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Introducing the College in USA Blog

Written By onci on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 8:13 AM

Introducing the College in USA Blog

Recent Post on College in USA Blog

USA College English Language Requirements

To enter College in the USA international students require English levels and skills equivalent to (new) Toefl 550 and the graduate schools require Toefl 600.

This is a detailed description of English language skill levels that international students should have to be successful in a USA College.

Writing

Student can: demonstrate fluent ability in performing moderately complex writing tasks; link sentences and paragraphs to form coherent texts to express ideas on familiar or abstract topics, with some support for main ideas, and with an appropriate sense of audience; write routine business letters, letters of inquiry, cover letters for applications and personal and formal social messages; write down a set of simple instructions, based on clear oral communication; fill out complex formatted documents; extract key information and relevant detail from a page-long text and write an outline or a one-paragraph summary; demonstrate good control over common sentence patterns, coordination and subordination, and spelling and mechanics.

Student writing introduces the purpose of the work, expresses main ideas and gives details, conveys essential information to the reader, uses format and content appropriate for intended audience, demonstrates adequate vocabulary for the topic. Student can reduce information to main points with accurate supporting details and no major omissions of important points or details, can also demonstrate good use and control of complex grammatical structures, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Business Communications

The student will be able to: convey business messages as written notes, memoranda, letters of request, or record log entries, to indicate a problem, to request a change, or to request information; fill out forms and other materials in pre-set formats with required brief texts; write an effective personal resume and a formal covering letter of application for employment to a personnel/human resources manager; ask for an interview and write a report/memo in paragraph form.

Essays

Write a paragraph to describe information in a table, graph, flow chart or diagram.
Write three or four paragraphs to: narrate an event to tell a story; express or analyse opinions on a familiar abstract topic; provide a detailed description and explanation of a phenomenon or a process or how a business operates.

Speaking

Student can: communicate effectively in most daily practical and social situations, and in familiar routine work situations; participate in conversations with confidence; speak on familiar topics at both concrete and abstract levels; can provide descriptions, opinions and explanations; synthesize abstract complex ideas; hypothesize. In social interaction, learner demonstrates ability to respond appropriately to the formality level of the situation; can use a variety of sentence structures, including embedded and report structures, and an expanded inventory of concrete, idiomatic and conceptual language. Grammar and pronunciation errors rarely impede communication.

Interaction is with one or more people, face to face or on the phone at a normal rate. Student can: carry on a brief phone conversation in a professional manner; use a variety of strategies to keep conversation going; respond to a formal welcome, express sympathy, respond to a minor conflict or complaint; encourage others to participate; answer a routine business call and direct the call appropriately; use appropriate non-verbal behaviour; adjusts conversation to appropriate formality level; check if listener can follow; provide clear information to simple routine questions; give or pass on instructions about an established familiar process or procedure (technical and non-technical); be one-on-one or in a group; participate in a debate/discussion/meeting on an abstract or familiar topic or issue; express opinions, feelings, doubts and concerns; qualify opinions, add information, elaborate; oppose or support a stand, idea or proposed solution. Initiate questions to gather, analyse and compare information needed for some decision making.

Oral Presentations

Give a 15-minute oral presentation to describe and explain a complex structure, system or process based on research. Use a diagram to support the explanations. Tell a story which includes an experience.

Reading

Student can: follow main ideas, key words and important details in text in any familiar topic; read newspaper, magazine articles as well as academic and business materials; extract relevant points, locate and integrate several specific pieces of information in visually complex texts (e.g., tables, directories) or across paragraphs or sections of text. Text can be on abstract, conceptual or technical topics, containing facts, attitudes and opinions. Inference may be required to identify the writer's bias and the purpose/function of text. Student able to use a unilingual dictionary when reading for precision vocabulary building.

The student: identifies main idea, factual details and inferred meanings in text, identifies organization of text, topic sentences and logical relationship including links between paragraphs; follows the sequence of narration or process even when events are out of sequence; distinguishes facts from opinions; infers meaning of words from context clues; hypothesizes how something works; evaluates ideas in text, draws conclusions and expresses own opinion; interprets key information in a diagram or graph as verbal text; transfers key ideas from a chart or diagram. The student can follow an extended set of multi-step instructions for established process or directions.

Listening

Student can: comprehend main points, details, speaker's purpose, levels of formality and styles in oral discourse in moderately demanding contexts; follow most formal and informal conversations, and some technical work-related discourse in own field at a normal rate of speech; follow discourse about abstract and complex ideas on a familiar topic; comprehend an expanded range of concrete, abstract and conceptual language; determine mood, attitudes and feelings; understand sufficient vocabulary, idioms and colloquial expressions to follow detailed stories of general popular interest; follow instructional texts and directions; follow clear and coherent phone messages on unfamiliar and non-routine matters; identifies the component parts of the presentation: introduction, topic development, topic shift and conclusion; identify and respond to formal welcomes, farewells, toasts, congratulations on achievements, awards, sympathy, condolences and questions. Student can follow an extended set of multi-step instructions on technical and non-technical tasks for familiar processes or procedures, and identify stated and unspecified meanings in extended suggestions and recommendations.

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