English Academic Skills Program

General

Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Tufts English Academic Skills Program is an online English language and college skills preparatory program for pre-university and university students who are seeking academic study in an English language program anywhere in the world.

The Program will be divided into six independent 8-week long block sessions (“Blocks”) where students take part in intensive workshops that build students’ confidence in academic English, public speaking, academic presentation development and delivery, and academic research and writing.  Students also build their personal confidence through our one-on-one and group academic support sessions offered throughout the block.

Each Block consists of two sessions.  The “Academic Block” last 6-weeks where students receive direct instruction through online classes and take part in specialized virtual tours introducing them to American culture. The “Developmental Block” immediately follows the “Academic Block” and allows students to conduct independent research and complete a project that will become part of their student portfolio.  The Program actively encourages students to select a project where they engage with their local community.  Student portfolios can be used as supplemental material on their college applications.  

The goals and objectives of the program are:

  • Improve the Academic English of each student.
  • Create an academic environment that challenges the students and prepares them for college or university-level scholarship.  
  • Provide students with a better understanding of American Culture and History.
  • Allow students to build the academic and personal confidence necessary to study abroad at an English-speaking college or university.
  • Encourage students to become active members of their community (current and future).

Here is important information regarding enrollment dates and eligibility.

  • Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.  Upcoming Blocks: January 4 - February 26; March 1 - April 23;  April 26 - June 18; July 5 - August 27.  Deadline to apply is two-weeks before the start date of the Block.
  • Minimum score requirement:  TOEFL: suggested 70-80 for (iBT); IELTS: Suggested 6 - 6.5; CEFR: Suggested B1 - B2.  If you have not taken a test that does not disqualify you.  Please contact the program staff at esl@tufts.edu.

Academic Block or Traditional Online Courses Overview

The Academic Block involves 3 interdependent courses and 1 workshop which are held over the course of 6-week blocks offered throughout the academic year. Students will explore unique topics over the course of each block in which they will develop their research, language, and other academic skills. The Content-Based course explores an academic field followed by two academic English courses - Academic Listening and Speaking and the Academic Reading and Writing. Students will receive in-depth individualized instruction within a small group setting in the Academic English and College Skills Development Workshop.  An overview of each course is listed here:

Content-Based Course

Each block, students explore a different academic topic. Students engage in a series of lectures, workshops, and project-based assignments. The content will be delivered to the students through one-hour lectures that will take place each week. The course will be taught at a college level and students will have to complete weekly assignments, quizzes, and a final research project.




Academic Listening and Speaking

In American colleges, students will be expected to engage with classmates, professors, and other individuals in social and academic settings. Conversing and participating in cross-cultural interactions, giving group and individual presentations, and engaging in informal and formal debates are all part of a typical American college experience. This course aims to prepare students to build the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in that environment. This is participation focused course and students will be required to complete multiple projects each block and speak in each class.

Academic Reading and Writing

This class is designed to prepare students to write effective and academically sound essays and research papers. Students will explore both fiction and nonfiction materials, learn how to understand themes, and analyze each reading. Students will work on their written communication with an emphasis on developing their ability to express their ideas and opinions, support their arguments with facts, and write an effective academic research paper. Daily readings, biweekly journals, and several academic papers will be assigned to each student during the block.

Academic English and College Skills Development Workshop

This course focuses on refining the Academic English of each student in a small group of very intense sessions. This course will also build the students’ soft academic skills such as time management, email etiquette, note-taking, and academic integrity among others. Students will be divided into groups based on levels and sessions will focus on individualized and group needs.



Developmental Block or Student Portfolio Session

Students participate in an intensive 2-week project after each academic block. Students will explore an area of interest that they learn about during the previous academic block. Students must submit a proposal that showcases their independent academic research interest and it must be approved by the Program Director and Academic Counselor. An Academic Advisor will be assigned to each student and they will provide direct guidance to the student and help them complete their research project before the end of the session.

Support Specialist (Tutors)

Each student is assigned a support specialist who will guide students through the online learning process during both the Academic and Developmental block periods. The student support specialists work with the instructors and Academic Advisors to ensure that each student is on task and is keeping up with the assigned work. If a student is falling behind on their work or is having difficulties, their student specialist will reach out to them to provide the individualized guidance that they need.

