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English as a Second Language (ESL)
  College of Liberal Studies
Program Director: Michelle R. Tyvoll
349A Graff Main Hall, (608)785-8315
e-mail: tyvoll.mich@uwlax.edu 
www.uwlax.edu/esl

 

English as a Second Language Institute  

Lecturers: Brunk, Case, Dailey, Denlinger, Tyvoll;
 
Senior Lecturer: Hanson. 

The English as a Second Language Institute offers a flexible program for non-native speakers of English. Classes are designed primarily for international and Southeast Asian students who need to improve or strengthen their English for studying at the university. The classes are also appropriate for persons who have a serious interest in studying English as a Second Language for personal or business reasons.

     Classes are offered at five levels of English proficiency: beginner/high beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, and advanced. A student’s level is determined by a proficiency test (the La Crosse Battery), which is given before classes begin. 

Admission/Placement

All international students who have official TOEFL scores of 549 or below (212 or below on the computer TOEFL exam) and all international students who have not taken the official TOEFL exam will be tested by the ESL Institute via the La Crosse Battery of Exams during registration week prior to formal registration in classes. Students who submit TOEFL scores of 550 or above (213 on the computer TOEFL exam) will not be tested by the ESL Institute will be exempt from ESL classes and will be granted full admission status. (Graduate program directors may require graduate students with 550 or above to take the Placement Exam.)

     Students who receive a score of 80 or above on the La Crosse Battery will be granted exemption from ESL classes and will receive full admission status. Students who receive a score of 79 or below on the La Crosse Battery will be given limited university status and will be placed in the appropriate ESL class-levels. 

Note:               After a student has taken the La Crosse Battery, submission of a TOEFL score will not replace the requirement of 80 on the La Crosse Battery for full university admission.

 

La Crosse Battery

The La Crosse Battery consists of three tests: Test of Aural Comprehension, Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension), and the La Crosse Composition Test. The La Crosse Battery takes approximately three hours to complete. These tests, which demonstrate a student’s proficiency in each language skill, will determine the placement level per skill. 

Total Average Score   Classes

La Crosse Battery   ESL Levels 

62 or below —   20 hr./wk.
Limited university 4 ESL course admission (Full-time ESL) 

63-68 — 15 hr./wk.
Limited university 3 ESL courses admission + 1 univ. course 

69-73 — 10 hr./wk.
Limited university 2 ESL courses admission      + 2-3 univ.  courses 

74-79 — 5 hr./wk.
Limited university 1 ESL course admission      + 3-4 univ.  courses 

80 or above — Full-time 
Full university univ. courses admission       (ESL courses optional)
 

 

ESL     100  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Speaking
This course provides opportunities for students to practice speaking English in structured and semi-structured situations. Special attention is given to a limited set of functions (such as requesting, apologizing and complaining). Pronunciation work focuses on basic regularities of English pronunciation. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.  

ESL     101  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Reading

Focus is on comprehension of reading passages with time limits and with understanding of main and supporting ideas. Students increase their passive vocabularies through the study of word formation and by learning to use an English-English dictionary. Reading skills such as skimming, scanning, prediction, use of context clues and recognizing thought groups are also stressed. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.
 

ESL     102  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Writing/Grammar
Focus is on the basics of writing: spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and simple organizational patterns. Writing includes controlled exercises and some free writing. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     103  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Listening
This course gives students practice in under-standing samples of spoken English of limited length and complexity and prepares students to understand segments of natural conversation on a variety of topics. Special attention is given to the various phonetic shapes that words can have. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     110  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Speaking
This course provides opportunities for students to prepare and give speeches/oral presentations. Students also gain a greater ability to use informal, conversational English. Special attention is given to language function, pronunciation, and intonation. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.

ESL     111  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Reading
This course provides opportunities for students to develop their reading skills in meaningful ways, enabling them to use academic texts outside of class successfully. Focus will be on reading skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, skimming, scanning, making inferences, and distinguishing between different purposes for reading. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     112  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Writing/Grammar
Focus is on improving students’ ability to write convincing English paragraphs and essays with greater fluency. The basics of writing are reviewed. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     113  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Listening
This course introduces students to English used in an educational context. Emphasis is on note taking by listening to short lectures. Conversational English listening skills are also studied including topics such as guessing meaning from context, stressed words, and understanding fast English. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     150  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Speaking/Listening
Special attention is given to communication strategies — developing ways to communicate when pronunciation or vocabulary limitations make communication difficult. Prepares students for academic lectures by introducing standard forms of organization and common transition signals used in American Pronunciation work emphasizes stress and intonation and problems of individual students. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL  151     Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Reading
Focus is on drawing inferences from a reading, recognizing paraphrase, identifying the author’s point of view, and using knowledge of the structure of readings to aid comprehension. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     152  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Writing/Grammar
Focus is on a variety of organizational patterns, with review of the basics of writing. Students are introduced to elements of the writing process, including prewriting, revision and editing. Reviews and adds to students’ skills of basic structures, emphasizing increasingly complex structures, with attention to form, meaning and use. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.  

ESL     153  Cr. 4  Transcript*
U.S. Culture Today
This course gives students an understanding of the United States from practical and sociological perspectives. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities focus on information about daily life, values, beliefs, and social problems. Prerequisite: Non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Sem. I. 

ESL     155  Cr. 1-16  Transcript*
Special Topics in ESL
These courses are designed for special or contract groups in need of intensive English for non-academic purposes. Listening, reading, speaking, writing and cultural activities will be stressed, according to group needs. Each program-design could be for 1-16 institute credits — according to contractual agreements and amount of intensive English required. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.  

ESL     200  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Speaking/Listening
Emphasis is on the use of English in academic settings as well as in conversation. Course concentrates on lecture comprehension, with special attention to note taking, recognizing main ideas and support and determining the attitude of the speaker toward the subject. Students also work on comprehension of complex information presented in non-lecture format, as in the dynamics of small-group discussion. Pronunciation focuses on individual needs of students. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.  

ESL     201  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Reading
Emphasis is on reading f­ or academic purposes. Students work on comprehension of academic reading selections, as well as challenging non-academic material. Students work on tone and distinguishing fact from opinion. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     202  Cr. 4  Transcript*
ESL Writing/Grammar
Emphasis is on writing as a process of thinking, planning, writing and rewriting. Increased emphasis is placed on writing for academic purposes. Reviews and adds to students’ repertoire of structures with increased emphasis on the verb phrase and on control of grammar in writing.  Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. 

ESL     250  Cr. 4
ESL Speaking
Focus is on strategies and techniques for success in academic classes, including formal and informal oral discourse patterns needed for American classes. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. 

ESL     251  Cr. 4
U.S. Culture and Film
Focus is on development of listening, speaking, reading and cultural understanding through the medium of American movies, television and related articles. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. 

ESL     252  Cr. 4
ESL Writing/Grammar
Focus is on skills needed at every stage of the writing process: finding a topic, determining an approach to the topic, assessing the audience, planning and drafting a coherent composition, revising and editing. Students learn to adapt their writing to the American audience and topic and to look at their own writing critically. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. 

ESL     255  Cr. 4-16
Special Topics in ESL
Focus for these content-based courses in ESL is on strategies and techniques for success in academic classes, including vocabulary development, lecture comprehension, textbook reading, note and test-taking. Topics may vary by semester and may be offered as adjunct courses to those in the regular university curriculum. Repeatable for credit — maximum 16. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test.

* Transcript credit does not count toward graduation.

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