AEC Program Overview


Topics

This section includes the following information:

  • Class Rules
  • Courses
  • Placement and Progression
  • AEC Achievement Scale
  • Student Activities
  • KU Email Account
  • Leaving KU and/or the AEC

Class Rules

Attendance Requirements

Attend classes regularly.  If you expect to be absent, you should notify your instructors.  If you are absent, you should ask your instructors about the information you missed.  You should ask your instructors about the possibility of making up missed assignments.  Different instructors may have different rules about making up missing assignments, so be sure you understand the rules for each class.

Arrive at class at least a few minutes before the class begins and stay in class until the end of class.  If you expect to be more than 10 minutes late for class, or if you expect to leave class more than 10 minutes early, or if you expect to miss more than 10 minutes of the class at any time, you should tell your instructor in advance.  You will be counted absent.

The AEC expects that you will attend every class session, except in cases of serious illness or emergencies.  Missing classes can hurt your progress in learning English.  Moreover, excessive absences are disruptive to the class and can cause extra work for the instructor.  You are expected to schedule personal appointments outside of class time.

If you have a prolonged illness or other situation that causes you to have a large number of absences, you should make an appointment to see a cross-cultural advisor.  Your absences will not be excused, but your circumstances can be documented on your file.

If you miss more than 15% in all of your classes combined, you will be put on probation at the end of the semester.

Excused Absences

The AEC does not excuse absences for any reason except for mandated (required) religious observances.  If you have a long illness or other situation that causes you to have a large number of absences, you should make an appointment to see a cross-cultural advisor.  Your absences will not be excused, but your reasons can be written in your file.

The University of Kansas and the AEC have a policy about absences due to mandated religious observances (i.e., a religious holiday).  An absence for a religious holiday will be excused.  Your instructors will tell you about this on their course policy sheet.  If you have questions about being excused because of a religious holiday, please visit the AEC office.

Homework and Assignments

Homework is an essential part of the AEC program. You are expected to complete all homework and other class assignments on time.

Active Participation

Classroom exercises and activities are important in developing your skills in English. Participate actively in class. Ask and answer questions as your instructor allows and join in discussions and activities. The language of the classroom is English. Speak English in and outside of class as much as possible.

KU Rules for Students

The University of Kansas has rules about student behavior.  You should look at these rules so that you know about your rights and your responsibilities as a university student.  If you have questions about something, please make an appointment to talk to an AEC cross-cultural advisor.

Please review Article II, Section 6, of the University Senate Rules and Regulations policy. This part is very important.  It explains a very important idea at any American university: academic misconduct. Misconduct means doing something bad or wrong. For example, if a student copies work from another student, or does the class work for another student, they can be in a lot of trouble. More information is available in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities policy.

Asking for Extra Help

Your AEC instructors are available to help you outside of class and can meet with you to discuss your classwork. You should find out from each instructor the times he or she will be in the office. You can then make an appointment to meet with your instructor during his or her office hours to discuss any problems you are having in that particular class.


AEC Courses

Five Levels of Instruction

The AEC provides five levels of instruction in English for students of other language backgrounds. Your placement in these levels is based on your performance on the AEC Entrance Test (the Versant Proctored English Placement Test) and your course grades. Change of level (to a higher level) recommendations may be made to the director by an instructor based on diagnostic tests at the start of each term.

Two Areas

At each level, there are courses in these two areas:

  1. Listening, Speaking, Grammar for Academic Purposes
  2. Reading, Writing, Grammar for Academic Purposes 

In addition, Support Courses are offered at levels 1-3 and Elective Courses are offered at levels 3-5. (Elective Courses are currently not offered in the summer.)

Conversation Groups

All students are invited to participate in AEC conversation groups that are offered several times a week. You can attend once or several times a week, depending on your interest in practicing conversational English. The groups are informal discussions between international students and American students and are not required or graded. Information about these groups is provided through email and also by Listening and Speaking instructors early each semester. You can also ask about Conversation Groups at the front desk of the AEC office. Conversation Group attendance is required for Listening/Speaking/Grammar classes.

Learning English Online (LEO)

The Learning English Online (LEO) lab is the AEC’s computer laboratory in 226 Fraser. Work in the computer lab is required in many AEC courses. The AEC believes that the work you do in LEO will help prepare you for your university academic requirements.


Placement in Classes and Progression through the Program

Placement in AEC Classes

We work very hard to make sure that every student is correctly placed in AEC courses and levels. At the beginning of each semester, we give diagnostic tests that help us know the abilities of all students, and those tests may show if a student should be in a higher level. Instructors will submit diagnostic test scores to the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs who can make change-of-level decisions based on student performance.