*Tufts UPP will observe Tufts Academic Schedule

Block Schedule 2020 - 2021

 

Academic Blocks (6-week session)

Developmental Blocks (2-week session)
1 July 13 - August 28 None
2 September 8 - October 16 October 19 - October 30
3 November 2 - December 11 December 14 - December 23
4 January 4 - February 12 February 15 - February 26
5 March 1 - April 9 April 12 - April 23
6 April 26 - June 4 June 7 - June 18

*Tufts UPP will observe Tufts Academic Schedule

Block Schedule 2021 - 2022

  Academic Blocks (6-week session) Developmental Blocks (2-week session)
1 July 5 - August 13 August 16 – August 27
2 September 7 - October 15 October 18 - October 29
3 November 1 - December 10 December 13 - December 22
4 January 3 - February 11 February 14 - February 25
5 February 28 - April 8 April 11 - April 22
6 April 25 - June 3 June 6 - June 17

Sample Academic Weekly Schedule - EDT (adjust one hour earlier for EST)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

8:00 - 10:00PM

Content-based course

8:00 - 9:30PM

Academic Listening and Speaking

8:00 - 10:00PM

Content-based course

8:00 - 9:30PM

Academic Listening and Speaking

8:00 - 11:00PM

Academic English and College Skills Development Workshop

10:00 - 11:00PM  

Office Hours

9:30 - 11:00PM

Academic Reading and Writing

10:00 - 11:00PM 

Office Hours

9:30 - 11:00PM

Academic Reading and Writing

10:00 - 11:00PM 

Office Hours

 

11:00PM - 12:00AM

Office Hours

11:00PM - 2:00AM

Student Support Session

11:00PM - 12:00AM

Office Hours 

 

Saturday and Sunday Academic Support Sessions are also available.   

Sample Portfolio Session Schedule - EDT

(adjust one hour earlier for EST)

Monday Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday Friday

8:00 - 10:00PM  

Academic Advisor Session 

8:00 - 10:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

8:00 - 10:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

8:00 - 10:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

8:00 - 10:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

10:00 - 11:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

10:00 - 11:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

10:00 - 11:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

10:00 - 11:00PM

Academic Advisor Session

10:00 - 11:00PM 

Student Support Session

 

11:00PM - 12:00AM 

Office Hours Open

11:00PM - 2:00AM

Student Support Session

11:00PM - 12:00AM 

Office Hours Open

11:00PM - 2:00AM

Student Support Session

Saturday and Sunday Academic Support Sessions are also available.   

Assessment

Diagnostic Test: Students will take the i-TEP test throughout the program that will allow for a thorough diagnostic of the level of students. This will be used to guide language-specific lesson plans throughout the year.

Grade Sheets and Transcripts: There are three sections to the Block Schedule assessment system: Course Grades, Class Competencies, and Evaluation of CEFR Language Skills.

  1. Course Grades
    Grades for each course (including the portfolio session) are determined by content mastery which are listed on each individual course grade page. Content mastery demonstrates a student’s ability to understand the material being taught in each class and provides insight into a student’s ability to handle college-level work.

  2. Class Competencies
    Classroom citizenship gives an indication of how well a student can perform in an American classroom. Specifically, it measures a student’s attendance and their ability to self-check for errors before handing in work, listen attentively, interact respectfully, ask for help when appropriate, use English consistently in the classroom (speaking, writing, internet searches) and actively participate in class (answer questions, ask questions, etc.).

  3. CEFR Language Skills Evaluation
    Beyond the course grades, an evaluation of specific English language academic skills is done across the main areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and academic integrity to provide all audiences -the students, their teachers, and the universities to which students apply- a comprehensive understanding of the student’s linguistic development.

The skills are adapted from the Common European Framework of References for Languages with the exception of ‘Planning, Revising, Using/Giving Feedback’ and ‘Academic Integrity’ which represent students’ academic development. They are measured on an A1-C2 scale. Each of the student’s teachers provides an evaluation, and the scores that appear on the transcript represent an average of all the teachers’ evaluations for that student. Students who are struggling with specific skills are referred to Academic Support tutors for one-on-one study sessions.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Tufts is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a mid-sized university that excels at research and providing students with a personal experience. Our unique combination ... Read More

Tufts is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a mid-sized university that excels at research and providing students with a personal experience. Our unique combination of research and liberal arts attracts students, faculty, and staff who thrive in our environment of curiosity, creativity, and engagement. Read less
Medford , Boston + 1 More Less