Beyond Basic ESL (BBESL) offers core classes in Reading/Writing, Listening/Speaking and Grammar to teach the fundamentals of US English. Courses are offered at two levels: Level B and Level C. Level A courses will be introduced in future semesters.

Core courses at each level can be taken for one or for two semesters. While only one semester/class/level is required for our certificate programs, students have the option of taking a course for two semesters at the same level if they need more time to accomplish their goals. Although skills and strategies will be the same for each course at each level, we alternate the content/chapters for each semester so repeating students would have a new and enjoyable learning experience.

Each semester, the BBESL Program offers a variety of elective courses to complement our core courses, to give opportunities to our students to develop and strengthen a specific skill or to give them exposure to a specialized area to help them achieve their personal, academic and professional goals.

BBESL Levels

Class Level A Low-Intermediate Level B Intermediate/ High-Intermediate Level C Advanced
Understanding – Listening I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programs on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear. I can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programs. I can understand the majority of films in standard dialect. I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signaled explicitly. I can understand television programs and films without too much effort.
Understanding – Reading I can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency every day or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters. I can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. I can understand contemporary literary prose. I can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. I can understand specialized articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to my field.
Speaking – Spoken Interaction I can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events). I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. I can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining my views. I can express myself easily and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. I can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate my contribution skillfully to those of other speakers.
Speaking – Spoken Production I can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. I can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. I can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe my reactions I can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my field of interest. I can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options. I can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.
Writing I can write simple connected text on topics, which are familiar, or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions. I can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to my interests. I can write a simple essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. I can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences. I can express myself in clear, well-structured text, expressing points of view at some length. I can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I consider the salient issues. I can select style appropriate to the reader in mind.

Adapted from the Council of Europe English Assessment Grid.