Programs & Workshops


Students in the Full-time Intensive English Program receive 20 hours per week of intensive English instruction, plus have the opportunity to attend optional elective classes and workshops. Optional elective classes and workshops enrich traditional ESL curricula, allowing students to apply their developing English comprehension, pronunciation, and reading skills as they watch films, read scripts, act in short scenes, or participate in other fun activities like listening to NYFA guest speakers from the film industry. The optional elective classes and workshops are separate class hours from the required Core English courses in the intensive English program and vary each session.

There is also a Part-time enrollment option for students who are not studying on an F-1 visa. Part-time students can choose to take one or two Core English courses.


Program Length:

12-week program

Hours Per Week:

20 hours per week – Full-time
Less than 15 hours per week – Part-time


Six levels: Beginner through Pre-College

calendarEXAMPLE OF

  • Classes are held Monday – Friday
  • Students meet for a total of 20 hours of intensive English instruction per week.
  • There are three core English classes: Grammar and Writing, Reading and Vocabulary, and Listening and Speaking.
  • Each class is 80 minutes in length.
  • Optional elective classes/workshops are offered throughout the quarter.

** Schedules vary by quarter and location. Please contact the school for the current class schedule.
*An afternoon class schedule from 1:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. may be offered depending on enrollment numbers.

9:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
Core English | Grammar and Writing
10:30 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Core English | Reading and Vocabulary
12:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
Core English | Listening and Speaking


The ESL School at NYFA is now offering a specialized 4-week workshop “The Language of Filmmaking” for both
full-time (F1 visa) and vacation (Tourist visa/visa waiver) students.

This workshop is developed for filmmaking students whose native language is not English. It provides instruction on essential aspects of filmmaking that students might be familiar with in another language but might be unacquainted with in English. This course will expand on students’ previous filmmaking knowledge and introduce them to unfamiliar terminology, including but not limited to cinematography, directing, acting, producing, screenwriting, sound design, and editing. Students will also watch and analyze films in a variety of genres, applying acquired vocabulary in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking.


  • The full-time workshop has 18 hours of instruction per week with classes meeting Monday-Thursday (9:00 AM – 12:45 PM) and Friday (9:30 AM – 12:30 PM)
  • The vacation workshop has 15 hours of instruction per week with classes meeting Monday-Thursday (9:00 AM – 12:45 PM).
  • Students are required to have at least a high-intermediate level of English. Students will take the school’s level placement test to determine eligibility in the program.
  • I-20s will be issued for the full-time workshop, but not for the vacation workshop. The vacation workshop is for students with Tourist Visas or Visa Waivers.



Level 1 students have very little practical ability in using English. The initial methods with these students are role play, communicative activities, and using visual prompts to develop pronunciation skills and mastery of basic vocabulary, grammar, and “survival” English. Communicating about basic needs and participating in basic conversations is emphasized. Students practice various grammatical structures and forms to generate sentences related to personal topics and short, loosely organized paragraphs.


Students will be able to participate in simple conversation using complete sentences and responding accurately to relevant questions. Students will be able to express needs, opinions, and personal information, as well as distinguish consonant and vowel sound production.

Students will be able to understand simple and clearly spoken narrations, phrases, and commands.

Students will have the ability to understand simple signs and directions and to obtain information from simple written English. Students will develop various reading strategies to improve reading comprehension. Students will also practice sounding out new words and use prefixes and suffixes to assist with vocabulary building. Readings are adapted from authentic sources to ensure effective comprehension.

Students will be able to write connected sentences related to everyday and personal experience as well as to convey information in short letter or email form.


Level 2 students, often called “false beginners,” have a foundation in basic English. These students have had contact with the English language via grammar textbooks, but they have yet to really activate the grammar and vocabulary they have previously learned. In this level emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking and literacy skills, and texts and auditory input become more academic. Writing becomes more organized and grammatical structures are further reinforced. Students are also introduced to American classroom culture and expectations.


Students will have the ability to participate in conversation while using more naturalized reduction and linkage of word sounds, intonation, and pronunciation. Students will be able to construct arguments and support opinions. In addition, learners will practice various language functions such as drawing conclusions and using stress for emphasis. Learners will also engage in individual and group presentations.

Students will be able to construct meaning from formal and informal academic audio recordings and discussions. Emphasis is placed on recalling main ideas and small details as well as responding to peer opinions.

Students will be introduced to more academic texts and be prepared to differentiate vocabulary words with multiple dictionary meanings. Students will continue to integrate new reading strategies and note-taking skills, while also constructing individual connectedness with texts. Vocabulary will be developed using synonyms, antonyms, and word parts. Students will also be introduced to idioms and collocations.

Students will have the ability to write structured paragraphs with organizational elements such as title, topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence.


Level 3 students move from the basic level of English grammar to increasingly complex grammatical forms. In Level 3, English students will deepen their language skill set as they learn to better articulate their ideas and generate more sophisticated inquiry. They also learn to participate in more extended conversation on both familiar and unfamiliar topics. At this level, students also learn to write academic paragraphs with relevant ideas and specific purposes.


