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A Sheltered English Language Program allows students to learn academic content while improving English Language Proficiency. Language and content are taught together. Student earn credit from the beginning of all their classes. Students don’t delay the start of their credit bearing classes. The classes are taught by ESL qualified teachers, who understand the process of learning a second language. In addition, these teachers understand the cultural changes and the classroom differences that the students go through when they transition between international classrooms and the US classroom. This type of program is perfect for students who do not have English as their native language.

Listening and Speaking

By listening to examples of everyday and academic conversations and participating in discussions, students will increase their familiarity and fluency with the common phrases, idioms, spoken grammar structures, vocabulary, and cultural aspects they will encounter on campus and in the community.  Students will also participate in whole-class and small-group discussions on current events and ideas, and give short presentations on topics of personal knowledge and interest.  Throughout the course, students will continue to improve their pronunciation of sounds, will increasing emphasis on developing more natural rhythm and intonation and understanding variations in meaning related to word stress and intonation changes.  


Students will learn many strategies to increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension of a variety of written texts, and to increase reading speed and fluency.  In addition to extensive reading of longer texts and study and focus on shorter texts, both fiction and non-fiction and on many topics, students will discuss readings to enhance their understanding and learning of new vocabulary and concepts.  In the higher levels, excerpts from actual university textbooks will be included in the reading and there will be increased emphasis on learning the most commonly used words in academic and professional texts.


Students will study and analyze written models and use the writing process to produce essays of increasing length, complexity, and sophistication to describe, compare, explain, inform, and recount events. Students will learn techniques for brainstorming, organizing, and expanding ideas, how to format an academic essay, and how to write a good introduction, thesis statement, cohesive body paragraphs, and a solid, satisfying conclusion. Language work will include building vocabulary and grammar for writing, with emphasis on using increasingly varied and complex sentence structures and verb tenses, transitional phrases, prepositional phrases, and adverbs.


At all levels of grammar study, emphasis will be on noticing, analyzing, learning about and practicing grammar in context. Oral and written practice will be part of every class and assessment, and analysis of grammar usage in reading and listening will be featured in many lessons. Students will not only learn the basic forms and rules of use, many real-world examples will also be examined, along with the most common learner mistakes. Students will learn variations in formal and informal, spoken grammar, and common oral reductions of function words.

US Culture

This is an integrated skills class so classes will include listening, reading, discussion, conversation, presentations and writing related to aspects of US culture, both in general and specific to US universities.  Topics will include government, cultural history and values, body language and gestures, concepts of time, social expectations in group projects and classroom, and contemporary issues.  Students will be exposed to a variety of American voices and viewpoints, be able to ask questions, analyze language use and culture, learn natural language and idioms, and share and discuss their own experiences and native cultures.  This course is designed for both international students and permanent residents.