The CIEP offers courses in three skill areas:
- Listening/Speaking (50 mins daily)
- Writing (100 mins daily)
- Reading (50 mins daily)
Listening/Speaking courses prepare students to use everyday and academic English so they are comfortable in both the community and university classrooms.
- In the beginning level classes, students focus on sound-symbol correlation, expanding vocabulary, spelling patterns for sounds, and correct use of tenses in spoken discourse.
- Then in intermediate levels the focus is on learning to receive, understand, organize and retrieve information. Students also work to organize and expand their spoken discourse with transitions.
- Finally, in the advanced levels students focus on taking accurate lecture notes and making longer presentations. In all levels, students are encouraged to ask questions and share their opinions and experiences as they interact with material about American culture.
Writing courses use a communicative approach to help students practice, study, and review grammatical structures by offering opportunities for use both inside and outside of class. Instruction focuses on practicing recognition and production of structures by using structures learned in class and applying them to writing class assignments. These courses prepare students to plan, write, and revise their own compositions following the standards of academic English.
- In the beginning levels, students learn to build simple sentences using a variety of verb tenses, word forms, capitalization, and punctuation rules. Students will write about everyday topics while practicing sentence structures.
- In the intermediate levels, students build complex and compound sentences, expand their knowledge of verb tenses, and work with clauses-level grammar. Students write weekly journals and work on paragraph development.
- Finally, advanced level students master complex and compound sentences, learning such structures as conditionals and modifying phrases. Students learn to write compositions in various academic styles (narration, classification, process, etc.). In the highest level, students research, write, and present a pre-selected topic in proper academic style.
These courses prepare students to understand and interact with a variety of writing styles and texts which increase in complexity and length as students advance through the program. Students in all levels work to increase vocabulary and learn strategies for understanding word meanings, understanding construction of sentences, and processing and analyzing texts for better comprehension. As students progress through the levels and work with more challenging texts, the goal remains to increase comprehension and reading speed.
- In the beginning levels, students work to understand parts of speech, sentence construction, dialogs, and dictionary usage.
- Later, in intermediate levels, students use strategies like skimming, surveying, previewing and identifying main and supporting ideas in texts. Also, intermediate level students draw conclusions, inference, and analyze syntactic structures.
- Finally, in the highest level, students summarize and gloss texts in order to identify key concepts, take notes, and prepare for essay exams.
CIEP may offer elective courses each session to help students practice their English skills outside the classroom. Elective courses vary by session and each course may not be available each session.
Reading Safari meets each week in the UNI library and focuses on improving Reading skills. Reading Safari members choose the reading topic and CIEP staff members are available to guide students in learning vocabulary and understanding American culture.
Video conferences give students the opportunity to practice their English speaking skills with students from all over the globe. In the past, CIEP students have had the opportunity to participate in cultural exchanges with students at universities in Brazil and Turkey.
Pronunciation classes often meet twice a week for one hour and focus on the specific needs of the students. Students who choose to enroll in the pronunciation class will have access to additional resources and opportunities to perfect their English speaking skills.