English as a Second Language (ESL)

College of Liberal Studies
Program Director: Michelle R. Tyvoll
349A Graff Main Hall,
(608)785-8315
email: tyvoll.mich@uwlax.edu

www.uwlax.edu/esl

English as a Second Language Institute

Lecturers: Dailey, Holloway, Randolph, Tyvoll;
Senior Lecturers: Denlinger, Hanson.

The English as a Second Language Institute offers a flexible program for nonnative 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 below 550* 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 will not be tested by the ESL Institute, will be exempt from the 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.

*Comparable scores are 213 on the computer-based or 73 on the interest-based TOEFL exam for undergraduate students. Graduate students are required to have a 79 on the interest-based exam. In lieu of a TOEFL score, a band score of 6 is acceptable on the International English Language Testing system (IELTS) exam.

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

Total Average Score Classes
La Crosse Battery ESL Levels
62 or below -- Limited university admission 20 hr./wk. 4 ESL courses (Full-time ESL)
63-68 -- Limited university admission 15 hr./wk. 3 ESL courses + 1 univ. course
69 - 73 -- Limited university admission 10 hr./wk. 2 ESL courses + 2-3 univ. courses
74 - 79 -- Limited university admission 5 hr./wk. 1 ESL course + 3-4 univ. courses
80 or above -- Full university admission Full-time univ. courses (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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading.

ESL 103 Cr. 4 Transcript* ESL Listening

This course gives students practice in understanding 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. 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: nonnative 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: nonnative 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: nonnative 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: Nonnative 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 nonacademic purposes. Listening, reading, speaking, writing and cultural activities will be stressed, according to group needs. Each program-design could be for 116 institute credits - according to contractual agreements and amount of intensive English required. Prerequisite: nonnative 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: nonnative 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 nonacademic material. Students work on tone and distinguishing fact from opinion. Prerequisite: nonnative 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: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading.

* Transcript credit does not count toward graduation.

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: nonnative 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: nonnative 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: nonnative speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test.

ESL 255 Cr. 416 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: nonnative speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test.