Benedictine College offers a college-level program in English as a Second or Foreign Language for international students and others whose first language is not English. The program helps students progress to the Advanced Proficiency level required to meet the academic demands of college-level classes, and offers English language support throughout students’ attendance at Benedictine College.
The program offers only college-level courses for credit toward a bachelor’s degree that satisfy regular requirements of the undergraduate curriculum of the college, and meet the federal definition of non-remedial college courses. For admission to the College, students must have some prior background in English and must demonstrate at least an Intermediate-low proficiency according to ACTFL guidelines in English based on standardized test scores, interviews, and academic transcripts. Benedictine College does not offer an intensive English as a Second Language program, and therefore does not offer preparatory or remedial coursework. Students without basic English proficiency cannot be admitted.
Upon arrival on campus, students for whom English is not a first language will take a language placement exam for proficiency in reading comprehension, written grammar, and listening. The results of the exam will determine specific courses required for each student. At each level, students will experience academic rigor comparable to other college subjects that often require analysis, synthesis, and application of information in papers, discussions, oral presentations, and exams.
Regular Admission with Pathway Program: Students whose English proficiency test scores indicate that Intermediate-level courses are appropriate will be placed in the Pathway Program, and will take intermediate ESLG courses, along with their other college subjects. This will be reflected on the student’s initial I-20. Students in the Pathway Program must demonstrate adequate academic progress toward their bachelor’s degree and sufficient increase in English proficiency to move into the advanced-level courses no later than the start of their fourth semester at the college. The student’s progression to advanced ESLG courses will be reflected as a change in educational level on an updated I-20.
Regular Admission with Advanced ESL: Students with an advanced-low level of English proficiency may test directly into the Advanced-level courses, based on TOEFL and placement scores at the time of admission. Students in Advanced ESL are not part of the Pathway Program, and do not require a change in educational level on the I-20. At a minimum, all students taking English as a Second or Foreign Language will be required to complete ESLG-2220 Advanced Composition & Research and ESLG-2930 Public Speaking, unless a substitution or waiver of either course is approved by the ESL Director.
While in the program, at any level, students take a combination of ESLG classes and other college subjects every semester, in accordance with federal guidelines. There will be no semester in which the student does not take ESLG classes, and no semester in which the student takes only ESLG classes, during their time in the program. All ESLG courses count for regular credit toward a Bachelor’s degree. Some advanced ESLG courses also satisfy general education requirements, and count toward any major that require advanced foreign language courses.
Completion of the Program: Students must complete their Advanced-level ESLG classes with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and must demonstrate Advanced-mid Proficiency according to ACTFL guidelines in the four language skill areas. In addition, faculty may recommend students for continued ESLG coursework to ensure academic success. Students whose first language is not English may not enroll in ENGL-1000 English Composition With Review or ENGL-1010 English Composition until they have completed all required ESLG courses and have demonstrated Advanced Proficiency in English with approval of the ESL Director. Non-native English language speaking students who complete the program (or who demonstrate advanced English language proficiency prior to admission) will satisfy the general education Foreign Language requirement upon approval of the ESL Director.
TOEFL scores are considered at the time of admission.
Students with an Internet-based TOEFL score of 115 or higher at the time of admission, test out of the requirement for ESLG classes and may enroll in ENGL-1000 English Composition With Review or ENGL-1010 English Composition.
Students with an Internet-based TOEFL score of 90–114 at the time of admission, will be placed in advanced ESLG classes, along with courses in other college subjects.
Students with an Internet-based TOEFL score of 72–89 at the time of admission will qualify for regular (non-conditional) admission to the college under the Pathway Program, and will take a combination of ESLG and other college subjects until they complete the program, up through and including the Advanced level.
Students with an Internet-based TOEFL score lower than 72 at the time of admission, may be considered for provisional admission. These students will take primarily ESLG classes and no more than two additional courses in other subjects per semester, until they reach an intermediate proficiency level. They will then take a combination of ESLG and other college subjects until they complete the program, up through and including the Advanced level.
All students entering the program will be required to take the language placement exam after arriving on campus for placement into specific ESLG classes. Once students have entered the program, they may not retake the TOEFL to eliminate specific course requirements; however, students who wish to declare a major in Nursing are required to have a TOEFL score of at least 90, and should retake the exam if their scores were lower at the time of admission to the college. Students who have taken the computer-based or paper version of the TOEFL should contact the ESL Director for more information.
Individualized and small group tutoring sessions are available in the Student Success Center for students enrolled in ESLG courses to assist them with challenges related to English language skills.