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columbia university

The American Language Program

Intensive English in New York City

04–06 1

the american language program

Intensive English Language Programs: Important Dates, Language Levels, Months Offered Important Dates

Language Levels

Application deadlines: Applications are accepted up to the start of classes. However, it is best to begin seeking the U.S. F-1 student visa at least 12 weeks in advance.

Winter: January

Summer: May–August

Winter Intensive Program

Summer Intensive: Session A

Registration / classes begin: early January

Registration / classes begin: late May

Classes end: late January

Classes end: late June

Spring: February–April

Summer Intensive: Session B Registration / classes begin: late June

Spring Intensive Program Registration / classes begin: early February Classes end: late April

Fall: September–December Fall Intensive Program Registration / classes begin: mid-September Classes end: mid-December

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Beginner Intermediate Advanced

Winter Intensive Spring Intensive Fall Intensive Summer Intensive A Summer Intensive B Adv. Academic Prep. English for Prof. Purposes: Business Law

Classes end: early August Advanced Academic Preparation Registration / classes begin: late June

Months Offered J F MAM J J A SON D

Classes end: early August English for Professional Purposes (Business or Law) Registration / classes begin: late July Classes end: early August

Intensive courses generally meet 18 hours per week. Summer Session B, Advanced Academic Preparation, and English for Professional Purposes courses meet 20 hours per week. All classes may fall between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday–Friday.

Winter Intensive Spring Intensive Fall Intensive Summer A Summer B Adv. Academic Prep. English for Prof. Purposes

Please visit for current dates and detailed schedules.

“Studying at the ALP, we can open our eyes to the world!” — Maya Mikami, Japan ALP Student

Columbia University American Language Program

Intensive English in New York City

the american language program


“The ALP offers top-notch quality in English education—excellent teachers, great computer and audio-visual facilities, and classmates from all over the world!” —Dr. Hong Seung-Pyo, Korea ALP Student


the american language program


Welcome to the American Language Program at Columbia University. In these pages you’ll find information about our intensive English language courses, all held at Columbia University’s main campus in the heart of New York City. Whether your goal is to attend an American university or achieve professional success in the United States, our intensive programs are designed to dramatically increase your proficiency with written and spoken English. The American Language Program offers a unique educational and cultural experience. Columbia offers all of these features:  an Ivy League university experience

 a world-class faculty

 a historic campus in Manhattan

 a serious academic program at the forefront of English language education The following pages give you a sense of the kind of experience you’ll have if you come to Columbia University to study English. Current program schedules, fees, deadlines, application information, and other program details can be found at our Web site: Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. Yours truly,

David H. Quinn ALP Chairman  

The Columbia campus is located on Broadway, minutes away from Central Park, midtown, and the Hudson River.

The American Language Program

Since 1911, the ALP has been a leader and innovator in English language pedagogy.

The Benefits of Experience One of the oldest English as a second language (ESL) institutions in the nation, the American Language Program has been a leader in the profession since its founding in 1911. As a constituent part of Columbia University, the ALP offers students: n  early a century of experience and innovation in ESL  a dedicated, widely published faculty appointed by the University  a true campus and student life experience in the middle of New York City  a wide variety of high-quality academic English courses for international students

“The teachers are all responsible, active, warmhearted, easygoing, and involved in their teaching.” —Lin Zhang, China ALP Student

Columbia: A Great Urban University Founded in 1754, Columbia University is a member of the Ivy League, a group of eight of the oldest and most distinguished universities in the United States. Currently over 4,000 faculty members and 23,000 students from 150 countries populate the University’s beautiful 36-acre campus, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (see page 8 for details on the campus and neighborhood). At the forefront of American intellectual life for over 250 years, the University is committed to academic excellence in each of its schools and divisions, and strives to provide an environment ideal for learning, research, and creativity.

“ALP teachers and students are very close, and this makes learning easier.” —Cristina Van-Dúnem, Angola ALP Student


the american language program

Faculty Excellence Every member of the ALP faculty holds either a master’s degree or doctorate in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages, in applied linguistics, or in a closely related field. As University faculty members, ALP instructors are an integral part of the intellectual and research life of the campus. Most ALP faculty members have published textbooks and articles on English as a second language, speak regularly at Go to professional conferences on subjects related to their scholarly interests, and have assumed for instructor biographies leadership roles in professional organizations. and publications. All claim teaching as their greatest love.

Education With a Purpose The ALP’s intensive study options help students achieve long-term goals such as studying at an American University, pursuing professional goals in the United States, or simply developing a wider global perspective.