Start of Semester: Arrive Early

You should arrive several days before classes begin so that you can test (if necessary), enroll in classes, buy your books, and be ready to start the semester. Students who start classes late will miss important work in the first days of classes, including diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests and other work related to change-of-level cannot be made up.

Progression through the Program

Your placement for the next semester is determined by your final grades. If you earn 75% or higher in a class, you automatically move up to the next level. If you earn below 75%, you must repeat that class.

Probation

Students who do not meet the course or attendance requirements for the semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. You can be placed on probation for the following reasons:

  • You missed 15% or more of your combined classes.
  • You earned a D or F in any of your AEC courses (core courses, support courses, or elective courses).

Being on AEC academic probation means that you will have to meet certain requirements for your courses for the following semester. If you do not meet these requirements, you will be dismissed from KU. See a cross-cultural advisor for more details.

Mid-Semester Grade Reports

During the spring and fall semesters, your instructors will give you a mid-semester grade report around Week 8 of the semester.  This will give you information about how you are doing in the class.  If you are doing well, you know that you should continue doing what you are doing.  If you are not doing well, you will know that you should make some changes.  However, if you are not sure how you are doing, you do not have to wait for your mid-semester grade report.  You can talk to your instructor during office hours to find out how you are doing and get help making any changes.  The AEC cross-cultural advisors are also happy to meet with you to talk about creating a good study plan and to give you tips for making the most possible progress in your English language proficiency.

Receiving your End-of-Semester Report

It is important for you to receive your End-of-Semester Report before you leave Lawrence for break times, then you will know your courses for the next semester.  Students who are on AEC Academic Probation are required to stay to get their End-of-Semester Report.

Class Grades

AEC level 1 - 3 course grades of (A, B, C, D, F) are official university grades and will appear on your KU transcript and may influence your acceptance to other programs at the university or to other colleges or universities. They do not count towards any degree offered by KU and are not included in your KU grade point average.

Credit hours for courses at level 4 and 5 do count toward undergraduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, and the School of Business. AEC instructors assign letter grades for level 4 and level 5 courses, but your official university grades for these courses will be credit or no-credit. To receive a grade of credit for one of these courses you must earn at least a grade of A, B, or C in the class.


The AEC Achievement Scale

This chart describes the learning outcomes you are required to achieve at each level. More detailed information about each course will be given to you on the Course Policy Sheets at the beginning of each semester.

AEC LevelCEFR AlignmentDescriptors
Basic<A1Basic English is a fully-integrated English as a Second Language course designed for students at the lowest level of English proficiency.  The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at an A1 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases in both speech and writing.  Students will also be able to interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly.
1A1 - A2

Reading/Writing/Grammar: Students in Level 1 Reading/Writing/Grammar are at the beginning of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce written language at the A2 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to communicate and understand simple, foundational English relevant to everyday use and academic study.

Listening/Speaking/Grammar:  Students in Level 1 Listening/Speaking/Grammar are at the beginning of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the A2 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to communicate and understand simple, foundational English relevant to everyday use and academic study.

2A2 - B1

Reading/Writing/Grammar:  Students in Level 2 Reading/Writing/Grammar are at a high-beginning/low-intermediate level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B1 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main points of clear standard input regularly encountered in academic study and produce simple connected text on relevant topics.

Listening/Speaking/Grammar:  Students in Level 2 Listening/Speaking/Grammar are at a high-beginning/low-intermediate level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B1 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main points of clear standard input regularly encountered in academic study and can produce simple connected speech on relevant topics.

3B1 - B1+

Reading/Writing/Grammar: Students in Level 3 Reading/Writing/Grammar are at an intermediate level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B1+ CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics and will be able to produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects.

Listening/Speaking/Grammar:  Students in Level 3 Listening/Speaking/Grammar are at an intermediate level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B1+ CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main ideas of lectures on both concrete and abstract topics and will be able to interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible.

4B1+ - B2

Reading/Writing/Grammar:  Students in Level 4 Reading/Writing/Grammar are at a low advanced level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B2 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics and begin to recognize implicit meaning. Students will also be able to produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and begin to demonstrate control of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Listening/Speaking/Grammar:  Students in Level 4 Listening/Speaking/Grammar are at a low-advanced level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students develop and strengthen their English skills in listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary, and to prepare them for academic English learning at higher levels.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B2 CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand the main ideas and begin to recognize implicit meaning in lectures on both concrete and abstract topics, and will be able to begin to express him/herself fluently and spontaneously for academic purposes.

