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The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

December 5, 2017

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

 

When choosing English classes, students are often confused about the difference between Academic English and Conversational English. Do you know the difference? Understanding the advantages of both will help you decide which course is right for you!

Academic English vs. Conversation English: What’s the Difference?

Conversation English: Overview

The goal of conversational English classes is to improve one’s ability to communicate. Therefore, conversational English classes focus on all aspects of learning English: improving listening, speaking, grammar, reading, and writing. There is typically a strong focus on vocabulary, idioms, and phrasal verbs.

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Who should take Conversational English classes?

Conversation-focused English classes are for everyone! Most students feel that their communication in English could be improved: these classes are an excellent opportunity for students of any level to improve their confidence and skills.

When choosing a conversation-based English class, the most important thing to remember is to choose a reputable school with qualified teachers. Make sure that your classes have a clear structure, that goals are outlined, and that the class syllabus is followed.  

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Academic English: Overview

Academic English classes are designed to improve a student’s English skills that are needed in the college classroom. Therefore, the classes will focus on improving English skills (listening, speaking, writing, and reading) for the university classroom. Vocabulary lessons focus more on academic English skills (and less on idioms, slang, and phrasal verbs). Academic English classes tend to focus more on writing, specifically research, essay practice, and citations. Listening lessons focus on listening to lectures and improving note-taking skills.

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Who should take academic English?

Academic English is great for many language learners, including students who:

  • Want to attend college or university in the U.S.
  • Plan to use English in a more formal or business setting
  • Would like a more rigorous workload than they receive in a conversational English class
  • Plan to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or other English proficiency exam
  • Would like to teach English in the future

The Differences Between Academic English and Conversational English

Do you still need help deciding which course is right for you? Contact CISL!

Converse International School of Languages has provided quality English instruction since 1973. CISL’s small class size (maximum 8 students per class) and effective curriculum help students reach their English learning goals quickly, and in two of the best cities in the U.S.: San Francisco and San Diego! Contact CISL for information on its Standard course, English for Academic Purposes course, or other programs such as Academic Year Abroad, Career English, and University Pathway.

Academic English EAP Featured San Francisco University Pathway

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, California College of the Arts!

November 22, 2017

California College of the Arts International Students

“Make art that matters” is the motto of our CISL Pathway Partner, California College of the Arts. Are you looking for a career in the arts? A degree from this college might be for you!

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, California College of the Arts!

California College of the Arts (CCA) was founded in 1907 as a private college. Today, the college has 21 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors in many fields, including:

  • Fine arts
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Writing

California College of the Arts International Students

Why CCA?

CISL selected CCA as a Pathway Partner because of its dedication to student involvement. Students do not just attend class and then go home and study: both of the campuses (in Oakland and San Francisco) also host events, lectures, and talks from esteemed artists. The college believes it is important for students to receive this inspiration and motivation from others in the industry: these are the valuable experiences that cannot be taught in the traditional classroom!

California College of the Arts International Students

About CCA

CCA has campuses in Downtown Oakland and in SF’s Portrero Hill neighborhood. Its small student population provides students the opportunity to work closely with their professors: on average, courses have an average of only 13 students per class and the school has an 8:1 student/faculty ratio.

California College of the Arts International Students

CCA also prides itself in offering students real-life skills. Students are offered more than 600 internships per year and classes focus on teaching students skills that can be used in the workplace. CCA is also a great value: in 2016, it was voted “Best Value School” by PayScale, a website which ranks the value of colleges using the world’s largest database of salaries and tuitions.

California College of the Arts International Students

Attending CCA as an international student

With CISL’s Pathway Program, CISL students can attend California College of the Arts without taking the TOEFL. Students simply need to complete CISL’s English for Academic Purposes Course and apply to CCA. With the help of CISL’s Pathway Advisor, students receive guidance throughout the application process.

To learn more about CCA or CISL’s Pathway Program, visit the CISL website.

