Columbia University American Language Program Marks an Anniversary in 2012

“Challenging yet nurturing” are some of the descriptive words used by past participants in the American Language Program (ALP) at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Since 1912 students from more than 100 countries around the world have come to Columbia eager to learn English.

Since it first began offering courses in 1912, the ALP has been a leader in the English as a Second Language field. A century of experience and innovation, plus a world-class faculty, has positioned Columbia’s program at the forefront of teaching English to non-English speakers. A major attraction is situating students in the heart of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, filled with unmatched cultural advantages.

The ALP teaches students to use their knowledge in both academic and professional settings. Many students enroll to prepare to enter undergraduate and graduate programs at an American university. Other students study English to change career direction or compete in the global economy, where knowledge of English and cross-cultural communication skills are essential. The ALP also offers specialized English courses for matriculated students in Columbia’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

“We have a method to take students to an extremely high level; that of a well-educated native speaker of English,” says David Quinn, Senior Lecturer. “One focus is on actual daily-life situations, exploring American customs and society. Another focus is also on helping students develop the competencies needed for academic success; we help international students think critically, creatively and effectively – and to do so in accurate, sophisticated English.”

The ALP promises “intensive English in New York City at an Ivy League University.” While it is a serious academic program, the enticement of studying English in the heart of New York City has maintained its allure for 100 years.

In addition to teaching English, the School of Professional Studies offers an array of other opportunities for highly-qualified international students and professionals to immerse themselves in a culture of excellence at a world class teaching and research university. Open to students and professionals at many levels of their educational and professional paths, the School of Professional Studies offers opportunities to prepare for study at an American university and advance careers through courses, certificates and full-time graduate programs for international students.