california english courses

CISL Adult English Courses in California

At Converse International School of Languages (CISL), our mission is to help our clients learn to communicate effectively and with confidence in English. Every aspect of CISL’s courses, schedules, and classes are designed to help our students have the tools they need to be effective and confident communicators in English. We offer a variety of courses and schedules so that each student can enroll in a program of study that fits their calendars as well as their needs.

In addition to designing programs that fit the needs and schedules of students, CISL helps students to be capable users of English through its commitment to small class sizes. All CISL group courses have a maximum of either four or eight students per class. Small classes help students to feel more comfortable and confident, provide students with a lot of individual attention from instructors, and allow instructors to get to know students and their needs well.

To help you plan your CISL program of study, here is an overview of each CISL course:

STANDARD ENGLISH COURSE

The goal of the Standard English Course is to help students use English with accuracy and confidence. Students improve their general English language skills and, just as importantly, they learn how to be better communicators, how to use English in different situations, how to interact with people from different cultures, and how to be better language learners.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL Basic (A1)
  • Start any week

ENGLISH IN USE (San Francisco Only)

The goal of the English in Use Course is for students to become confident and fluent when using English in everyday situations. Students in the English in Use Course are assigned a collaborative project to complete each week. Each collaborative project assignment is designed to give students the opportunity to put their English knowledge and skills into practice.

  • 8 lessons per week: Monday – Thursday, 1:30-3:10 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL Basic (A1)
  • Start any week

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH (San Diego Only)

The goal of the Conversational English Course is for students to become confident and fluent when using English in everyday situations. Students in the course focus on building vocabulary and perfecting pronunciation with lessons that emphasize useful vocabulary, targeted pronunciation practice, and conversational application. Students will be able to use English to express ideas, give opinions, participate in conversations and have discussions with their classmates.

  • 8 lessons per week: Monday – Thursday, 1:30-3:10 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL Basic (A1)
  • Start any week

BUSINESS ENGLISH COURSE

The goal of the Business English Course is for students to learn how to use English to communicate effectively in business settings. Students learn communication skills required in business settings, how to confidently discuss popular topics in business, and how to communicate with business people from other cultures with tact.

  • 8 lessons per week: Monday – Thursday, 1:30-3:10 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL Low-Intermediate (A2)
  • Start any week

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PRIVATE LESSONS

Private lessons are based on the individual needs and goals of the student receiving the private lessons. Students may enroll solely in private lessons or add them to any other course (up to 30 per week).

  • Schedule: based on student and instructor availability.
  • One student per class
  • No proficiency requirement
  • Start any week

CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EXAM PREPARATION COURSES (FCE and CAE)

The CISL Cambridge English Exam Preparation Courses prepare students to take Cambridge English exams to receive certificates verifying their English proficiency. Over 20,000 universities, employers, and governments around the world accept Cambridge English exams. CISL offers preparation courses for the Cambridge English: First (FCE) and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) in San Diego and San Francisco. CISL students can take the official FCE and CAE exams at the end of either course, and both CISL locations are authorized Cambridge English exam centres.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. OR
  • 28 lessons per week (San Diego Only): Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. plus Monday – Thursday, 1:30 – 3:10 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: FCE – CISL Intermediate (B1), CAE – CISL High-Intermediate (B2)
  • 9 or 11-week courses with several start dates each year

TOEFL PREPARATION COURSE

The goal of the TOEFL Preparation Course is to prepare students to take the TOEFL iBT test by helping students build the skills necessary to successfully answer the questions and complete the tasks in the test, improve their general and academic English proficiency, and learn effective test-taking strategies. The TOEFL is recognized by colleges, universities, and agencies in more than 130 countries around the world.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL Intermediate (B1)
  • 6-week course (4 weeks in summer), several start dates each year

IELTS PREPARATION COURSE (San Diego Only)

The IELTS Preparation Course focuses on preparing students to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam by helping students improve their English proficiency as well as equipping them with effective test-taking strategies. Students in the course will receive guided help in developing their academic skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as using effective strategies for taking the official IELTS exam.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
  • Maximum 8 students per class • Required level: CISL Intermediate (B1)
  • 11-week course, three start dates each year

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ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES (EAP) COURSE

The goal of the EAP Course is to prepare students for college level coursework and academic writing. The course is divided into four three-week units; students can take one, two, three, or four units of the course. Students who successfully complete all four units of the EAP Course are eligible to participate in the CISL Pathway Program. • 8 lessons per week: Monday – Thursday, 1:30-3:10 p.m.

