The International Programs team has developed curriculum to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

All full-time students take FOUR 50-MINUTE CORE CLASSES Monday through Friday. These classes work together to provide a well-rounded English study program that emphasizes speaking and listening, but also includes reading and writing. All classes integrate these skills into the learning experience, with some classes focusing on one particular skill.

GRAMMAR: Work on the STRUCTURE of English needed to communicate clearly and accurately in speaking and writing, in both formal and informal settings.

LISTENING: Focus on COMPREHENDING spoken English in various contexts. Course format includes listening to textbook-related and real-world audio/video material, learning note-taking skills, understanding vocabulary in context, and discussing content.

ORAL PRODUCTION: Build ORAL FLUENCY with emphasis on the functions of the languaeg and pronunciation for a variety of speaking situations. In this class, students build up their confidence as they participate in discussions and debates, give oral presentations, complete class projects focused on speaking.

INTEGRATED SKILLS: Use and expand speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through the study of a variety of interesting topics.   In this class, students work on blending the four skills through class actiities and integrate productive and reception skills in a variety of contexts.

Interchange — speaking practice sessions with University of Hawai‘i students — is an important component of the curriculum of the Oral Production and Integrated Skills classes.  NICE students meet with UH students once a week in each class.  Under the instructors’ direction, they practice the skills they are learning, share cultural insights, and build relationships.


The four core classes are offered at FIVE LEVELS:


A BASIC level student should have some prior English study, should be able to comprehend simple vocabulary and communicate with words, short phrases, and gestures.

An ADVANCED level student has a good grasp of the language, still working on perfecting complex language structures, and natural and appropriate use of the language.


All four NICE classes have language learning goals and objectives for each level.  In addition, the Oral Production and Integrated Skills classes are organized around themes related to student’s goals for studying English, focusing on academic, professional, or general subject matter. Whenever possible, students with similar goals are grouped together. In classes where student goals are mixed, instructors balance the course material to accommodate the various needs and interests.


New students take FOUR (4) placement tests on the first day of the session to determine their level in each class:

  1. a grammar test places students into Grammar levels;
  2. a listening test places students into Listening levels;
  3. on oral interview places students into Oral Production levels;
  4. a reading and a writing test, along with the other tests, places students into Integrated Skills level.


Each class and level has two sets of curriculum, Curriculum A and Curriculum B. Students move to the next level after successfully completing BOTH Curriculum A and Curriculum B (two terms) OR by demonstrating that they have met all of the student learning outcomes of the level.

At the middle and end of each term, instructors evaluate students and assess their achievement in the class and their progress in the level. Percentage grades are issued on the basis of class work, participation, and exams. Attendance is an important part of the evaluation.

Teachers track students’ language learning progress on proficiency scales. Progress is assessed through activities that demonstrate whether the student has met the goals and objectives of the class and level. Each student receives class evaluations and level progress reports at the end of the term.


All core classes meet Monday through Friday, except on state and federal holidays. NICE classes may be offered throughout the day, from 8:30 am – 4:20 pm.  However, most classes are offered in the morning from 8:30-12:20.