 

Academic English EAP Featured University Pathway Vocabulary

50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

October 28, 2017

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays
In English, we often have to analyze data, research, or facts. Do you know how to do this effectively, while using the appropriate verbs of analysis? This list of 50 verbs of analysis in English will help you.

Note: this list is for advanced English learners (CEFR level B2 or above). All definitions are from the Cambridge Dictionary online

50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Affects

Definition: to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something.

Example: Experts agree that coffee affects the body in ways we have not yet studied.

Amplifies

Definition: to increase the size or effect of something.

Example: It has been shown that this drug amplifies the side effects that were experienced by patients in previous trials.

Asserts

Definition: to say that something is certainly true.

Example: Smith asserts that his findings are valid, despite criticism by colleagues.

Characterizes

Definition: Something that characterizes another thing is typical of it.

Example: His early paintings are characterized by a distinctive pattern of blue and yellow.

Claims

Definition: to say that something is true or is a fact, although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it.

Example: Smith claims that the study is the first of its kind, and very different from the 2015 study he conducted.

Clarifies

Definition: to make something clear or easier to understand by giving more details or a simpler explanation.

Example: The professor clarified her statement with a later, more detailed, statement.

Compiles

Definition: to collect information from different places and arrange it in a book, report, or list.

Example: After compiling the data, the scientists authored a ten-page paper on their study and its findings.

Concludes

Definition: to judge or decide something after thinking carefully about it.

Example: Doctor Jensen concluded that the drug wasn’t working, so he switched his patient to a new medicine.

Confirms

Definition: to prove that a belief or an opinion that was previously not completely certain is true.

Example: This new data confirms the hypothesis many researchers had.

Connects

Definition: to join or be joined with something else.

Example: By including the criticisms of two researchers, Smith connects two seemingly different theories and illustrates a trend with writers of the Romanticism period.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Differentiates

Definition: to show or find the difference between things that are compared.

Example: Smith differentiates between the two theories in paragraph 4 of the second part of the study.

Diminishes

Definition: to reduce or be reduced in size or importance.

Example: The new findings do not diminish the findings of previous research; rather, it builds on it to present a more complicated theory about the effects of global warming.

Discredits

Definition: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person.

Example: The details about the improper research done by the institution discredits the institution’s newest research.

Displays

Definition: to show.

Example: Smith’s findings display the effects of global warming that have not yet been considered by other scientists.

Disproves

Definition:to prove that something is not true.

Example: Scientists hope that this new research will disprove the myth that vaccines are harmful to children.

Distinguishes

Definition:to notice or understand the difference between two things, or to make one person or thing seem different from another.

Example: Our study seems similar to another one by Duke University: how can we distinguish ourselves and our research from this study?

Elaborates

Definition: to add more information to or explain something that you have said.

Example: In this new paper, Smith elaborates on theories she discussed in her 2012 book.

Embodies

Definition: to represent a quality or an idea exactly.

Example: Shakespeare embodies English theater, but few can understand the antiquated (old) form of English that is used in the plays.

Emulates

Definition: to copy something achieved by someone else and try to do it as well as they have.

Example: Although the study emulates some of the scientific methods used in previous research, it also offers some inventive new research methods.

Enhances

Definition: to improve the quality, amount, or strength of something.

Example: The pharmaceutical company is looking for ways to enhance the effectiveness of its current drug for depression.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Entails

Definition: to make something necessary, or to involve something.

Example: The scientist’s study entails several different stages, which are detailed in the report.

Equates

Definition: to consider one thing to be the same as or equal to another thing.

Example: Findings from both studies equate; therefore, we can conclude that they are both accurate.

Establishes

Definition: to discover or get proof of something.

Example: The award establishes the main causes of global warming.

Evokes

Definition: to make someone remember something or feel an emotion.

Example: The artist’s painting evokes the work of some of the painters from the early 1800s.

Exhibits

Definition: to show something.

Example: Some of the research study participants exhibit similar symptoms while taking the medicine.

Facilitates

Definition: to make something possible or easier.

Example: The equipment that facilitates the study is expensive and of high-quality.

Focuses

Definition: the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest.

