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English Language Center

Program of Study
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ESL Students
Five 7/8-week terms a year
Six levels of instruction
Low cost
20 hours of instruction per week
Conversation tutors
Social activities and trips
Professional instructors
Friendly, personal atmosphere
University Bridge Program
Computer laboratory
Elective classes, including TOEFL Preparation
Strong emphasis on reading skills

Curriculum and Materials:

Instruction is offered each term on the Foundation level (for low beginners) and levels 1-5. Courses are given in the basic skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, and composition. Special elective courses are also offered: Vocabulary, Idioms, TOEFL Preparation, Pronunciation, American Culture, Intensive Reading, Advanced Listening Comprehension, and Academic Speaking. Instruction is supplemented with instructional software, videos, and computer lab assignments. ELC students find many opportunities to practice speaking English through the Conversation Partner program.

The Conversation Partners are young American students, and many of them are top students in the University of South Alabama's Honors Program. Small classes permit students to receive more individual attention from their instructors. All instruction is in English.

At the beginning of each term, students are tested to determine placement in the correct level of study. Promotion to the next level is determined by class grades, reading levels, and the Compass Proficiency exam given at the end of each term (see chart below). A student with little or no proficiency in English can expect to spend five terms (one year) before he or she has the necessary proficiency to enter a university in the United States.


Students are promoted from one level to the next higher level when they achieve a class grade average of at least 70 percent.

University Admission:

ELC students who complete level 5 can be recommended for admission to the University of South Alabama without TOEFL or IELTS if they meet the following criteria:
  1. Completion of Level Five with a GPA of 80% or better
  2. ACT Compass average of 85 or better
  3. Accelerated Reader level of 6.0
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