that support intensive sessions of study in small classes, in order to foster in the student the attainment of a quality university education according to the student’s personal goals, and the advancement of modern technology.
Furthermore, Florida National University provides educational and cultural programs intended to enrich the community it serves.
In no area of study is this truer than in our ESL programs. Indeed, as an institution of higher learning that understands the needs of students from immigrant backgrounds and families that do not speak English at home, FNU particularly welcomes non-native speakers of English into its student body and offers educational and cultural programs intended to enrich the community it serves. Aware of the importance of the ability to speak and understand the English language has on socioeconomic and professional success, FNU offers ESL Certificate programs from basic to advanced levels.
English as a Second Language – Basic Level Certificate Program
The ESL Basic Level Certificate Program is primarily designed to help students acquire conversational ability and basic functional skills in the English language. The program provides training in all four language areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Before the student starts the program, an English Placement Test is given. FNU awards a certificate upon completion of the program. However, this program does not earn college credit.
Graduation Requirements include a minimum of 18 credit hours, with the following breakdown:
- ESL 001: Basic Speaking, Reading & Writing Skills I-II – 4.5 Credit Hours
- ESL 002: Basic Speaking, Reading & Writing Skills III-IV – 4.5 Credit Hours
- ESL 003: English Structural Patterns I-II – 4.5 Credit Hours
- ESL 004: English Structural Patterns III-IV – 4.5 Credit Hours
In order to gain admission to this level, the student’s placement test scores need to put him or her within the general competency level appropriate to the basic level. Upon completing the eight-month program, the student will be awarded a certificate of proficiency according to the level he or she has achieved – in this case, the ESL Basic Level.
English as a Second Language – Intermediate Level Certificate Program
The ESL Intermediate Level Certificate Program is designed for students who have achieved basic functional skills in the English language, and who wish to build upon those skills with further language study. The intermediate program provides training in the following core capacity areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
One added advantage of this program is its flexibility: courses offered in this program have no assigned sequence. Therefore, a student can take the required courses in any order he or she wishes. The prerequisite for this course is either the ESL 004 course or having scored beyond Level 4 in the placement test.
Graduation requirements for the Intermediate Level are a minimum of 18 credits and include the following required courses:
- ESL 005 – English Structural Patterns, Part I – 4.5 Credit Hours
- ESL 008 – Reading and Writing about Relevant Everyday Topics I – 4.5 Credits
- ESL 009 – Listening and Discussion for Advanced Students – 4.5 Credits
- ESL 011 – Composition for Social Use – 4.5 Credits
- ESL 014 – Authentic English in Context for Conversation – 4.5 Credits
- ESL 015 – Conversation for Everyday Living – 4.5 Credits
As with the ESL Basic Level, the student is assigned into the Intermediate Level program on the basis of a placement test. At the completion of an eight-month program, the student will be awarded a certificate of proficiency according to the level achieved – in this case, the Intermediate Level. At this point in their studies, ESL students who have demonstrated their proficiency by completing the Intermediate Level may be encouraged to take a diagnostic test for entry into a career program.
English as a Second Language – High Intermediate Level Certificate Program
The ESL High Intermediate Level Certificate Program is designed for students who have already acquired an intermediate ESL command. Its purpose is to provide students with opportunities to enlarge their vocabulary and manage more complex grammatical structures, as well as develop communication strategies that will be useful in more formal linguistic contexts, which demand more efficient language management. This program provides students with expanded training in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Like the Intermediate Level, the courses offered in the High Intermediate program have no assigned sequence. They afford the student flexibility, as they can be taken in any order he or she wishes. The prerequisite for this course is successful achievement of the ESL Intermediate Level.
Graduation requirements for the High Intermediate Level are a minimum of 18 credits and include the following required courses:
- ESL 021 – English Structural Patterns – Part II – 4.5 credits
- ESL 022 – Public Speaking Techniques – 4.5 credits
- ESL 023 – Listening and Discussion for Advanced Students II – 4.5 credits
- ESL 024 – Composition for Social Use – 4.5 credits
- ESL 026 – Reading and Speaking about Real-Life Stories – 4.5 credits
Just as with the previous levels, the student is placed in the course on the basis of a placement test, and a certificate of proficiency is awarded at the completion of the eight-month program.
English Proficiency – the Key to a Brighter Future
Improve your English proficiency today with an ESL Certificate Program at FNU. Let this be your pathway to a brighter future, expanded job prospects, and a higher earning potential – contact an FNU advisor today!