English Mastery Program

Bridging the Languages

The English Mastery Program is a two-year program designed to help international students fully engage with the English language so they can excel in academics at Trinity-Pawling and in college. We focus on mastering reading comprehension and listening skills before advancing to coursework that enhances written work and analytical abilities. Trinity-Pawling is also a certified Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) testing site, and English Mastery students’ progress is consistently reflected in their TOEFL Scores.

LEAD teacher Arlene Toscano works with a Trinity-Pawling student in the Center for Learning Achievement

The structure of the English Mastery Program is similar to that of the LEAD Program. Students in are enrolled in three English Mastery courses over two years, taken in conjunction with their other classes at Trinity-Pawling.

First-year English Mastery Courses

Reading Comprehension

The first year of the English Mastery Program consists of two courses. The first is called Reading Comprehension. In this course, students work on mastering the English language from the fundamental level and up. Using a modified Orton-Gillingham approach, students focus on letter/sound associations and combinations, syllable division rules, linguistic terminology, rote memorization, and spelling rules. In addition to word attack skills, students work on vocabulary, reading comprehension, listening skills, study techniques, and organizational skills. Students in this course are placed into sections of two or three students, and their progress is based on their mastery of the material. Importantly, students who do not require phonics work are placed into groups where that section is replaced by intensive vocabulary work.

Composition One

The second first-year English Master Program course is Composition One. In this course, students work extensively in learning the fundamentals of grammar and writing. Students memorize definitions for parts of speech, learn the various sentence constructions, and master how to apply the information they learn in their own writing. Students also are instructed in composing topic sentences, thesis statements, paragraphs, and essays.

Second-year English Mastery Courses

Analytical Writing

The second-year course in the English Mastery Program is Analytical Writing. Students in this course develop their writing skills through reading an assortment of short stories and novellas and writing essays. Students learn how to write an introductory paragraph, how to find the main idea in a text, and how to support their points in an essay using the text. Additionally, students are taught to recognize symbolism and figurative language in literary works, while finding patterns, creating outlines, improving their writing mechanics, and developing vocabulary.