General Foundation

English Language Centre



The mission of the GFP is committed to equipping its students with the skills required in English Language, Mathematics and Information Technology to perform and contribute effectively as active, critical thinkers in the academic environment of the college’s diploma and degree programmes; and to become productive, capable and responsible graduates who will add value to the community and society as a whole.


The GFP philosophy for students to progress in English, Mathematics and Information Technology adopts a communicative, collaborative approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing the following: learning by doing; learning through active participation; learning through reflective practices; learning through meaningful production; and learning through exposure to sustainable, portable skills that can be applied at different levels of complexity in a variety of situations. This philosophy is driven by a qualified, experienced and supportive staff who provide the tools and skills necessary to enable students to engage in effective learning.

Graduate Attributes

Each GFP course has course specifications which outline the skills and content of the level. Each level comprises Learning Objectives, the means by which students practise to fulfil Learning Outcomes which, in turn, contribute to students demonstrating many of the competencies required in achieving CBFS Graduate Attributes. These attributes are as follows:

1) being an Effective Communicator
2) having exposure to Specialized Knowledge
3) applying effective Teamwork
4) demonstrating Leadership
5) using Critical Thinking Skills
6) being a Lifelong Learner
7) having an Ethical Perspective
8) demonstrating aspects of Entrepreneurship


  • Dr Mark William Watson
    Director, English Language Centre
    Tel: 22059 Extn: 745
  • Ms Majan Al Yarubi
    Deputy Director – Assessment and Testing,
    English Language Centre
    Tel: 22059 Extn: 749
  • Ms Laila Shahin Al Balushi
    Deputy Director – Administration and Curriculum ,
    English Language Centre
    Tel: 22009897 Extn: 124
  • Ms Wafa Saleem Al Musalhi
    Campus Co-ordinator
    Tel: 22059746
  • Ms Waad Al Harrasi
    Campus Co-ordinator
    Tel: 22059 Extn:747
Placement Test

The adaptive online placement Cambridge English Placement Test (CEPT) is used to allocate students to appropriate levels for English language training

Test Score CEPT Test Level Proficiency aligned with Life course book series Coursebook CEF Levels
0 to39 A1/A2
Cohort 1     Elementary > Pre-Intermediate Life SeriesElementary A2
Life SeriesPre-Intermediate B1
40 – 100 B1
Cohort 2    Intermediate I >Intermediate II Life Series Intermediate B1/B2
Framework: Intermediate B2+

New students are also required to sit in-house placement tests for Mathematics and IT and, depending on scores, may be exempt from attending specific level courses for these subjects; for example, IT 1 or IT 2 in Cohort 1, or Mathematics 1 in Cohort 1, or Mathematics 2 in Cohort 2.

GFP Shifts

The GFP operates three shifts:


Session 1 Session 2
Shift 1: (Morning Shift) 08:00-09:50 10:10-12:00
Shift 2: (Afternoon Shift) 12:10-02:00 02:20-04:10
Shift 3: (Evening Shift) 04:20-06:10 06:30-08:30

While every effort is made to accommodate student shift preferences, final allocations are made based on student numbers, class size and classroom availability. Shift 3 accommodates students in full-time employment.

GFP Course Subjects

The following table outlines the subjects and hours for each level of the GFP:


*IELTS is not assessed as a GFP graduation requirement; however, IELTS is assessed externally and used as an entry requirement for CBFS diploma and degree programmes.


The CBFS GFP assessment system is structured as follows:

Cohort 1: English Language IT1 IT2 Math 1 Math 2
Continuous assessment           40        
End-level Examination          60 100 100 100  
Total                                     100 100 100 100  
Cohort 2: English Language
Continuous assessment          40                                          50
End-level Examination           60                                         50
*IELTS skills preparation (Weeks 13 to 16)
Assessed Externally
Total                                       100                                                         100

The GFP Road Map

The following illustrates the student path through the GFP with a breakdown of English language assessments. IT assessments will take place in Cohort 1 (Weeks 7 & 16) and Mathematics assessments will take place in Cohort 2 (Weeks 4 & 8).


Students are expected to complete all course assessments. There are no second attempts for students absent from scheduled continuous assessments. There are also no re-sits for students who fail a scheduled continuous assessment. To be considered to take a missed examination, the absent student must submit to the Campus Coordinator an official report (i.e. medical certificate or a police report) within two (2) working days of the assessment date. A final decision is taken by the Director ELC.