A Brief Introduction to Webster University's English as a Second Language Program

Every year, Webster University welcomes hundreds of international students to its St. Louis campus. A number of these students are enrolled in Webster's English as a Second Language (ESL) program to focus on improving their academic English skills.

ESL students admitted to Webster begin at one of three levels of the ESL program, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Bridge/Advanced. They are placed in ESL because they submit standardized language test scores that are below Webster’s threshold for full admission into academic studies.

The ESL Program uses content based instruction as the base of its curriculum. Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate level students are enrolled in a full-time load of ESL classes, but they also attend an undergraduate class. The content and assignments in that class are used in the ESL classes to help give ESL students a closer look at academic life and expectations, and help them grow through interaction with domestic students and their professors.

Advanced/Bridge level students are enrolled in ESL and regular undergraduate or graduate courses. Professors who have Bridge level students in their classes will be contacted by the ESL Director and encouraged to provide feedback to the ESL team to help the students develop their language and academic skills.

Though ESL students are required to take ESL classes, any international student who wants to take a class can register for ESL classes. Skills covered include research writing, pronunciation, oral presentation, reading, grammar and listening/note taking. Professors can encourage international students to consult with the ESL department when they see significant issues with a student’s academic skills.

The ESL program director and instructors are a great resource for all international students as well as professors who have questions about working with international and ESL students in an academic setting. We can hold individual consultations or lead discussions/present at faculty meetings. Professors should consider the ESL department to be a resource for themselves as well as for their students.

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Created with images by Lucian Milasan - "World flags"

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