5B2 - B2+

Reading/Writing/Grammar:  Students in Level 5 Reading/Writing/Grammar are at an advanced and final level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students strengthen and refine their English skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B2+ CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning and will be able to use language flexibly and effectively for academic purposes.  Students will also be able to produce clear, well-structured detailed texts showing controlled used of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Listening/Speaking/Grammar:  Students in Level 5 Listening/Speaking/Grammar are at an advanced and final level of English for Academic Purposes study. The purpose of this course is to help students strengthen and refine their English skills in listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary.  By the end of this course, students will be able to produce language at the B2+ CEFR proficiency level.  Specifically, students will be able to understand a wide range of demanding, longer speech and recognize implicit meaning in lectures on both concrete and abstract topics. Students will also be able to express themselves fluently and spontaneously and use language flexibly and effectively for academic purposes.

 


Student Activities

Each semester the AEC participates in several student activities throughout the semester. Student activities are a great way to make new friends and get involved in the university and the community while practicing your English. We participate in activities to enhance your experience of living and studying abroad as well as giving you opportunities to practice your English in the “real world”. If you want to improve your English skills, it is important to take your English outside of the classroom.

There are many kinds of activities, such as visiting museums, playing sports, attending local cultural events, and celebrating American holidays. 

How do you find out about activities? Go to conversation groups and the leaders will give you a flyer about upcoming activities. Also be sure to watch your email.  Activity announcements are sent out to your KU email address. You can also check the AEC Conversation Group Facebook site (go to Facebook and search for “Applied English Center Conversation Groups”) or check the bulletin board in the hallway outside the AEC office.

Here are the guidelines that you need to follow to participate in activities:

  1. Some activities are free and some cost money. Check the flyer for this information.
  2. Some activities have a limit of how many people can go. Check the flyer for this information.
  3. If an activity is cancelled, due to rain or not enough students, we will send you an email.
  4. You may need to purchase tickets before an activity. If you would like help, a conversation leader at conversation groups will be happy to help you any time.
  5. A great way to prepare for these activities and practice the vocabulary you learn from them is to attend conversation groups in 2042 Malott.

If you have questions about an activity, contact the AEC office. You can also talk to the conversation leaders at conversation groups for information and details.


KU Email Account

All students are required to have a KU email account, or to register a current email account with KU. You will receive important information from KU through email. You can visit the KU Information Technology website to register your email account. If you need help doing this, please come to the front desk at the Applied English Center.

You will receive an eBill through email telling you how much money you owe for tuition and fees, and when and how you must pay. You must have a KU email account, or have your email account registered with KU to receive this information. Be sure you check your email often.


Leaving KU and/or the AEC

Students Currently Enrolled or Pre-Enrolled and Not Returning

If you are currently enrolled or if you have pre-enrolled for next semester, and you do not plan to (or cannot) return to KU, please contact the AEC office about disenrolling. This is very important because:

  • You are not automatically disenrolled (removed) from your pre-enrolled courses if you do not return to KU or the AEC.
  • You will be billed for your courses and fees even if you are not here and you do not attend any classes.
  • You will receive a grade of F in all of your classes.

Students Currently Enrolled and Leaving During the Semester

If you are currently enrolled at KU on a visa and you must leave during the semester, you must 1.) talk to an advisor at ISS and 2.) contact the AEC Office to complete a withdrawal form.

Tuition and fees are established by KU and may change each semester. For updated information on tuition and fees, you may visit the AEC office or go to KU’s website at registrar.ku.edu. If you enroll in classes and then need to drop a course or withdraw from all your courses, you may still owe some money for the course(s). Please contact the AEC office or go to the KU website (registrar.ku.edu) for more information on refund deadlines.

Students at KU on a Visa and Pre-Enrolled But Not Returning

If you are at KU on a visa and you pre-enrolled for next semester, and then you decide that you will not return (or you cannot return):

  1. If you are in Lawrence, come to the AEC office.
  2. If you are not in Lawrence, contact the AEC office.

Tuition and fees are established by KU and may change each semester. For updated information on tuition and fees, you may visit the AEC office or go to KU’s website at registrar.ku.edu. If you enroll in classes and then need to drop a course or withdraw from all your courses, you may still owe some money for the course(s). Please contact the AEC office or go to the KU website (registrar.ku.edu) for more information on refund deadlines.

Students Not Pre-Enrolled and Not Returning to the United States

If you are not pre-enrolled for next semester, and you want to leave KU/the AEC and you plan to leave the United States and not return, you do not need to do anything. If you plan to leave KU/the AEC and go to another US university (i.e., transfer), make an appointment to talk to an advisor at ISS.

Questions about Leaving KU/the AEC?

This information is complex and can be confusing. If you plan to leave KU/the AEC and you aren’t sure what to do, stop by the AEC office or make an appointment to see a cross-cultural advisor.