The intensive English language course at the English Preparatory School (EPS) is designed to help undergraduate and graduate students to achieve a CEFR B2 level of proficiency in the English language respectively. The program has two levels of instruction, A1-A2, and B1-B1+ correlated with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The English language program focuses on developing students’ language skills in general through an integrated skill curriculum, which fosters active and independent learning. All the educational resources including English language proficiency levels, curriculum, syllabus, assessment, and course materials are mapped to CEFR and Pearson’s Global Scale of English as both scales are deemed as reliable, accurate, and well-recognized international foreign languages teaching standards.
Common European Framework (CEFR) is a tool for mapping learners’ journey in learning the English language. CEFR divides English language learning into six specific proficiency levels as follows:
• Basic User (A1 and A2)
• Independent User (B1 and B2)
• Proficient User (C1 and C2)
CEFR scale is based on a set of statements, “can do” statements, that describe what a learner can do at each English language proficiency level. This helps all learners even those at the lowest levels see that learning has value and that they can attain language goals. CEFR descriptors for each specific language level are indicated below.
- I have a sufficient range of language to describe unusual and predictable situations and to express my thoughts on abstract or cultural as well as everyday topics (such as music, films).
- I can explain the main points relating to an idea, problem, or argument with reasonable precision.
- I can use connecting words to link sentences into a coherent sequence, though there may be some “jumps”.
- I can communicate with reasonable accuracy in familiar contexts, though with noticeable influences from my mother tongue.
- I can express myself relatively easily when talking freely and keep the conversation going effectively without help, despite occasional pauses to plan and correct what I am saying.
- I can use uncomplicated language to interact in a wide range of situations in a neutral way.
• Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
• Can deal with most situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
• Can produce simple connected text on familiar topics or of personal interest.
• Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
• Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e. g very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
• Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
• Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment, and matters in areas in areas of immediate need.
• Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of the needs of a concrete type.
• Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows, and things he/she has.
• Can interact only provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help
All English language learning processes including English language learning levels, teaching materials as well as curriculum and assessment processes are well-aligned to CEFR and its English proficiency levels at EPS. The exit level for undergraduate students has been determined as B2 CEFR level and for undergraduate and graduate students . Students are required to attain language goals indicated in each level.
EPS learners can start their English language learning journey at A1 level and finish at B1+. Each level can be completed in one academic semester. However, how learners reach the different levels depends on many factors, including students’ motivation, their reasons or purpose for learning the English language, and the amount of time spent for individual study. Additionally, the number of hours needed for different learners varies greatly depending on a range of other factors such as students’ age and motivation, background, amount of prior study, and the extent of exposure to the language outside the classroom. Learning a language is like climbing a mountain: the ascent gets harder the higher you climb: It does not take the same time to reach each level. It will take longer to get to B2 from B1 than it does to get to A2 from A1.
It is a requirement for students who are admitted to BAU Cyprus English Preparatory School (EPS) to complete their English language studies within a maximum of two years.