English Foundations (EF)

Cascadia’s English Foundations (EF) program is an intensive program designed to prepare you for our college program or for careers that require a high level English skills. Upon arrival at Cascadia you will take a placement test to determine your level of English proficiency.

  • No TOEFL or IELTS score is required for admission.
  • Students may begin in one of five levels.
  • Each level may be completed in one academic quarter.
  • Students move up to the next level after successful completion of the course with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Students enroll in courses that cover Reading, Writing, Grammar, Communication.
  • Students in Level 5 (EF6) may also be eligible to enroll in one College 101 course. This allows students a comfortable “bridge” to help them transition into a full-time college program.
  • Upon successful completion of Level 5 (EF6), students may begin taking full-time college courses, including English 101, the basic college English composition course.

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English Foundations course descriptions:

LEVEL 1 (EF2):

Beginning English Communication is a ten-credit course designed to develop beginning English communication skills. Students will learn to communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar in context to prepare for the next steps of their college or career goals.

Beginning Reading is a five-credit course designed to introduce beginning English reading skills. Students will learn to apply basic reading skills and strategies to a variety of adapted texts while developing their vocabulary and participating in discussion. Students will read texts on a variety of topics.

Beginning Writing & Grammar is a five-credit course designed to develop beginning English writing and grammar skills. Utilizing the writing process, students will write sentences and will be introduced to basic paragraph structure. Students will improve their knowledge and use of English grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary in their writing.


Level 2 (EF3):

Low-Intermediate English Communication is a ten-credit course designed to develop low-intermediate English communication skills. Students will learn to communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar in context to prepare for the next steps of their college or career goals. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF2 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

Low-Intermediate Reading  is a five-credit course designed to develop low-intermediate English reading skills. Students will learn to apply reading skills and strategies to a variety of adapted texts while developing their vocabulary and participating in discussion. Students will read texts on a variety of topics. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF2 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score. 

Low-Intermediate Writing & Grammar  is a five-credit course designed to develop low-intermediate English writing and grammar skills. Utilizing the writing process, students will write sentences and paragraphs for a variety of purposes. Students will improve their knowledge and use of English grammar, paragraph structure, and vocabulary in their writing. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF2 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.


Level 3 (EF4):

Intermediate English Communication is a 10-credit course designed to develop intermediate English communication skills. Students will learn to communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar in context to prepare for the next steps of their college or career goals. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF3 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

Intermediate Reading is a five-credit course designed to develop intermediate English reading skills. Students will learn to apply reading skills and strategies to a variety of adapted texts while developing their vocabulary and participating in discussion. Students will read texts on a variety of topics and genres. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF3 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

Intermediate Writing & Grammar is a five-credit course designed to develop intermediate English writing and grammar skills. Utilizing the writing process, students will write well-developed paragraphs and will be introduced to multi-paragraph essays using a variety of styles. Students will improve their knowledge and use of English grammar, paragraph structure, and vocabulary in their writing. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF3 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.


Level 4 (EF5):

High-Intermediate Reading is a five-credit course designed to develop high-intermediate reading skills in English. Students will learn to apply reading and vocabulary skills and strategies to a variety of authentic and adapted texts while developing their vocabulary and participating in discussion. Students will read texts from a variety of genres and academic disciplines. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF4 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

High-Intermediate Writing & Grammar is a five-credit course designed to develop high-intermediate English writing and grammar skills. Utilizing the writing process, students will write well-developed paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays using a variety of styles. Students will improve their knowledge and use of English grammar, paragraph and essay structure, and vocabulary in their writing. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF4 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

English in Context – Washington State History is a five-credit course designed to learn a general overview of Washington (WA) State history. Students will gain knowledge by reading primary sources learning from other types of media. In addition, students will prepare written artifacts which require critical thinking skills, understanding of content, writing mechanics, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Students will also build public speaking skills by doing presentations. This course will help prepare students for the high school equivalency examinations in Reasoning Through Language Arts and Social Studies or earn high school completion credits in English and WA State History. It will also offer opportunities for students to increase English language skills contextually with WA state history. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF4 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.

English in Context – Environment Scienceis a five-credit course designed to learn about environmental science and sustainability by reading primary sources and learning from other sources of media. In addition, students will prepare written artifacts which require critical thinking skills, understanding of content, writing mechanics, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Students will also build public speaking skills by doing presentations. This course will help students prepare for the high school equivalency examinations in Reasoning Through Language Arts and Science, or earn high school completion credits in English and Science. It will also offer opportunities for students to increase English language skills contextually with topics relating to environmental science as they relate to topics on sustainability. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF4 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.


Level 5 (EF6):

Advanced Reading & Writing is a ten-credit course designed to develop advanced academic English reading and writing skills for success in college-level classes and the workplace. Students will apply reading strategies to a variety of authentic texts, while developing their vocabulary and annotation skills and participating in partner and group discussions. Students will create a variety of artifacts using the writing process and applying critical thinking skills and learned grammar from course texts. Written artifacts will include an instructor-guided research paper and assignments that combine purposes and styles. Course activities and assignments are designed to help students prepare for their next steps in their educational or career goals. This course will also prepare students for the high school equivalency examinations in Reasoning Through Language Arts or earn high school completion credits in English. Prerequisite(s): Admission to International Program. Successful completion of EF5 with minimum grade 2.5 or English placement test score.