degree programs for: english as a second language (esl)
the english as a second language program (esl) at lewis university provides intensive, academic english language learning for students whose native language is not english. the esl program prepares students to enroll in and successfully complete a university degree program. the esl program focuses on the academic skills encountered in university classrooms, as well as adjustment to and understanding of u.s. culture. the program requires approximately 20 hours of instruction each week including classes and computer lab work. students are expected to complete at least 20 additional hours of home assignments each week.
admission and placement
the esl program is designed for students who 1) have completed a high school diploma or its equivalent in their home country or the u.s.; 2) are preparing to enter a u.s. university; and 3) who have no toefl score or whose toefl score falls below 500. additionally, resident alien students (holders of “green cards”), who have completed high school in a language other than english, may also be admitted into the esl program. students accepted into the esl program are tested for placement in one of three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. the esl placement examination is administered on or before the first day of class. the esl placement examination is available in the leckrone academic resource center (larc).
program completion / university admittance
many students start their course work at the beginning level, for which no college credit is given. students complete the esl program by earning a c grade or above in all courses through intermediate and advanced levels. there are six courses to complete on the intermediate level and six more on the advanced level. students may then enroll in lewis university undergraduate courses. students may also begin undergraduate degree work upon obtaining a toefl score of 500 or more. for admittance to lewis university graduate programs or to programs in other institutions, applicants must consult individual program or institution requirements.
all esl courses at intermediate and advanced levels earn university credit and may be applied to the 128 hours necessary to graduate from lewis university. some advanced esl students may, with the permission of the esl program director, schedule undergraduate courses in the same semester the student is pursuing advanced esl study.
the english as a second language program at lewis university provides academic english for international students entering the university. students attend classes daily for a total of 18 classroom hours per week. the student is expected to spend 2 or more hours a week on computer-related assignments. students also have daily home assignments, daily practice in conversation skills, and occasional outings in the community. six courses at each level cover the following areas: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and american culture. each course is offered at three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced.
special features of the esl program and lewis university
the lewis university esl program normally offers two sessions per year. classes during the fall and spring semesters meet for 16 weeks each. intensive esl courses are offered in the summer when there is a need to do so.
to ensure individual attention for each student, class size is small, with 6 - 12 students enrolled in each course. all esl classes are taught by experienced professional faculty with advanced degrees.
students have access to several computer labs on campus with full internet capability. each student receives an email account. students may also use the lewis library, with 165,000 volumes. esl students have all the privileges of other lewis university students. for instance, lewis has a new student fitness and recreation center, which is free to enrolled lewis esl students, with indoor pool, track, exercise areas and weight rooms, and basketball / tennis / volleyball courts. all enrolled lewis esl students have free admission to theater, choral, and musical performances, lecture and movie series, special presentations, and athletic events.
advice on immigration and residence matters is available from our office of international student services. students may join the lewis international students association, which assists students in daily life, shopping, and travel. it also hosts group trips and the annual lewis international festival (speakers, performances, and food fest). each year the president of the university, br. james gaffney, hosts a thanksgiving dinner in the fall semester and an easter dinner in the spring semester for international students.
esl program applications
admission to the esl program is open to all international students who have already completed their secondary school education. interested esl applicants should submit the following:
• a completed lewis university international student application.
• a financial statement from your bank, or from your sponsoring agency if another organization is paying for your studies, indicating that a minimum of $23,000 us is available. upon request, we will provide you with forms for the bank to fill out. also upon request, we will provide you with a form called an affidavit of support to be filled out by your sponsor or by you (if you are paying for your own education) and returned to us.
• an official, signed and sealed high school or secondary school transcript, which should be evaluated by world education services before being sent to lewis.
special note: all official documents must be sent to lewis university by express mail. only the lewis university international student application may be faxed, but we do not recommend it. the fax number is 815-836-5002.