Example: The author focuses on World War II, which is an era she hasn’t written about before.

Foreshadows

Definition: to act as a warning or sign of a future event.

Example: The sick bird at the beginning of the novel foreshadows the illness the main character develops later in the book.

Formulates

Definition: to develop all the details of a plan for doing something.

Example: Two teams of scientists formulated the research methods for the study.

Generates

Definition: to cause something to exist.

Example: The study’s findings have generated many questions about this new species of frog in South America.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Highlights

Definition:  to attract attention to or emphasize something important.

Example: The author, Dr. Smith, highlights the need for further studies on the possible causes of cancer among farm workers.

Identifies

Definition: to recognize a problem, need, fact, etc. and to show that it exists.

Example: Through this study, scientists were able to identify three of the main factors causing global warming.

Illustrates

Definition:  to show the meaning or truth of something more clearly,especially by giving examples.

Example: Dr. Robin’s study illustrates the need for more research on the effects of this experimental drug.

Implies

Definition: to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly.

Example: The study implies that there are many outside factors (other than diet and exercise) which determine a person’s tendency to gain weight.

Incorporates

Definition: to include something as part of something larger.

Example: Dr. Smith incorporates research findings from 15 other studies in her well-researched paper.

Indicates

Definition: to show, point, or make clear in another way.

Example: Overall, the study indicates that there is no real danger (other than a lack of sleep) to drinking three cups of coffee per day.

Infers

Definition: to form an opinion or guess that something is true because of the information that you have.

Example: From this study about a new medicine, we can infer that it will work similarly to other drugs that are currently being sold.

Informs

Definition: to tell someone about particular facts.

Example: Dr. Smith informs the reader that there are some issues with this study: the oddly rainy weather in 2017 made it difficult for them to record the movements of the birds they were studying.

Insinuates

Definition: to suggest, without being direct, that something unpleasant is true.

Example: In addition to the reported conclusions, the study insinuates that there are many hidden dangers to driving while texting.

Integrates

Definition: to combine two or more things in order to become more effective.

Example: The study about the popularity of social media integrates Facebook and Instagram hashtag use.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Lacks

Definition: to not have or not have enough of something that is needed or wanted.

Example: What the study lacks, I believe, is a clear outline of the future research that is needed.

Legitimizes

Definition: to make something legal or acceptable.

Example: Although the study legitimizes the existence of global warming, some will continue to think it is a hoax.

Magnifies

Definition: to make a problem bigger or more important.

Example: In conclusion, the scientists determined that the new pharmaceutical actually magnifies some of the symptoms of anxiety.

Models

Definition: something that a copy can be based on because it is an extremely good example of its type.

Example: The study models a similar one from 1973, which needed to be redone with modern equipment.

Negates

Definition: to cause something to have no effect.

Example: This negates previous findings that say that sulphur in wine gives people headaches.

Neglects

Definition: to not give enough care or attention to people or things that are your responsibility.

Example: The study neglects to mention another study in 2015 that had very different findings.

Obscures

Definition: to make something difficult to discover and understand.

Example: The problems with the equipment obscures the study.

Outlines

Definition: a description of the main facts about something.

Example: Before describing the research methods, the researchers outline the need for a study on the effects of anti-anxiety medication on children.

Overlooks

Definition:  to fail to notice or consider something or someone.

Example: I personally feel that the study overlooks something very important: the participants might have answered some of the questions incorrectly.

Parallels

Definition: to happen at the same time as something else, or be similar or equal to something else.

Example: Although the study parallels the procedures of a 2010 study, it has very different findings.

Converse International School of Languages offers an English for Academic Purposes course for students interested in improving their academic English skills. Students may take this course, which is offered in the afternoon for 12 weeks, at both CISL San Diego and CISL San Francisco. EAP course graduates can go on to CISL’s Academic Year Abroad program, where students attend one semester at a California Community College. Through CISL’s University Pathway program, EAP graduates may also attend college or university at one of CISL’s Pathway Partners. See the list of 25+ partners on the CISL website. Contact CISL for more information.  

