Classes & curriculum

The following courses form the core of the MASSIE curriculum.  During the summer and fall programs, additional courses for extra credit are offered on an optional basis.  Classroom hours per subject vary per program.  The summer and fall programs typically offer 21-24 hours of classroom instruction per week.  The winter program typically offers 22 hours of classroom instruction per week.  Classes start at 8:30am and often end around 2:30pm.  More complete descriptions of MASSIE courses are listed below.

Oral Language Skills (5-6hrs/week)
This course focuses on communicative language practice.  The primary goal is to improve students' oral language skills and develop language confidence.  It includes everyday conversation and discussion, individual and collaborative participation, risk-taking in language situations, role-playing, natural presentations (not formal speeches), pronunciation, and vocabulary development

Critical Thinking in English (5-6hrs/week)
CTIE offers students the opportunity to think critically about controversial subjects and provides a safe forum for discussion.  The primary goal of the course is to help students understand and appreciate different sides of an issue and to then form and defend their own opinion.  The course includes presentations, debates, seminars on controversial subjects, short opinion papers and essays, and research essays.

Writing (5-6hrs/week)
This course operates on the approach that writing is a process as well as a product. Its primary goal is to give students the skills they need to improve their academic writing. Students also read various texts to see examples of written English and to develop their reading skills and vocabulary. It includes brainstorming for ideas, thesis statements and main ideas, development of ideas, classification of information, essay structure and unity, academic research and documentation, and journal writing.

Listening (3hrs/week)
This course helps students to develop effective listening strategies through regular listening practice.  The course includes listening for main ideas, listening for details, listening for accuracy, guest lectures, and dictation.

TOEFL (3hrs/week)
This courses helps students improve their TOEFL scores.  It includes practicing exercises in reading, structure, and listening, doing regular testing, and receiving advice and strategic tips from the teacher.

Canadian Studies
(3hrs/week, winter program only)
This course will provide a broad survey of Canadian life, literature, history and geography.  It will be taught primarily by our in-house teaching staff using a textbook designed for this purpose, but allowances will be made for special guest speakers to come in and speak on topics of specific interest and expertise.  In many ways, this course will serve as an introduction to many of the field trips and activities which will be built into the students’ program.  Topics to be covered may include: Acadian history and culture in Atlantic Canada, Aboriginal history and culture in Atlantic Canada, Canadian multiculturalism, the geography of Canadian regionalism, and Canadian art and literature.

Canadian Studies: Aboriginal & Acadian Issues in Atlantic Canada (optional + extra credit, 4hrs/week)
This course will focus on Aboriginal and Acadian history.  It will talk about who Canada's aboriginal peoples are and what happened after the Europeans settled North America (the impact of colonization).  It will then discuss Acadian history.  We will look at life before and leading up to the deportation of 1755 when the Acadians were expelled from Canada.

Canada & International Issues (optional + extra credit, 4hrs/week)
This course will explore Canada's role on the international stage.  It will discuss (a) Canada's foreign policy, (b) Canada's role at the United Nations, including peace-keeping and human rights, and (c) international trade, particularly with the United States and Japan, and (d) Canada's role in the global economy.