English Language Program

Students are the lifeblood of any university. Through the collaborative efforts of our various offices, we help students make informed choices about continuing their education. We provide a welcoming atmosphere that reflects the best of the Benedictine values of hospitality and a concern for the development of each individual.

Intensive English Immersion Program (ESL)

Benedictine University at Springfield’s Intensive English Immersion (IEI) Program is a non degree-seeking university program designed to meet the demands of the international community who want to increase their American English language proficiency. The IEI curriculum is intensive, holistic, and communicative. Undergirding this curriculum plan are two distinctive second language-learning theories that establish the pedagogy of our program. Both theories are based on successful models of second language acquisition. First, Stephen Krashen's theory on “Input Hypothesis” answers the question of how language learners acquire and develop competency over time (Krashen, 1981). Second, Rod Ellis' theory on “Variable Competence Model” emphasizes interaction and negotiation of meaning in a variety of context (Ellis, 1986).

The IEI offers three levels of instruction: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The instructional plan is delineated in the IEI Curriculum Scope and Sequence Chart. Students are placed in the appropriate level based upon a TOEFL score or an institutional assessment, oral evaluation, and written evaluation with an accompanying recommendation of an advisor or a teacher. While students are enrolled in the IEI, the institutional TOEFL is administered periodically as a means to assess students' progress as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall program.

The IEI includes 20 hours of instruction per week in small integrated levels that focus on reading, writing, listening, oral communication, grammar, and pronunciation. The IEI’s beginning level provides the fundamental knowledge and builds on language skill areas. The intermediate level continues to provide a working knowledge and improve on language skill areas. The advanced level reviews, improves, and refines the language skills necessary for academic or professional needs. These courses are considered developmental and even though credits appear on transcripts, they do not count towards graduation.

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