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Foundation School
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Foundation School

Program Overview
Common European Framework (CEF)
Admission to Faculty



Our mission is to provide high quality English Language Education to FES students in achieving the highest standards of English language proficiency as well as equipping them with problem‐solving and critical thinking skills to be able to continue their further education successfully as well as developing their English language to enable them to communicate effectively in social and professional settings.



Our vision is to continuously develop the quality of English language education at FES to reach the international standards so that FES, Girne American University develops as a respected and well‐recognized institution worldwide.


About The Program


The GAU Foundation English School aims to ensure that all students in GAU have adequate English for their academic needs. Proficiency in English will assist students not only in their academic work at GAU but also in their chosen professions.  We work under the Common European Framework (CEF).









The Common European Framework provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively. The description also covers the cultural context in which language is set. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency, which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis.  


Our Foundation English School offers Levels A1 A2 to B2 with a possiblity of repeating a level if requirements are not met.  Students are eligible to take the Proficiency exam at a Level B1 competency (60% passing for Bachelor`s Degrees, 50% for Turkish speaking Departments, 80% for MA and ELT, Translations and English Literature degrees).  Those students who require 80% passing score may need to continue their studies at Level B2.












  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.  


  • Can summarise information from  different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.  


  • Can express  him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.


  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.  


  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.


  • Can use language flexibly and effectively  for social, academic and professional purposes.


  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.










  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.


  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes  regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.  


  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.


  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.


  • Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.


  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes  and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.










  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g.very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).


  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.


  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.


  • Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where  he/she  lives, people he/she knows  and things he/she has.


  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.









All students entering GAU Foundation English School must be tested and placed according their level. Upon acceptance, all new Foundation English School students write a placement exam which will determine their initial level. On successfully achieving a passing score on exams, students will be promoted to the next level and then into faculty.


Placement tests are administered to all students entering the GAU Foundation English School to determine the appropriate level for students. Students scoring 60% or higher are allowed to enter their departments in faculty (with the exception of ELT teacher training, translation and post graduate programs which require a score of 80% ).



Students with the following IELTS and TOEFL scores will be allowed to enter their departments directly without having to go through Foundation English courses or placement exam:

IELTS: 5.0 FOR most departments 6.0 for ELT, Translation and post graduate programs.

TOEFL (paper based exam): 500 for most departments and 550 for ELT, Translation and post graduate programs.

TOEFL (computer based exam): 173 for most departments and 213 for ELT, Translation and post graduate programs.

Students are admitted to their departments once they have reached level requirements and have successfully passed a proficiency exam. The passing grade for proficiency exams is 60% for most courses and 80% for English Language Teaching and graduate courses.








500 60-61


550 79-80


550 79-80









5.0 B C C


6.0 A B C


6.0 A B C



1. Is it possible to change classes?

Class changes are not advised except in extreme cases. If this is necessary, the student must see his or her teacher and the relevant coordinator.


2. Can I still pass my level if I fail an exam?

Exams are very important but they are part of a mark. The semester mark will include midterm and final exams, portfolio and quiz marks and the overall grade needed to pass the level is 60% in most cases.


3. Why do I need to pass the proficiency exam?

The proficiency exam is an important indicator of students’ ability to cope with the language aspect of their courses. Students with weak English will have a serious impediment compared to students who have proficiency in English.


4. Do I have to buy books?

Yes. You need current course books so that you have the same material as other students in your class. Book costs are included in your course fees.


5. How can I access my teacher outside of normal classroom hours?

Teachers are available to assist students on an individual basis. Teachers are empathetic to student problems and are here for the students welfare.


6. Do you accept exam results such as IELTS, TOEFL etc?



7. Does Girne American Foundation English School have an institutional language exam?

We accept the GAU proficiency exam which is paper based.


8. What are the registration dates?

The registration date is posted on the GAU Foundation English School website. The date changes each semester.


9. Can I register online?

We do not accept online registrations. You need to register in person.


10. What happens if I do not register during the registration period?

Registration deadlines are strict and students registering late will have to pay a late registration fee.


11. Are there any evening classes?

No. All classes are held in the daytime.


12. Is attendance required?

Yes. Insufficient attendance will result in a student not being allowed to write an exam.


13. How can I prove that I am a Foundation English student?

All Foundation English Students will be issued with GAU identity cards.


14. How will I be graded?

Foundation English students are graded on a midterm exam, a final exam and on their portfolio.


15. What is a portfolio? How does it help me?

The portfolio is an important part of the student’s term work and consists of quizzes, assignments and a journal. The portfolio’s tasks help to develop the student’s productive skills and creativity. As well, as it forms part of the semester grade, marginal students may find the portfolio’s grades useful in passing the semester.


16. My department is Turkish. Why must I study in the Foundation English program?

English is the global language. As GAU is fundamentally an English language university, all students entering departments must have adequate English to communicate. Students without basic English are directed to the Foundation English Program to rectify this.


17. What is the attendance policy?

Attendance is taken in each lesson. Students are required to maintain an 85% attendance average. Failure to do so will result in the student being ineligible to write mid term and final exams and therefore not passing their level.


18. What should I do if I need extra help with my English?

See your lecturer as soon as possible. All teachers are happy to provide extra help for students requiring assistance.


19. How can I study at home to improve my listening and speaking skills?

Television channels like CNN, CNBC, BBC and BBC Prime all broadcast English language programming. As well the internet has many sources of English language material such as You Tube. Many English language radio stations have websites where you can download or listen online. As well, most of the text books used come with interactive CDs with listening exercises and other exercises. In addition, Girne has a large expatriate English community who speak English as a first language and are usually happy to converse with GAU students.


20. Who teaches the classes?

All lecturers have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and English teaching qualification. Several lecturers have graduate degrees and qualifications. All are experienced and excellent communicators who are dedicated to student welfare and the progress of their academic careers.

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