|Academic English/ESL FAQS:|
What makes the UWest program different from a typical language school?
While a typical language school may be sufficient for learning conversational English, our ESL/Bridge program is specifically designed to prepare students to be successful in American university classrooms. Our department understands success in the 21st century depends on much more than strong language skills. Thus, cross-cultural awareness and balance are built into our department’s educational philosophy as well.
How are students placed in levels?
There is a standardized English Proficiency Test (EPT) for every student entering our program. The results of this test determine the best level for each individual student.
What is the length of the semester?
We have two semesters (Fall and Spring) that are each 16 weeks in length. Our summer session runs six weeks. Enrollment is on an ongoing basis, but students are encouraged to attend complete sessions.
What can you tell me about the classes?
A full-time ESL student will attend classes 20 hours per week. Courses include reading, grammar, speaking and listening, writing and vocabulary building. Our instructors are highly qualified, professional, and truly care about our student’s education and well-being.
What will I receive when I complete the program?
ESL courses are non-credit courses and as such, are non-applicable to undergraduate programs or a UWest diploma. However, upon completion of a semester with a 2.0 G.P. A., with no 'F' grades, we award a Certificate of Completion to the student. If the student enters the ESL program late, or leaves early, we can award a certificate for hours successfully completed.
Does ESL tuition include staying in the dorm and other fees?
Tuition for the ESL program only covers enrollment in ESL courses. There are additional costs for books, room and board, meals and insurance.
How long does it take to advance to an advanced level or finish the ESL program?
Advancement depends upon the individual student. Students must achieve a 2.0 G.P.A., with no 'F' grades, in order to advance to the next level, including graduation from the program. Continuing students may also retake the EPT and advance according to those test results.
What is the typical class size?
Our classes average 8 – 10 students. Smaller classes enable our faculty to give more personal attention to our students than they would receive at a community college or university with a much larger student population. This enables our department to quickly identify and assist students who may need additional support.
Are teachers available to help students outside of class?
Absolutely. Each teacher has established office hours during which students can meet for additional assistance. In addition, students can always see the Program Coordinator with any questions or concerns, academic or otherwise. We pride ourselves on the amount of support and caring that we give to our students.
Can I take ESL and academic courses at the same time?
Students who have gained a solid foundation in English but need further preparation for the requirements of the university classroom enroll in Bridge courses. These are designed to help students receive additional academic support as they transition into their degree programs.