The ESL Center offers a unique, intensive language program with a variety of classes designed to complement each other as well as provide in-depth English language instruction. The intensive program consists of seven-week-long modules and allows students to develop those language skills needed in an academic environment as measured by standardized tests such as TOEFL.
All full-time students will enroll in five different courses during each seven-week module. All students in level 1-7 take the core courses (reading, writing, listening, grammar and speaking). Students in levels 8-10 may take a transition course in place of one of the core courses. Level 8-10 students also have the option of adding a standardized test preparation course (IELTS or TOEFL) to their class schedule.
Initial placement is based on test scores only. Students will automatically advance to the next level through passing grades; they may skip one or several levels through excellent test scores at the end of a 7- week module. All students participate in first-time placement tests as well as in achievement tests after each 7-week module.
All Core Skills courses are taught at 10 different proficiency levels. At each level, students will improve their proficiency through a host of communicative activities, including TOEFL-style forms of practice. The levels correspond to the following designations:
- Level 1 Stretch: Beginner
- Level 1: Beginner
- Level 2: Beginner
- Level 3: Pre Intermediate
- Level 4: Pre Intermediate
- Level 5: Intermediate
- Level 6: Intermediate
- Level 7: High Intermediate
- Level 8: High Intermediate
- Level 9: Advanced
- Level 10: Advanced
Core Skills Courses:
Full-time students are required to take all 2 credit core (reading, writing, listening and grammar) classes at each level.. Speaking classes are required at levels 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 and count toward the student’s GPA. If a student gets a “D” or “F” in a class, the class must be repeated.
Speaking: 1 credit at each level
Students develop oral communication skills for various communicative settings in academic and non-academic environments. Students practice giving both independent and integrated spoken responses.
Listening: 2 credits at each level
Students develop listening skills pertaining to student life/out of the classroom as well as to academic situations selected from the natural and social sciences, the arts and business. Classes will focus on developing basic comprehension and pragmatic understanding, as well as connecting information and building note-taking skills.
Writing: 2 credits at each level
Students will learn about the process of writing and how to write different text genres, including journal entries, essays and research papers. Students will practice writing independent and integrated short essays.
Reading: 2 credits at each level
Students will improve their reading skills through finding and understanding main ideas, comprehending vocabulary from context, making inferences, summarizing and other techniques. Note-taking, timed readings and vocabulary-building are important components of this course.
Grammar: 2 credits at each level
Students will learn how English phrases, clauses and sentences are formed to support building fluency and accuracy when practicing speaking, listening, writing and reading.
TOEFL Preparation for graduate students: 2 credits
Students will practice the essential skills for the three main areas of the TOEFL test-- listening comprehension, structure, and written expression and reading comprehension. TOEFL Preparation is open to all students in levels 8, 9 and 10.
IELTS Preparation: 2 credits
Students will practice the essential skills for the main areas of the IELTS test-- listening comprehension, structure, written expression, reading comprehension and speaking. IELTS Preparation is open to all students in levels 8, 9 and 10.
CONTENT PREP COURSES:
Content prep courses provide content-specific preparation for students in levels 8-10. Students will practice advanced integrated skills in English for academic purposes including speaking, writing, reading and listening/note-taking. Currently, we offer four bridge courses:
- Transition to Technology: This course is especially recommended for all students with majors in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology.
- Transition to Computer Science: This course is especially recommended for all students with majors in computer science or math.
- Transition to History: This course is especially recommended for all students with majors in the College of Arts and Science, but is recommended for all ESL students in preparation for Kent Cores.
- Transition to Business: This course is especially recommended for all students with majors in the College of Business.
Students in levels 8, 9 or 10 may enroll in one of these courses. Taking one of these courses will replace either reading, grammar or listening. The ESL Center Registration team will decide which class to replace according to the available classes and ESL scheduling.