English Studies Institute - UC Berkeley

2600 Bancroft Way - Berkeley

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English Studies Institute

Our Mission:
ESI is a language school that provides high-quality English instruction and builds bridges of understanding world wide. Come to ESI and we can help you meet the changing needs of your academic, professional and personal life.

  • American football
  • Basketball
  • Dance
  • Volleyball
  • Student counselling
  • Host family accommodation
  • In hotel/guesthouse
  • Student Residence
  • Dancing
  • Cooking
  • Cultural tourism (theater, museum, etc.)
  • Historical sightseeing
  • On campus events
  • University student social events
  • Professional Sports events
  • Local cultural events (festivals, etc.)


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This course is for students aged: 16-70
Levels: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate
Class Sizes: Large, 11-20 students
Weekly Hours: Relaxed 10-15 hrs/wk, General 15-25 hrs/wk
Integrated Skills
Improve your Academic English by focusing on listening comprehension speaking/pronunciation, reading, and writing. This course offers integrated in-depth language and critical thinking skills. Added features include TOEFL practice sessions and conversation exchange with native speakers.

4 weeks - 20 hours of evaluated instruction per week.

If your goal is to perfect your English through focused study, take the Integrated Skills course.

Features of ESI’s Integrated Skills Course
Focus on your pronunciation, intonation, and listening comprehension in both informal conversation and more formal academic presentations, debate and conversation
Master effective reading techniques and strategies through comprehension practice and vocabulary exercises
Excel in writing styles appropriate to academic or scholarly environments by practicing essay writing, peer editing and observation reports
Take add-on TOEFL/IELTS practice classes*
Enjoy free after-class activities for fun and informal language practice
Take advantage of ESI's resource library of books, DVDs and videos to help with listening, reading, grammar, conversation, to enhance TOEFL preparation
Conversation exchange with Native speakers
After-class activities for language practice
From the Learning Center, students can check out books, DVDs and videos to improve listening, reading, grammar, conversation, and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) preparation. Computers with internet for e-mail are available on the 2nd floor.

LEVELS: Beginning to Advanced

CLASS SIZE: Average of 14 students

Communication Skills
Learn "Real World" English and explore American culture and society through cross-cultural contact, observations and projects. Gain confidence and fluency in your spoken English, pronunciation, use of American English rhythm, idioms and slang. Improve your oral communication skills, listening comprehension, and knowledge of American culture. Choose an afternoon elective such as Listening and Pronunciation, Media and Communication, TOEFL Practice, or English through Film.

3 weeks - 18 hours of evaluated instruction per week.

If your goal is to quickly improve oral communication, listening comprehension, and knowledge of American culture, ESI's Communications Skills course is ideal for you.

Features of ESI’s Communication Skills Course
Acquire functional language appropriate to specific situations (social and practical everyday activities)
Improve pronunciation, intonation, and listening comprehension, including comprehension of reduced American speech
Build vocabulary and knowledge of idioms and slang
Experience cross-cultural contact assignments, observations, and projects that facilitate awareness of American culture
Participate in fluency practice for real-world situations
Refine grammatical structures important for oral communication

LEVELS: Elementary to Advanced

CLASS SIZE: Average of 14 students
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This course is for students aged: 16-70
Levels: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate
Class Sizes: Large, 11-20 students
Weekly Hours: General 15-25 hrs/wk
Intensive Academic Preparation
This course empowers students to master the skills necessary to succeed in an American academic environment. Students work to improve their English language proficiency with continuous performance feedback. Students will become familiar with integrating the 4 key English language skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.

3 weeks - 24 hours of evaluated instruction per week

If your goal is to graduate from an American college or university, ESI's Academic Preparation Course is ideal for you.

Features of ESI’s Academic Program
Study in a program that focuses on academic skills while taking advantage of the atmosphere of world famous, UC Berkeley campus
Test to determine your level for placement and take on-going tests for tracking improvement
Take TOEFL and IELTS practice classes
Prepare for university studies with ESI's up-to-date curriculum
Take classes from experienced teachers proficient in the latest methodology
Receive individual counseling to apply for transfer to U.S. colleges and universities
Observe UC Berkeley classes to experience university lectures and practice note-taking skills
Experience ESI's CAL Partners Language Exchange Program for regular English practice with an UC Berkeley student
Participate in a free "Statement of Purpose" workshop for university admission applications

LEVELS: Beginning to Advanced

CLASS SIZE: Average of 14 students

CLASS HOURS: 24 class hours per week
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This course is for students aged: 16-70
Levels: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate
Class Sizes: Large, 11-20 students
Weekly Hours: Relaxed 10-15 hrs/wk
Youth Adventure
Summertime! Starting the last week of July each year
Improve your English listening and speaking skills while participating in exciting daily group activities outside the classroom. For students aged 13 -17.

3 weeks - 15 class hours and 15 hours of activities per week.

If you are 13 to 17 years old, this course is designed with you in mind. Improve your English while having fun! In the morning, our informal classroom environment encourages you to speak freely with your classmates as you do role-plays and work in small groups. Your teacher will take you outside the classroom to meet Americans and practice your English in Real World situations. Go on exciting group activities every afternoon and practice your English with an American host family.

Practice listening and speaking skills through the introduction of new vocabulary including American idioms and slang
Excel in the rhythm and intonation of American English
Improve listening comprehension through activities and communicative exercises
Learn grammar in context
Connect your experiences outside of class to the skills you learn in class and immediately use the language you acquire
Take weekly quizzes to monitor your improvement
Participate in activities including word games, jazz chants, interviews, discussions and role-plays
Interview Americans outside the classroom in the UC Berkeley campus

Accommodations
Most students participating in this course stay in homestay with American host families through the Orinda Homestay Program. We have found that the teens gain a deeper understanding of American culture when they live with an American family and fully participate in family life. The homestay experience also gives students additional opportunities for fluency practice and vocabulary development. Our students report that their homestay experience is a highlight of their time in the United States. Homestay accommodations include full board, breakfast - bag lunch – dinner. Please see the housing page for more information on homestay.

LEVELS: Beginning to Advanced

CLASS SIZE: Average of 14 students

CLASS HOURS: 15 class hours plus 15 hours of activities per week
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