Academic English Featured Los Angeles University Pathway

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, Santa Monica College!

September 15, 2017

CISL is proud to announce a partnership with Santa Monica College in beautiful Southern California! With this new partnership, CISL’s English for Academic Purposes graduates can attend Santa Monica College (SMC) without taking the TOEFL. Learn about your future with SMC below.

CISL’s Newest Pathway Partner, Santa Monica College

What is Santa Monica College?

Santa Monica College is a two-year college that is part of the California Community College system. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the state and also one of the best: SMC is the #1 transfer college to UCLA, USC, the University of California system, and Loyola Marymount University. Begin your college studies at Santa Monica College and you are one step away from transferring to some of the best universities in California.

Why choose SMC?

Your academic options are impressive at SMC! Popular academic programs at SMC include Business, Computer Technology, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Design, and Nursing (for a full list of programs, visit the Santa Monica College website).

Here are some more of the many reasons to consider SMC:

  • Incredible professors, including award-winning scientists, artists, scholars, and authors
  • Beautiful location (less than two miles from the beach)!
  • History of success in transfers: SMC has been the #1 transfer college to the UC system for 26 years
  • Modern campus with buildings that have won several architectural awards
  • “Smart classrooms” equipped with the latest technologies
  • Numerous student clubs (more than 70!) and sports clubs for students to join
  • Affordable tuition
  • More than 60 academic degree programs
  • 3,000+ international students from more than 100 countries
  • Active International Education Center to assist with housing, academic counseling, and adjusting to life in the U.S.
  • The college provides assistance with housing options (most students find housing within 5-7 days)

From SMC to University

After completing two years of education at SMC, finish the final two years of your four-year bachelor’s degree at a California State University campus. With SMC’s Guaranteed Transfer Agreement program, students with specific majors are guaranteed admission to a California State University school that has partnered with SMC. (To receive this, students must pass all of their classes.)

Some of the many areas of study include:

  • Art History
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Mathematics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

For further information, read these statistics on CSU and UC transfers and student population demographics.

To learn more about CISL’s Pathway Program and how you can attend a U.S. college or university using a TOEFL waiver, contact CISL. Be sure to ask about our English for Academic Purposes course, which will provide you with the academic English skills you need to succeed in the American university classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

Academic English Academic Year Abroad Cambridge Exams EAP IELTS Listening Practice TOEFL University Pathway

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

July 22, 2017

Forget listening to podcasts about learning English: instead, learn about English through podcasts about interesting subjects! If you need to improve your academic English skills for the American college or university setting, spend some time listening to these fascinating podcasts about science, the humanities, culture, and technology.

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

Astronomy Cast

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

Travel through space all learn all about the cosmos! Where did the Earth’s water come from? Do planets have seasons? How can you make a telescope at home? Who are some famous astronomers throughout history? Hosts Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela L. Gay answer questions you’ve always had about the universe.

http://www.astronomycast.com

National Public Radio (NPR)

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

Science, news, comedy, education, culture, technology: take your pick! NPR has many award-winning, well researched and well produced podcasts on various subjects. The content will keep you interested as you improve your listening skills with one speaker, two speaker, three speaker, and interview style recordings.

http://www.npr.org/podcasts

NASA Science Casts

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

NASA offers many podcasts on different subjects. Some focus more on specific projects (such as the Space to Ground podcast about the International Space Station), some focus on education (check out The Beautiful Universe), and others are news-focused, like This Week@NASA.

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/podcasting/index.html

 

RadioLab

5 Podcasts for the Academic English Student

Philosophy, history, science, and the human experience come together in RadioLab, and incredible podcast produced by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich.

http://www.radiolab.org

Converse International School of Languages offers English courses in San Diego and San Francisco, California. Improve your English through CISL’s small, eight-student classes: students can choose from Standard English, Intensive English, or specific courses such as TOEFL Preparation, IELTS Preparation, Cambridge Exam Preparation, and English for Academic Purposes. After EAP, students can attend college in the U.S. through CISL’s Academic Year Abroad and Pathway programs.