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Beloit College

ESL Curriculum

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program is designed for international students who are preparing to live and study in the United States.  It is especially useful preparation for students planning to begin regular college or university courses in the fall semester. 

ESL students are placed in an appropriate level on the basis of comprehensive diagnostic testing, which includes tests of oral and written proficiency, reading ability, and knowledge of vocabulary.

The course work integrates the four main skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through daily classroom instruction. Class discussion and informal conversations provide students with oral fluency practice.  Students study and practice academic and informal English through readings selected from newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and literary fiction, in addition to writing essays and responsive papers. They learn to use library facilities and give oral presentations on their research.  Instruction includes sessions on study skills—outlining, test preparation, and note taking—for better comprehension of lectures and written materials.  Students are introduced to aspects of American life and culture(s) through daily discussions, weekly viewing of American films, conversation partners, and several cultural excursions.

Course Goals:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Effectively communicate in social and academic settings
  • Use complex grammatical sentences in academic writing
  • Demonstrate comprehension of written and oral material through quizzes, discussions, and writing
  • Write a variety of well-organized essays and short research papers using the process of draft and revision
  • Participate effectively in group discussions
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in oral and written tasks
  • Provide peer feedback
  • Hone self editing skills
  • Attain a better understanding of cultures within the United States