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

Senior Lecturers: Hanson;
Lecturers: Dailey, Holloway, Markwardt, Melin, Poreba, Randolph, Reber, Tyvoll;

The English as a Second Language Institute offers a flexible program for non-native speakers of English. Classes are designed primarily for international 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 six levels of English proficiency. 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.

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

Note:

Students who score a 79 or below on the La Crosse Battery placement exam are allowed to submit an official TOEFL score of 550 PBT (paper-based TOEFL) (or equivalent on CBT – computer-based TOEFL or IBT –Internet-based TOEFL or other UW-L recognized standardized exam) for unrestricted admission to the university. Students who achieve a 550 TOEFL (or equivalent) while enrolled in ESL courses will be required to wait until the beginning of the next term before being released from the ESL program.

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.

Students will be placed in levels that are appropriate with their placement score (see below). Students will progress through the program until they have earned at least a “C” in courses at the 250 level*. Students will be required to complete courses at the 250 level before being released from the ESL program and being granted unrestricted access to degree programs at UW-La Crosse. Once students reach the 200 level ESL courses, they will be allowed to take ESL courses and 1-4 credits of UW-L courses outside of ESL. Once students reach the 250 level ESL courses, they will be allowed to take ESL courses and 1-6 credits of UW-L courses outside of ESL.

Total Average Score Classes

Total Average Score
on La Crosse Battery
ESL Course Levels
49 or below - Limited university admission 050 sections of 100 level courses
16 credits of ESL requires (Full-time ESL)
50-59 - Limited university admission 100 level courses
16 credits of ESL requires (Full-time ESL)
60-66 - Limited university admission 110 level courses
16 credits of ESL required (Full-time ESL)
67-73 - Limited university admission 150 level courses
16 credits of ESL required (Full-time ESL)
74-76 - Limited university admission 200 level courses
Minimum of 12 credits of ESL required (allowed to take 1-4 university credits outside of ESL)
77-79 - Limited university admission 250 level course
Minimum of 8 credits of ESL required (allowed to take 1-6 university credits outside of ESL)
80 or above - Full university admission Exempt from ESL (ESL courses optional)

Intersession Periods

Students who have not met the university’s English language proficiency requirement will not be allowed to enroll in courses during intersession periods (Winter and summer term sessions). Appeals to this policy will be handled on an individual basis.

*If students do not earn at least a “C” in their ESL courses at the 250 level, they will be required to retake the ESL courses during the next term. Students who fail courses at the 200 level and/or earn below a “C” at the 250 level, will only be allowed to take university courses outside of ESL based on the decision of the director of the ESL program.

ESL Institute Retention and Probation Standards

(applies to ESL courses numbered 100-202)
A student’s academic standing in the ESL Institute is determined by successful completion of courses with a grade of pass. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass in ESL transcript credit only courses (ESL 100-202).

Semesters in Institute Courses Academic Standing
1st semester 1-3 courses failed Probation I
2nd semester 1-3 courses failed Ineligible to continue
3rd semester 1-3 courses failed Ineligible to continue
4th semester 1-3 courses failed Ineligible to continue
Any Semester F grades in all course work Ineligible to continue

A student can choose to appeal an ineligible status to an ESL appeals committee (representation from the College of Liberal Studies Dean’s Office, the ESL Institute and the Office of International Education). If the appeal is accepted and the student is reinstated, the student will be placed on Probation II. If the appeal is denied, the student can choose to appeal to the Committee on Academic Polices and Standards (CAPS). If CAPS denies the student’s appeal, the student is no longer eligible to continue in the Institute. If reinstated by the CAPS committee, the student will be placed on Probation II.

If a student has been declared ineligible three times, the student may not appeal for reinstatement to the Institute.

Students who are enrolled only in ESL Institute courses are declared ineligible to continue at the university as well. Students who are enrolled in both ESL courses and university-level courses follow ESL retention standards for ESL courses and university retention standards for university-level courses.

 


ESL 100 Cr. 4 Transcript* ESL Speaking

This course provides opportunities for students to practice speaking English in structured and semIStructured 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.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 100. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit - maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 101. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 102. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 103. (Transcript credit only.) Repeatable for credit – maximum eight. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 110. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 111. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 112. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 113. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring.

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. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 150. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 151. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 152. (Transcript credit only.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

* Transcript credit does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 200. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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. Offered Fall, Spring.

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 and/or successful completion of ESL 202. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.