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ESL Certificate

All international students, for whom English is not their first language and who have been admitted to the university on a provisional basis are expected to enroll in ESL academic support classes until they have met the English Language Proficiency standards. Students are placed in appropriate ESL classes based upon TOEFL or IELTS scores, recent writing samples and individual conferences with ESL and academic program faculty members.

ESL students are prepared for the academic classroom through a series of courses that emphasize the integration of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and incorporating the use of information systems. International students who are able to demonstrate a basic understanding of English may take academic classes while enrolled in ESL with the approval of the instructors of both the ESL and academic classes. This enables the international student to have direct experience in taking academic classes while receiving individualized support in English from ESL instructors and teaching assistants.

Students who demonstrate proficiency in English, through either passing a course at the 106 level or above with a grade of B or higher, or through earning a passing score on the TOEFL, are released from ESL requirements. After gaining ESL proficiency, students may elect to continue improving their English through Advanced courses.

Students enrolled in the English as a Second Language Certificate program will be eligible to receive the Certificate when they complete two courses at the Intermediate Level, and two courses at the Advanced Level, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, for a total of 12 credits.

Course Requirements

Intermediate Level

Course Title Hrs.
ESL 106 Intermediate English Reading and Writing 3 ESL 108 Intermediate English Listening Comprehension 3 ESL 109 Intermediate English Speech Communication 3

Advanced Level

Course Title Hrs.
ESL 121 Advanced Composition 3 ESL 122 Advanced Speech Communication 3 ESL 195 Topics 3

Course Descriptions

ESL 100 Beginning English Conversation
Emphasis is placed on verbal skills, which include pronunciation and vocabulary development, providing students opportunities to build their communication ability through face-to-face interactions and through presenting formal speeches. Current issues are discussed and offer students rich content for critical thinking, guided learning, and language development. Three credits.

ESL 103 Beginning English Listening Comprehension
Skills developed include hearing and pronouncing vowel and consonant sounds, syllable stress, and intonation common to American English; acquiring listening strategies; and developing note taking in order to gain understanding of what is heard in both every day and academic contexts. Three credits.

ESL 105 Beginning English Reading and Writing
Students at the beginning levels of reading English are guided through literature in a question and answer process that strengthens reading comprehension. Beginning written expression is emphasized through various types of essay. Organization, support, focus, and mechanics of writing are developed, as well as grammatical accuracy and vocabulary. Three credits.

ESL 106 Intermediate English Reading and Writing
Reading and interacting with literature provides the catalyst for academic writing assignments that range from informal essays and formal papers to a process-oriented development of a research project. This course is designed for students at the intermediate level of English proficiency. Prerequisites: ESL 100 and 105 or permission of instructor. Three credits.

ESL 108 Intermediate English Listening Comprehension
Listening comprehension continues to be developed through hearing and pronouncing difficult words and syllabications in American English and through developing strong note taking skills in academic lecture situations. Prerequisites: ESL 100 and 103 or permission of instructor. Three credits.

ESL 109 Intermediate English Speech Communication
Skills for the intermediate learner focus on the development of academic communicative abilities. Students interact in seminar discussions, draft and present speeches, research and debate topics, and perform group projects. Prerequisites: ESL 100 and 105 or permission of instructor. Three credits.

ESL 121 Advanced English as a Second Language Composition
Students are guided through the process of written communication through composing quality essays and research papers and orally presenting their writings. While using literature as the foundation for writing, researching, note taking, outlining, drafting, and editing to completion are emphasized. The instructor works closely with each student to carefully examine the content and continuity of the writing. This course is taken in conjunction with ENG 101, English Composition, so that students can transfer the skills learned in ESL 195 to mainstream academic classes. Graduate students may choose to take ESL 195 as a stand-alone course. Prerequisites: ESL 106 or permission of instructor. Three credits.

ESL 122 Advanced English as a Second Language Speech Communication
Emphasis is placed on the principles of public speaking, including purpose, written development, pronunciation, vocabulary choice, delivery, and practice. This course is taken in conjunction with MCOM 150, Principles of Public Speaking, so that students can transfer the skills learned in ESL 122 to mainstream academic classes. Graduate students may choose to take ESL 122 as a stand-alone course. Prerequisites: ESL 109 or permission of instructor. Three credits.

ESL 195 Topics
This directed study class is for the advanced ESL student who desires more focused instruction in English. ESL 195 can be taken on its own or coupled with any 100 or 200 level course in Arts and Sciences. Graduate students may choose to take this class along with any graduate level course. Prerequisites: ESL 121, 122, or permission of instructor. Three credits.