  • Maximum 8 students per class
  • Required level: CISL High-Intermediate (B2)
  • 12-week course divided into three-week units; start dates throughout the year

EXECUTIVE ENGLISH COURSE (San Diego Only)

The Executive English Course is designed for motivated students and business professionals who want to focus on the skills needed to effectively conduct business in English. Courses are designed to cover a variety of real-life business situations and address each student’s specific needs and goals. The committed instructors are experienced in both English education and the business world and will challenge and guide the students through this rigorous program.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. OR
  • 28 lessons per week (San Diego Only): Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. plus Monday – Thursday, 1:30 – 3:10 p.m.
  • Maximum 4 students per class • Required level: CISL Basic (A1)
  • Start any week

GLOBAL SUCCESS COURSE (San Francisco Only)

The Global Success Course is designed for ambitious learners, executives, and professionals who want to be successful in the global economy. The Global Success Course curriculum is based on the needs and goals of the students currently in each class, so students can gain the English skills they need quickly. Students make language goals each week, and the course’s objectives and student learning outcomes are based on these weekly goals and the teacher’s assessment of the students’ needs.

  • 20 lessons per week: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
  • Maximum 4 students per class • Required level: CISL Low-Intermediate (A2)
  • Start any week

STUDY HALL

Study Hall is a free, self-study course in which students work independently. There is an instructor available to assist students who have questions. Students can work on English homework, read an English text, or do some other activity related to their English studies. Students with an F-1 student visa must be enrolled in a full-time course (18 or more hours per week) in order to maintain their visa status. F-1 students who enroll in a 20-lesson-per-week course are required to attend Study Hall for 1.5 hours/week in order to meet the 18-hour per week minimum requirement.

  • 1.5 hours/week (afternoon)
  • No required proficiency level
  • Start any week Other CISL Programs

In addition to the above courses offered at CISL San Francisco and CISL San Diego, CISL offers several programs for students who are interested in improving their English in college or business settings:

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ACADEMIC YEAR PROGRAM (AYP)

The Academic Year Program (AYP) gives students the opportunity to improve their general and academic English skills at CISL and then attend a semester at a college in California. It is popular with recent high school graduates taking a gap year and with students who want to attend an American university. Ambitious students who want to experience American college life can appreciate the adventure of studying in a college in a new country with the support of CISL along the way. CISL helps students to prepare for their semester academically, personally, and linguistically. Before the college semester, students have already made friends at CISL, honed their general and academic English skills, and received guidance and advice from the CISL staff so that they can enjoy their college experience without stress. Students in the CISL Academic Year Program must study at least 16 weeks at CISL and enroll in one semester at a participating college. The specific CISL course plan depends on each student’s language proficiency and goals, but most students take a combination of the following courses:

  • Morning Courses (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:40 p.m)
  • Standard (12+ weeks) and o TOEFL Preparation (4 weeks)
  • Afternoon Elective Courses (Monday – Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.)
    • English for Academic Purposes (EAP) or
    • English in Use (San Francisco only) or
    • Conversational English (San Diego only)

CISL PATHWAY PROGRAM

The CISL Pathway Program offers international students the chance to study as a U.S. college or university without taking an English proficiency exam such as the TOEFL or IELTS. This program is open to all CISL students who have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education and the 12-week CISL English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course. The CISL Pathway Program waives the English proficiency admission requirements at partner schools, but students still must apply for admission to the college or university. Contact the partner schools directly for admission requirements and application instructions.

CAREER ENGLISH PROGRAM

Career English Program positions are unpaid and are focused on improving the student’s English skills. This is not a job training program. Placement is subject to a successful interview. Students provide their top three choices of desired fields and should have prior education or experience in those fields. Specific fields/positions are not guaranteed. We offer the following program options:

  • Option A 4+ weeks English classes followed by 8 weeks morning classes + afternoon/weekend placement with a local business.
  • Option B 6+ weeks English classes followed by 6-8 weeks placement with a local business.

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I love the way we learn English here. Teachers are very positive and their methods are really nice. My classes are so great! When I wake up in the morning, I am happy to go to school here.

Jeanne, FRANCE

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