“My ALP experience was great, with a long-lasting impact on my working, creative, and personal life. I’m a journalist, and studying at the ALP helped me become a better writer in Spanish!” —Rubén Correa, Argentina ALP Student

The Classroom Experience

An innovator in course curriculum design, the ALP is committed to providing a challenging, nurturing,

Team Teaching: Making the Most of Expert Instruction The ALP has one of the largest full-time faculties of any ESL program in American higher education. To provide students with a stimulating variety of activities and a diversity of teaching styles and strengths, all of the ALP’s intensive programs are taught by teams of three teachers who work together to create a coherent and challenging academic experience for each class.

and varied learning experience. Class Size The intensive programs average 18 students per class, with fewer students in lower-level classes. This class size gives each student a full opportunity to participate in class and receive individual attention.

The Language in Context ALP faculty believe strongly in preparing students for the accurate and fluent use of English in academic and professional settings.

“Excellent equipment in the lab, a good selection of curriculum materials, and great teachers.”

Instruction at the ALP involves intensive class participation and active use of the spoken and written language. Language is presented in contexts that, depending on the student’s command of English, may simulate daily-life situations, focus on American society and customs, or explore issues of worldwide concern. Course work at Go to all levels is designed to develop grammatical accuracy, fluency and pronunciation, listenfor details about the ALP ing and reading comprehension, and writing teaching philosophy. ability.

—Victoria Sukhol, Ukraine ALP Student


the american language program

Intensive Language Study Options

English Electives

Intensive Programs (Fall, Spring, Winter, and Summer)

Students in levels 5 to 8 in the fall and spring intensive programs may choose to take special English elective courses in topics such as current events, American business, or the American short story in the second half of these semesters.

Four-, seven-, or twelve-week courses that are academic in focus and are offered on eight levels of proficiency, from beginning to highly advanced. These are comprehensive language courses for students who wish to practice all language skills: grammatical accuracy, fluency and pronunciation, listening and reading comprehension, and writing ability, while learning about America and Americans. These courses offer a carefully integrated year-round sequence of courses to international students, business and professional people who wish to Go to improve their command of English.

Advanced Academic Preparation Seven-week course for students who have immediate plans to enter a degree program in the U.S.

for course details and admissions requirements.

English for Professional Purposes: Business English language for business professionals and pre-M.B.A. students. English for Professional Purposes: Law English language for law professionals and pre-law students. Information Technology and English Advanced spoken and written English and applied IT for the global marketplace. For information, please visit

English Plus University Courses In cooperation with the Elective Studies Program of the School of Continuing Education, students who wish to pursue an academic program in addition to their study at the ALP may apply to take selected University courses once they have attained an advanced level of English. Admission to the ALP does not necessarily lead to official admission to any other school of the University. Note: registration for University courses may take place several weeks before ALP full-time courses begin.

“You will learn how to communicate in English in a professional and appropriate manner.” — Angela Lopez, Dominican Republic ALP Student

the american language program


The Columbia Experience

The Campus Columbia offers the unique experience of a true college campus in the middle of New York City. Designed and built a century ago by the renowned architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, Columbia’s 36-acre campus boasts some of the most beautiful and impressive architecture in the city. The campus functions as both academic village and relaxing public space—housing one of the largest library systems in the country, computer laboratories, classrooms, dormitories, athletic facilities, student spaces, and beautifully landscaped grounds. The wide steps of Low Library—named one of 63 Great American Public Places—are a natural spot for meeting between classes.

The Neighborhood

“I was 40 years old, the oldest in the class, and found that the teachers are

Columbia’s campus is situated on Broadway in the lively neighborhood of Morningside Heights. A ten-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, Morningside Heights offers all the amenities of a college town—cafés, bookstores, diners, shops, and restaurants—while still maintaining the distinct urban appeal of a New York City neighborhood. A number of other major educational and cultural institutions call Morningside Heights home, including Barnard College, the Manhattan School of Music, Teacher’s College, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

all passionate and tough— the ALP certainly made my life richer and more joyful than before.” —Toshiharu Kusu, Japan ALP Student


the american language program

Housing In general, students must arrange for their own housing. Arrangements should be made at least three months before each school term begins. A limited number of rooms are available through the ALP. Students who seek on-campus housing must apply early. Visit the Web for a housing application and further information.

Go to for additional housing information and resources.

A Day at Columbia The outline below is meant to provide students with a general sense of how a typical weekday might be spent. Class Time English classes at Columbia demand three to four hours of class time per weekday. Afternoon Break Each day, there is a one- or two-hour break at midday for lunch or study. Homework/Laboratory Assignments Students should expect to spend several hours on homework and language laboratory assignments every day. Evenings and Weekends All classes end by 5 p.m.; classes do not meet on the weekends. Students may take this time to study or to explore the city.

