ELP In-Depth: CSI ESL Academy

logoIn life, opening one door often means closing another. After all, even with ice cream you cannot have both vanilla and chocolate and, in choosing one, must forgo the other (unless, of course, it’s a chocolate swirl). Fortunately, the Computer Systems Institute ESL Academy is an exception to this rule. With campuses in both Chicago and Boston, its campuses allow aspiring English language students to receive a quality education without the burden of choosing between two of America’s greatest cities.

Who should attend the CSI ESL Academy?
The CSI ESL Academy offers programs to meet the needs of a wide variety of students. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced students stand to benefit from its flagship Intensive English program. At the same time, those with an eye on developing advanced English for specific purposes will find its Academic and Business English programs to be an ideal match for their needs.

Where is the school located and where is housing?
With campuses located in Illinois (Chicago, Skokie, Lombard, Elgin, and Gurnee) as well as in Massachusetts (Boston and Worcester), the ESL Academy offers its students a wide range of English language immersion options. That having been said, while the ELP does not provide housing for its students it does provide a wide variety of resources to its students to enable them to find their own accommodations. After all, with so many campuses in close proximity to two of the country’s most exciting destinations the possibilities are nearly limitless.

When are classes held?
Each of the ELP’s three levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) runs 30 weeks. This period is itself divided into three academic terms of ten weeks each which allow students to intensively focus on a different aspect of English proficiency each term.

Finally, what makes the CSI ESL Academy unique?
In addition to the sheer number of locations and study plans available to student, the CSI ESL Academy is also unique because of its Degree Link program. The Degree Link program offers students enrolled in the ELP the chance to earn college credits in high-growth career fields while simultaneously improving their English proficiency. In so doing, studying at the CSI ESL Academy means you can have your cake and eat it, too.


Choose or Lose – sometimes an o makes a big differences!

dog door200282376-001To say that English is simply confusing may be a lesson in understatement but, rest assured, ours is not the first generation to struggle with its complexities. Fortunately for you, as you begin to make history of your own, we’re here to help you clear up some other common mistakes in English:

Choose/Chose
While both “choose” and “chose” are verbs, they are both pronounced and used quite differently. Choose, which rhymes with bruise, is a present tense verb that means to select. For example, we could say “they choose to study hard every night in order to improve their English.” Chose, by contrast, rhymes with nose, and is the past tense form of choose. Having lost the extra o, it is used only to describe completed actions as in the sentence “he chose not to come to work yesterday.”

Loose/Lose/Loss
“Loose,” “lose,” and “loss” are similarly confusing but far easier to sort out. Loose is an adjective that rhymes with juice and used to describe things that are free from captivity or not tight. It works in both the sentences “the dog got loose because the door was open” and “his pants were loose because he lost weight.” By contrast, lose, which rhymes with shoes, is a verb meaning to misplace or be defeated. In this way it works in both of the sentences “I always lose my umbrella” and “they lose every soccer game.” Loss is tied to this second meaning of lose. That is because it is a noun with used to identify the defeat – the thing – itself. It rhymes with “moss” and is used in sentences like “the home team suffered a terrible loss in the quarter-final match.” As you can see, because it is “a terrible loss” loss must be a thing because it is counted by “a” and modified by “terrible”. Were it a verb, like lose, we would say “they lose terribly each time they play.”

Fortunately for you, with these helpful tips, you can “choose not to lose” any day! Learn more about how to learn English.


English Immersion Destinations: The United States

spanish to english123176847Why study English in The United States?
Though, as our previous piece in this multi-part series on English immersion destinations discussed, English arose in England, the United States is arguably the guarantor of English in the 21st century. After all, because America is the world’s preeminent political, economic, and social power, students who immerse themselves in American-style English will possess a distinct advantage in many aspects of English-language culture. From the boardroom to Broadway, American English – and the more than 300 million people who speak it natively – will provide a clear advantage to candidates who are seeking to learn English to expand their academic, professional, or social horizons.

Where can I study?
The reach of American English around the world is almost as vast as the country itself and opportunities to study English around almost every corner. Though obvious hotspots include New York City and Washington DC, there are a variety of English Language Programs available from sea to shining sea. With literally thousands of programs to chose from the possibilities not only appear limitless but also ensure that there is a program out there to meet the needs of international students of all kinds. Those interested in high-energy lifestyle will find a number of major metropolises to chose from while those who prefer a quieter pace of life will find any of a number of smaller towns in the country an ideal fit. Likewise, specialized programs – be they for law, medicine, or business – also exist in almost every state.

What are the student visa regulations like?
Getting a visa to study in the United States is easy. If you plan on studying more than 18 hours a week – as most immersion programs require – then you will need to obtain an F-1 student but before you can apply for a visa you need to get an I-20 form from the school you plan to attend. Because each international student goes through this process your school will be instrumental in guiding you through this process and, indeed, they will be your point on contact throughout the visa application process. To learn more about the process, visit our US student visa page.


Commonly Mistaken Words: Are we already all together?

letters bw 162048450English may be a funny language but repeating some of the most commonly confused English words and phrases is no joking matter: it make the difference on an English exam or even a job interview. Here are a few commonly mistaken words that are made by natives and learners alike:

Already/All ready
Already” is one word (an adverb) that means previously or by the same time. When it is used properly is clearly demonstrates a sequence of events over time. For example, in the sentence “we had already discussed the matter but she kept bringing it up” you can see that the matter was discussed in past (that is, already discussed) although she continues to mention it in the present. By contrast, the two word phrase “all ready” simply means completely ready. Sentences that use “all ready” – like “we were all ready to go to the play” – do not involve actions over time and simply show that everyone in a group (that is, “all”) are ready to go.

Altogether/All together
Altogether,” which means completely or totally, is, like “already” an adverb. It is used when you want to evaluate or discuss something as a whole instead of as parts. Thus the sentence “altogether the bill came to $24.59” means that each individual item in the bill, when added up, totaled $24.59. By contrast, “all together” means “at the same time” and, as the following example shows, is used completely differently: “They jumped out of the plane all together.”

All right/A lot
Finally, even though we often see “alright” and “alot” written as one word, they should in fact always be separated. The single word variations are used “a lot” but do not exist, are not “all right” to use, and might even keep you from landing the job of your dreams!