Students will develop individual and group oral presentation skills, as well as practice verbal and nonverbal communication. Students will be able to converse at a functional level for interactions inside and outside the classroom.

Students will learn comprehension strategies and active listening skills to participate in conversations. In addition, learners will be able to differentiate linked and reduced sounds while mirroring native-like pronunciation. Auditory input will be academic in nature and will represent both formal and informal contexts.

Students will continue to develop high-frequency vocabulary by using context clues and word parts. Learners will explore word connotation, literal and figurative meaning, idioms, and phrases. Readings at this level come from a range of academic subjects and a variety of sources, such as textbooks, newspapers, and online articles.

Students will learn to write academic paragraphs for various purposes including definition, process, descriptive, opinion, and narrative paragraphs. Students will also be introduced to multi-paragraph essay writing.


Level 4 students have a solid foundation of English grammar, but continue to study to construct more complex sentence structures and demonstrate logical shifts between tenses. In Level 4, students will practice speaking about familiar topics with little hesitation. In addition, they gain a better understanding of American classroom culture and expectations. Writing shifts from focused paragraphs to developed academic essays.


Students will have the ability to discuss an array of academic topics at length, as well as ask and answer questions. Learners will engage in critical thinking discussions that require well-supported opinions. Learners will begin to self-monitor their speech and the speech of others.

Students will practice note-taking skills while listening to various formal and informal auditory input, such as radio interviews, class lectures, or group meetings. Learners will also practice more native-like speaking devices, including intonation and sound linkage.

Students will further develop their academic vocabulary and practice reading strategies to interpret more complex academic texts. Learners will also practice reading past the text to make inferences and real-life application.

Students will learn to write well-developed essays using various approaches such as descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and compare-contrast. Emphasis will be placed on pre-writing as well as peer editing. Students will practice developing necessary essay elements such as the hook, topic sentences, thesis statement, body paragraphs, and concluding paragraph.


Level 5 students have moved past the textbook-oriented skills to experiential learning. Learners have experience with the language, but sometimes still make simple and easy-to-correct errors. In Level 5, students learn more fluent skills. These include understanding essential points of discussions or speeches in special fields of interest, communicating about a variety of topics while using appropriate syntax, and reading more authentic material they encounter in everyday life. Writing also becomes more sophisticated and focused. Students will be able to accurately report feelings and opinions.


Students will participate in debates and discussions to practice their speaking skills. Students will develop quicker response reflexes and practice various language functions, such as interrupting the speaker, holding the floor, and speaker-audience interaction.

Students will participate in debates and discussions to practice their active listening skills, spontaneously constructing support for personal opinions. Topics will be varied and relevant to the lives of students.

Students will read a diverse sample of academic texts and excerpts that have relevance in today’s society. Students will continue to do close readings of selected quotes and decipher dense texts. Students will add to their high frequency academic words and use context clues to differentiate words with multiple dictionary meanings. Learners will practice and expand upon their comprehension strategies and note-taking skills such as paraphrasing or creating graphic organizers.

Students will translate their grammar skills into effective 4-6 paragraph academic essays. Focus will be placed on narrative, comparison, cause-effect, and argument essays. Writers will differentiate the purposes and paragraph structures needed for the various formats.


Level 6 is designed for students who will enter, or have conditional admittance to, a college undergraduate or graduate program. This level provides academic tasks in the context of challenging topics, advanced vocabulary, and authentic readings that parallel college level courses. The purpose of this level is to continue raising the English language fluency and cultural competence of non-native speakers, with the goal of preparing them to succeed in credit courses and eventually work effectively in jobs requiring native-like English skills.


Students will converse confidently and present in class on both academic and non-academic topics. Learners will practice a range of presentation formats, such as defining a concept, problem and solution, and explaining a process. Emphasis will be placed on the process of developing a speech and not exclusively on the final outcome. Students will practice using verbal and nonverbal communication as well as presentation technology.

Students will converse confidently and present in class on both academic and non-academic topics. Learners will practice a range of presentation formats, such as defining a concept, problem and solution, and explaining a process. Emphasis will be placed on the process of developing a speech and not exclusively on the final outcome. Students will practice using verbal and nonverbal communication as well as presentation technology.

Students read authentic excerpts from academic texts and journals while reinforcing previously learned reading strategies and vocabulary skills. Learners continue to add to their vocabulary while exploring a range of academic subjects. Close studies of isolated quotes as well as complete texts promote the usage of reading strategies as the learner transitions to the all-English academic classroom.

Students will focus on the seven-step process of writing, as well as developing skills in providing constructive criticism, creating effective paraphrasing and summarizing, and practicing correct citation of outside sources. Students will refine their writing skills and become prepared for the diverse writing demands of the higher education classroom. Learners will also have an understanding of the severity of plagiarism.


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