Mastery Level Classes at New America College
Why Mastery Level Classes.
Why are mastery level classes important? What will they add to your English language studies? You’ve been studying and practicing your English language skills for a while now. Maybe you’ve been living in the United States, or another English-speaking country. You don’t have trouble with everyday tasks using English. Normal interactions at restaurants, stores, or with strangers have lost their intimidation factor. You can even go to the DMV and figure out what documents you need for a local driver’s license! (Let’s face it, ENGLISH isn’t the issue at the DMV anyways.) Yet, you feel there is still something missing. Another layer to your proficiency, wanting to understand the cultural element to the local language. The nuances that can even trip up even native speakers. You could be preparing to enter an American university or looking to make the next step in your career.
That’s where New America College’s mastery level classes come into play. They are designed to fill in the missing puzzle pieces. Our current mastery level classes are as follows:
- TOEFL Preparation
- University Preparation
- Business English
- American Culture & Conversation
- Communication in the Modern World
How will Mastery Classes help you?
In these classes you will focus on real world applications of the English language. You’ve already spent a lot of time drilling down into the depths of grammar: verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, how to use conjunctions and prepositions, etc. Instead, we shift the focus to the practical application of grammar. For example: conditional statements. Sure, you’ve talked at length with your teacher about the difference between a zero conditional and a third conditional and you’re probably tired of that conversation. That said, conditionals are a really important thing in everyday life and conversation! We use them to talk about hypothetical situations, our dreams & desires, or what you would do in an emergency. How often do you converse with someone about things like that no matter what language you’re speaking? We focus on the situation to practice grammar or vocabulary and sprinkle in a refresher on the basics.
Another focus in these classes is all the language that you generally do not learn from an English textbook. Things like idioms, slang, and figurative language that native speakers use frequently. Many of these elements are not only common in everyday speech, but are different from region to region, state to state, or even city to city. For example, in American Culture & Conversation we may talk about what the phrase bless your heart. You will hear it if you are visiting a southern state such as Texas or Louisiana. It sounds nice, and does have one nice definition – to express fondness or sympathy for someone. The phrase also has a more nefarious meaning – it is used as a slang term to call someone you care about an idiot. (Without hurting their feelings). Would you ever learn that in a textbook? I think not!
How are the courses designed?
TOEFL preparation and Business English courses support students looking to take the next step in their education or career. The TOEFL test isn’t easy by any means. It is demanding of your time, your focus, and your English abilities. In our class we go through each of the four major areas of the test: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. We look at the nuances of the different types of questions and writing prompts. We also practice how to nail the speaking section in the allotted time. One focus is on working to simplify the test taking process by, for example, building a template in your mind for the writing section. That will help you focus more on the details rather than how to write a TOEFL style essay to score a 5.
Business English is another great place for idiomatic language learning. Coming from a business and sales background myself, I can tell you there is a lot of sports lingo used in negotiations, business deals, and everyday office life. These things are also highly cultural! Baseball is America’s past time, and we use phrases like hit a homerun or strike out frequently in business. We also take a look at industry specific language that can be useful both in everyday life, and in your career. In a business English class that I recently taught we spent a week talking about cryptocurrency. We learned the language of crypto, tried our best to understand how it works, and discussed the future of currency around the world. Things like this not only expand your vocabulary but could help you become the next Bitcoin success story.
We design our mastery level classes to take your English to the next level AND to help your understanding of everyday life in America. Whether that is specific work-related topics, tackling the TOEFL test, or something applicable to all people such as insurance or finance – our goal is to help you improve your English AND your ability to function in the United States. We look forward to seeing you in class!