|English as a Second Language Program|
English Intensive Program
English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offer students an interactive and meaningful way to learn English in America. The English Intensive program meets 20 hours per week for a sixteen-week session in the Spring and Fall semesters, and for a six-week session in the Summer semester. Enrollment is on an ongoing basis, but students are encouraged to attend complete sessions.
English for Academic Purposes
The English Intensive Program helps students acquire the language skills and cultural understanding necessary for academic success and a fulfilling experience in the United States. Students from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds come together in small classes to study and practice all fundamental English skills: reading, writing, grammar, speaking, and listening comprehension. Throughout the program, the focus of the courses is on English for academic purposes. Following a communicative approach, the program presents the language in meaningful and authentic contexts and integrates the cognitive skills students need to become critical thinkers and independent learners.
Academic English Bridge
English Language Learners (ELL students) who have gained a solid foundation in English but still need academic support in their transition into degree-program work are placed in Academic English courses that help them prepare for the writing and speaking requirements of the college classroom.
UWest’s ESL teachers hold advanced degrees in such fields as English, TESOL, linguistics, and cultural studies. Many of them also teach courses in the University’s General Education and Academic English program, which gives them insight into the immediate academic needs of those students who plan to continue their education at UWest or another American university.
Certificate of Completion
At the end of each semester, UWest awards certificates of completion to full-time ESL students who have completed their courses with an average grade of C or better and have not received an F in any course. These certificates acknowledge completion of a semester of ESL courses. ESL courses are neither degree-applicable nor do they count as academic credit.
The ESL Program is an intensive language learning program. In order to succeed, students need to attend classes regularly and participate actively. 90% attendance is required to receive a passing grade in any course.
Moreover, students who miss more than 10 hours of a given ESL course during one semester and do not submit evidence of acceptable reasons for such absences may be dropped from the course by decision of the Dean of Academic Affairs. For international students (F-1 visa holders), being dropped from a course may result in their falling below a full course load (defined as 20 hours per week for language training). This, in turn, can lead to termination of the student’s I-20. Please contact the International Student Life Officer if you have any questions about this policy.
Program in American Cultural Exchange
Throughout the year, UWest offers special programs for people of all ages. The Program in American Cultural Exchange is offered in conjunction with the Department of Continuing Education. The program is designed for groups and combines English teaching with exciting cultural activities and excursions. In class, students are encouraged to speak out as they learn about the United States, its cultures, and customs. Outside of class, students practice what they have learned when they visit nearby cultural centers and popular attractions such as the Getty Center, Disneyland, Hollywood, and the many other exciting sights southern California has to offer.
The ESL curriculum as well as the excursions are tailored to the needs, interests and timetable of each group. For a further glimpse into the American way of life, arrangements can be made for students to live with local home-stay families.