At the FSU Center for Intensive English Studies, we teach English as a skill to be used, not as a subject to be studied. All of our instruction stems from this idea. We constantly push our students to use their English in various academic and social situations. Our main goal is to get our students to become "automatic" at both processing and producing English.
We know that the only way to get better at speaking English is to speak English, and the only way to get better at reading in English is to read in English, etc. Therefore, we have a very strict "English Only" policy at CIES in which our students must only speak English while in the Center. In addition, we also push our students by getting them to read a lot, write a lot, and listen to a lot of English in order for them to become automatic at these skills.
As students begin to use their English they will make mistakes. This is a natural part of learning any skill and we view these mistakes as "beautiful" because they give us a chance to give our students feedback and help them develop their language. Our students receive detailed, specific feedback regularly as we believe that error correction is essential to developing one's skills in using English.
The final part of our philosophy is the feelings of our students. A student who is happy and feels safe and enthusiastic, is a student who will learn more effectively and much more quickly than a student who is unhappy and unmotivated. Therefore, creating and maintaining a "family-like" atmosphere among the students, staff and teachers of CIES is vital to our instruction.
If our students leave CIES confident in their ability to use English in all situations, and they are full of happy memories that will last a lifetime, then we will have done our job.