American English for International Students

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American English Program for International Students

Apply NowImprove your ability to speak, read and understand American English by enrolling in California University of Pennsylvania’s American English Program.

Students from countries around the world enrolled in the American English Program on Cal U’s campus are afforded opportunities to engage in college life and learn about American culture.  In fact, engaging in American university life as a student and experiencing a taste of Americana are “built-in” aspects of the program. 

The American English Program is a 15-week continuing education (non-credit/non-degree) that can improve a student’s American English language skills:

  • As a prerequisite for admission to a Cal U bachelor’s or master’s degree program.
  • As a prerequisite for admission to educational programs at any English-speaking school.
  • In preparation for work or other endeavors requiring knowledge of the English language.

About the American English Program

This full-time language preparation program is held on the Cal U campus, located in a small Pennsylvania town just an hour’s drive from the city of Pittsburgh. 

Classes meet for 20 hours each week. In-person instruction includes four language courses and one culture course:

  • American English Grammar (4 hours per week)
  • Conversation in American English (4 hours per week)
  • Reading in American Context (4 hours per week)
  • Writing in American English (4 hours per week)
  • Either Culture and Community Connections or an English elective focused on a specific topic, such as business, sports, math and technology, social sciences and arts, or health and science. Choices will rotate during the year. (4 hours per week) 

This language preparation program is focused on skills; it is not offered for college credit. Cal U welcomes you to this program as a continuing education student, not a degree-seeking student.

Why Learn American English at Cal U?

  • Experience college life on a beautiful, friendly campus in a small American town.
  • Improve your American English language skills in reading, writing and conversation.
  • Learn in a small class of 15-20 students.
  • Study with experienced professors who care about your success.
  • Meet with staff in Cal U’s Office of International Programming, who can help with immigration/ visa, academic, social and acculturation issues. 

Tuition

Costs for the 15-week American English language program:

  • Tuition:            $3,500
  • Fees:               $1,953
  • Room:             $3,499 (on-campus housing)
  • Board:             $1,797

Apply now

For more information, contact Bessy Bennellick, director of International Programming, at international@calu.edu or 724-938-5217. 

Learning Objectives

What can you learn?

The American English language program at California University of Pennsylvania helps international students develop skills in written and oral communication. The program is especially valuable for students who wish to enroll in a university-level degree program.

Students develop these skills in reading and writing:

  • Acquire the reading and writing skills necessary to succeed in reading- and writing-related for-credit courses at the college level.
  • Develop comprehension of authentic reading passages (up to a few pages in length) that contain unfamiliar and specialized words, using strategies such as word analysis, inference and restatement.
  • Differentiate among facts, opinions, assumptions and inferences in reading and writing. 
  • Develop the ability to draw valid conclusions from a variety of reading tasks.
  • Utilize their knowledge of academic forms and functions of language to read academic texts.
  • Learn to use academic text structures and features to read texts.
  • Utilize their knowledge of academic forms and functions of language to write academically.
  • Compose short- to medium-length reading passages (and multiple pages of simple text) on common, high-interest topics using prior knowledge, knowledge of word parts and parts of speech, and other strategies.
  • Scrutinize multiple drafts or written work for clarity, descriptiveness, sentence structure, grammar and English writing conventions.
  • Identify the appropriate grammatical structure(s) to use when given an academic writing assignment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to choose the appropriate reading or writing strategy given a task to complete.

Students develop these skills in speaking and listening:

  • Acquire the English listening and speaking skills necessary to succeed in college-level credit courses.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of authentic ideas delivered in academic lectures that contain unfamiliar and specialized words, using strategies such as word analysis, inference and restatement.
  • Differentiate among facts, opinions, assumptions and inferences while listening and speaking
  • Demonstrate the ability to draw valid conclusions from a variety of listening and speaking tasks.
  • Utilize their knowledge of academic forms and functions of language to present information orally.
  • Develop and ask questions appropriate to a given listening context.
  • Identify the appropriate grammatical structure(s) to use when given an academic speaking assignment.
  • Develop the ability to respond appropriately to the speech of multiple speakers.
  • Paraphrase the ideas of classroom lessons and turn them into coherent and well developed notes
  • Comprehend and discuss ideas delivered through various media.

Skills Assessments

Students’ language skills will be demonstrated and evaluated through:

  • Performance assessment tasks.
  • Class participation.
  • Oral presentations.
  • Directed responses.
  • Written assignments and papers.
  • Exams and/or quizzes.
  • Individual projects.
  • Group projects.
  • Workshops.
  • Journal writing and/or oral reflections.