Safety and Security At Columbia University, the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff are an important priority. Student dorms are staffed 24-hours a day by security personnel; the Columbia campus and the neighborhood are safe and have a relatively low crime rate for an urban university. To view the annual security report containing information with respect to campus security policies and statistics, please see the online student handbook:

the american language program


New York City New York offers endless opportunities for enrichment. Whether it’s heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, catching a Broadway show, strolling through art galleries in Chelsea, or touring Ellis Island, New York City has something for every taste and interest. A true international city, New York gives students the chance to explore cultures from around the globe, and the city’s safe, reliable public transportation systems make all that the city has to offer convenient and accessible.

“Anything you want to explore in this world, you can experience in New York City.” —Bao-Tung Wang, Taiwan ALP Student


the american language program

“The best things about New York City are its diversity and dynamism. There are so many cultures, so many activities to discover...” —Gwendoline Egger Rochat, Switzerland ALP Student

“I was able to make many friends from different cultures and to develop cross-cultural senstivity.” —Dr. Motoo Ummo, Japan ALP Student

“The best thing about living in New York City is developing my personal independence.” —Nobuyuki Kobayashi, Japan ALP Student

“The best thing about living in New York is enjoying authentic Chinese food!” —Yuli Xie, China ALP Student

the american language program


Requirements for Students The American Language Program is open, without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, or gender, to all students who are at least 17 years old. Consult for complete admissions information.

Language Proficiency The ALP accepts students at all levels of English. All students take our English Placement Test when they arrive on campus before they register for classes.

Resources for Students The ALP Web site includes detailed program information, such as health insurance, tuition and fees, travel to New York, and arrival at Columbia University. The Columbia visitor information page includes a virtual tour of the campus, general information about visiting the University, and links to the International Students and Scholars Office and the University’s online resource guide to New York City.

Visas Visa applications can take several months to process. Students should plan accordingly and carefully review requirements at

Age You must be at least 17 years old to register for classes at the ALP. You must be at least 18 years old to live in University housing.


the american language program

Other Programs Offered by the School of Continuing Education For information on any of the programs listed below, please visit, or call 212-854-9699.

Columbia Arts and Sciences Courses

Preparation for Graduate School

Elective Studies Program

Postbaccalaureate Program in Biotechnology

Creative Writing Nondegree Study

Business Careers Initiative

Second-Majors Program

Postbaccalaureate Classics Program

Summer Session

Postbaccalaureate Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Auditing Program

Postbaccalaureate Psychology Program

Hundreds of Columbia courses, available to qualified nondegree students. C Serious writing courses, in all genres. C and NC A certificate program for extensive, nondegree study of a particular subject. C Columbia’s summer term. Graduate and undergraduate courses, in two 6-week sessions. C Provides the opportunity for adults not currently enrolled in college to attend selected lecture courses in the Arts and Sciences. NC

Professional Advancement Executive Master of Science in Technology Management Degree program for professionals seeking to position technology strategically to enhance business performance. C

Master of Science in Strategic Communications Degree program for professionals seeking to gain comprehensive knowledge of today’s communications tools and master effective communications strategy. C

Master of Science in Fundraising Management for Nonprofit Administration

Certificate program to prepare for graduate work in biotechnology. C A pre-business certificate program for graduates with liberal arts backgrounds. C A full-time certificate program to prepare for admission to doctoral programs. C Certificate program to prepare for graduate work in conservation biology. C

Certificate program to prepare for successful admission to graduate programs. C

Postbaccalaureate Program in Quantitative Studies for Finance Certificate program to prepare for graduate work in the mathematics of finance and financial engineering. C

Language Study and Overseas Programs Summer Language Program in Beijing

Nine-week intensive Chinese language summer program. C

Berlin Consortium for German Studies

Spring or academic-year undergraduate study at the Freie Universität Berlin. C

Degree program for individuals seeking new or expanded professional roles in fundraising. C

Columbia University in Paris

Information Technology Programs

Fall, spring, summer, or academic-year undergraduate study. C

Certificate programs for individuals who seek new or expanded professional roles in information technology. NC

Summer Business Chinese and Internship Program in Shanghai

Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Foreign Language Nondegree Study

Full-time summer certificate program for college graduates. C

Six-week intensive Chinese language instruction and four-week internship at a Shanghai corporation. C Study options available in over forty foreign languages. C and NC



Columbia University

American Language Program

School of Continuing Education 504 Lewisohn Hall 2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4113 New York, NY 10027-6902



columbia university

American Language Program Brochure  

Brochure for the American Language Program at Columbia University