IEC Program Introduction


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Intensive English for Communication Program Introduction

IEC StudentsWelcome to the Intensive English for Communication program (IEC). We are happy you have chosen to study in this program, and hope you find the classes interesting and helpful in your pursuit of English language proficiency. Sometimes students do not have very clear ideas about what this program is like. The following information will help you understand what we do in this program and why we do it.

What Kind of Program is IEC?

IEC is a communicative program. But what does that mean? It means that we focus on improving the students’ ability to communicate in English. We do this by working on speaking and listening practice in all of your classes, not just in your Oral Communication classes. For example, that means that in your writing class, you will learn to write English correctly, but also get practice speaking English correctly. This is especially important for students who have spent many years studying English grammar rules and memorizing vocabulary but still have a lot of difficulty using English.

What are the Goals of IEC?

The students in IEC learn both standard, formal English and everyday, informal English, including a lot of idioms and slang. This will help students understand popular American culture like movies and TV shows, as well as more formal situations like using English for business. The IEC program also helps students understand when to use the informal expressions and when to use the more formal expressions that they learn in class.

In the IEC program, we also teach students skills and strategies that will help them use English outside the classroom. For example, in class students may learn the English they will use when eating in a restaurant, going shopping, taking a bus, etc.

Another important part of the IEC program is giving the students the chance to learn about American culture from the teachers, the American students participating in their classes, and the classroom materials such as movies, books, and music. This information will help students not only feel more comfortable during their stay in the United States, but also make it easier for them to understand Americans and the American lifestyle.

What Kinds of Things Happen in an IEC Classroom?

Because IEC students are here to use English, we do lots of pair and small group work in class.  Students do not spend most of their class time listening to a teacher talk because it is important for students to spend most of their time practicing the English that they are learning.

IEC classes usually have an informal style. This is important because language learning research shows that students remember things more in a relaxed environment. If you feel comfortable and relaxed in your English class, your brain can remember more of what you learned!

The goal in this program is not to study and memorize large amounts of English, but to spend a lot of time practicing what we do study so that you can remember and use it successfully outside the classroom. This is the way to increase your fluency in English.

What is Expected of Students in IEC?

Of course, students should have good attendance and do their homework! However, even more important, students must be ready to use their English both in the classroom and outside the classroom. In the classroom, this involves asking and answering questions, participating in pair and small group activities, all while using only English. Outside the classroom, students should spend time with classmates from other countries so that they do not spend too much time speaking their native language. Also, they should make an effort to do things that will give them the chance to talk with native speakers of English, for example joining university activities, getting a language exchange partner, and going places in San Diego and other cities.

IEC students are studying in classes with students from many different countries. At first, it may seem very difficult to understand your classmates because of different accents. However, with practice, it gets easier and easier. It is important to be able to use English with people from many different countries around the world, not just Americans. This will help you in your job if you have contact with people from other countries and will make it easier to communicate when you travel outside your country. Therefore, be open to speaking with and spending time with your classmates who do not come from your country. They will help you improve your English!