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English as a Second Language

Listening / Speaking / Grammar / Reading / Writing

The International Language Institute (ILI) offers six intensive and semi-intensive levels of English as a Second Language.  Each course consists of 160 hours of class time and includes additional work in the multimedia lab.  The courses are given in either the intensive format (8 weeks) or the semi-intensive format (16 weeks).  Students in an intensive track complete two levels each semester, while students in a semi-intensive track complete one level.

Beginning:  Level 101

This course is designed for students who have had minimal contact with the English language.  Students develop listening and speaking skills while using a basic vocabulary of approximately 500 words. They practice introductory reading and basic writing skills, focusing on sentence structure and brief descriptive paragraphs.

Beginning:  Level 102

This course is designed for students who have finished the beginning ESL 101 course or who, as a result of testing, demonstrate their readiness for this course.  Students develop communication skills that facilitate their use of oral language in daily conversations and practical tasks.  The reading/writing component covers diverse reading topics that generate writing assignments.  Students can expect to increase their vocabulary, cover a broad range of reading topics, and complete writing assignments that emphasize the development and editing of descriptive paragraphs.

Intermediate:  Level 103

This low-intermediate ESL level is designed to develop students' oral communication skills (ESL 103L) as well as integrated reading and writing skills (ESL 103R).  Students study grammatical form and function including verb tenses, verbal aspect, nouns, pronouns, and interrogatives.  The course covers reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and the use of vocabulary in context.  Writing practice occurs at the paragraph level and includes the development of topic sentences, supporting sentences, and editing skills.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 2.

High Intermediate:  ESL Level 4, Listening, Speaking, and Grammar

This high-intermediate ESL course is designed to develop students' oral communication skills for the academic environment.  Students will interact in group work, class discussions, and debates.  Fluency, pronunciation, and English grammar are emphasized.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 3.

High Intermediate:  ESL Level 4, Reading and Writing

This high-intermediate class is designed to develop students' academic reading and writing skills.  Students can expect to learn about essay types, explore Western rhetorical styles, and apply grammatical knowledge to writing.  Reading selections include authentic material to help prepare students for the academic classroom.  Students increase reading proficiency by using skimming and scanning techniques, context clues, and vocabulary analysis.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 3

Advanced:  ESL Level 5, Listening, Speaking, and Grammar

Students practice strategies to listen and speak English in a variety of academic situations through the use of multimedia material, in-class discussions, and presentation.  Pronunciation skills are addressed as needed, and successful aural comprehension and oral production of targeted grammar points are assessed.  Students review and expand their English grammar knowledge as they also perfect their knowledge of language use in diverse contexts and social domains.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 4.

Advanced:  ESL Level 5, Reading and Writing

This course is designed to help students express their ideas and opinions effectively in academic and professional writing styles as they develop various essay types.  Students increase their use of reading strategies such as pre-reading, implying and inferring concepts, using context clues, drawing conclusions, and analyzing academic vocabulary.  Diverse, multicultural perspectives of the American culture are covered through academic readings.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 5.

High Advanced:  ESL Level 6, Listening, Speaking, and Grammar

This course prepares students for academic course work through the study of communication strategies used in academic and professional domains.  Students analyze advanced English grammar:  auxiliary verbs, phrasal verbs, gerunds, infinitives, adverb and noun clauses/phrases, discourse connectors, unreal conditionals, and the subjunctive.  Guided discussions, advanced listening, and public speaking techniques are emphasized.  As an exit requirement for this course, students must successfully produce and deliver an academic oral presentation (based on a research paper written in ESL 106R).  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 5.

High Advanced:  ESL Level 106, Reading and Writing

Students can expect to refine academic essay writing skills and apply reading strategies to improve comprehension of college level readings.  Students gain advanced composition and library skills to secure appropriate document sources for research purposes.  Academic and professional language skills are emphasized.  As an exit requirement, students must research and write a 3 to 5 page academic paper.  Prerequisite:  test placement or completion of ESL Level 5.


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International Language Institute, 5201 University Blvd., Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Office: Pellegrino Hall (PH) 302
Phone: 956-326-22136 | Fax: 956-326-2909 | email: San Juana Guzman






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5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100