Skip to main content

Saint Louis University Header Logo Center

Menu Search

Department of Modern Languages and ESL Programs

Although English is the lingua franca and language of study at SLU-Madrid, with students from more than 65 countries there are many opportunities to practice other modern languages in authentic situations.

Modern Languages and ESL

 

In today’s global world, multinational companies and multiracial societies require plurilingual workers: knowing more than one language not only enhances your profile when applying for jobs or graduate school, but also provides you with greater mental flexibility, superior critical-analysis skills, and a longer attention span.

Due to its privileged geographical location, Madrid has easy and relatively inexpensive access to many different countries where you can put your language skills to the test.

Degree Program

English Language Programs

Academic English

SLU-Madrid's Academic English Program is the most intensive and complete academic English and TOEFL preparation course in Madrid. The program prepares students for entry into universities where the language of instruction is English.

Students should already have a high intermediate level of everyday English language skills in order to benefit from this course.

The Academic English Program offers:

  • 19 hours of classes per week for 12 weeks
  • Small classes
  • Preparation for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • Individualized tutorials, feedback and progress reports
  • Access to SLU-Madrid's library, writing center and academic resources
  • Access to SLU-Madrid's events, sports, clubs and organizations
  • 3 University credits may later be transferred towards a U.S. B.A. or B.S. degree

The classes:

Within the program, there are two content-based classes, an academic writing class, a critical reading skills class, a structure/ grammar class and an oral skills class. The timetable is scheduled Monday through Friday between 09:30 and 2.00 p.m.

Dates of the next courses:

  • Monday January 14, 2019 – Tuesday April 9, 2019
  • Wednesday September 17, 2019 – Thursday December 12, 2019

Price:

4,500 euro. Students also need to pay a 150 euro confirmation fee. Contact admissions-madrid@slu.edu for further details.

For Admission to the Program:

Students must:

  • meet SLU-Madrid's B.A./B.S. degree admissions requirements
  • show a high-intermediate level of competence in writing

Students may contact SLU-Madrid's admissions office to arrange a time to visit the campus and write an essay. The essay takes 30 minutes.

If you are not able to visit us in Madrid, you may download and complete this PDF form, scan it, and send it in to: admissions-madrid@slu.edu. All essays must be handwritten.

You may also be requested to set up a SKYPE interview with a member of the Admissions or ESL department.

ESL

The ESL Undergraduate Bridge Program consists of two courses designed to help students consolidate their academic English skills:

  • ESL 1110: Advanced Listening, Grammar and Reading
  • ESL 1120: Advanced Written Expression

These courses do not provide credits towards degree programs, but students may simultaneously enroll in between two and four degree-bearing credits. By the end of this program, students will be prepared to enter more advance English writing courses that will provide them with elective or core credits.

For more information about studying ESL at SLU-Madrid, contact Hamish Binns at hamish.binns@slu.edu.

Community ESL

SLU-Madrid’s Community ESL program began in 2002 and, in the spirit of the Jesuit mission, serves the local community and responds to students' increasing interest in volunteering.

Volunteers are put in teams of two or three per class and receive a short training session before the course starts. Depending on availability, volunteers can choose the level that they’d like to teach.

The University provides the equipment and mentorship required by the student volunteers, although they are given almost complete autonomy if desired, and are encouraged to be independent and creative. Volunteers either teach once a week from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or twice a week from 7 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The students are mostly Spanish or Latin American, and ages range from 12 to 80 years, with a wide variety of profiles:  from bank managers to street-sweepers: there are few other places in the city where such an eclectic group of people can be found.

Many volunteer teachers from the program go on to become professional educators, and students who have attended the classes routinely report significant improvement in their level of English. Each semester, 25 to 50 SLU-Madrid student volunteers teach free classes to between 200 and 400 students from the local Madrid community.

To learn more about participating in the Community ESL program, contact Hamish Binns, ESL program director, at hamish.binns@slu.edu

If you wish to learn English with in our program, contact: communityesl-madrid@slu.edu.

Modern Language Programs

Arabic

Spain is geographically and culturally close to the Arabic world. The Spanish language contains more than 2,000 words of Arabic origin, and the Islamic cultural inheritance is highly visible, especially in Andalusia.

At SLU-Madrid, we not teach Al-Fusha or Modern Standard Arabic, but also explore the Arabic culture in order to enhance cultural comprehension and effective communication.

Where possible, the levels of our courses correspond to the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

  • AR 1010: Communicating in Arabic I (equivalent to CEFRL A1)
  • AR 1020: Communicating in Arabic II (equivalent to CEFRL A2)
  • AR 2010: Intermediate Arabic Language & Culture (equivalent to CEFRL A2/ B1)

Recognized Official Exams: ALPT (Arabic Language Proficiency Test), STAMP 4S Arabic (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency-4 skill), APT (Arabic Proficiency Test) and ALCT (Arabic Language Competency Test)

The professor, Muhisin Mutlak, is one of the most important contemporary Middle Eastern novelists, better known by his pen-name, Muhsin Al-Ramli.

Contact: malramli@hotmail.com

French

Studying French at SLU-Madrid offers students exciting opportunities to learn another Romance language in addition to Spanish. You will easily be able to apply what you learn by visiting nearby France, conversing with the many French speakers on campus or by joining the French Club.

At SLU-Madrid, we not only teach French, but also explore the Francophone cultures in order to enhance cultural comprehension and effective communication.

The levels of our courses correspond to the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages):

  • FREN 1010: Communicating in French I (equivalent to CEFRL A1)
  • FREN 1020: Communicating in French II (equivalent to CEFRL A2)
  • FREN 2100: Intermediate French Language & Culture (equivalent to CEFRL B1)

Recognized Official Exams:

DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française), STAMP 4S French (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency-4 skills), TEF (Test d’évaluation du français), ECL (European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages) and TELC (The European Language Certificates)

The professor, Roswitha Zahlner Casmier does research in Francophone Postcolonial Studies, and is the department’s most accomplished linguist, being fluent in at least four languages.

To learn more about studying French at SLU-Madrid, contact Roswitha Casmier, Ph.D., at roswitha.casmier@slu.edu.

Portuguese

Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world and one of the main languages of Latin America. For speakers of Spanish, learning Portuguese is relatively easy since they share common roots. Moreover, studying Portuguese in Madrid is an attractive option because you are next to Portugal, but we also offer an exchange program with the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC) in Brazil.

At SLU-Madrid, we teach Brazilian Portuguese, but also explore the associated cultures and literature in order to enhance cultural comprehension and effective communication.

The levels of our courses correspond to the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages):

  • PG 1010: Communicating in Portuguese I (equivalent to CEFRL A1)
  • PG 1020: Communicating in Portuguese II (equivalent to CEFRL A2)
  • PG 2100: Intermediate Portuguese Language & Culture (equivalent to CEFRL B1)

Recognized Official Exams:

CELPE-Bras (Brazilian Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners) and CAPLE (Centro de Avaliação de Português Língua Estrangeira)

Rejane is an experienced teacher and CELPE-Bras examiner who is currently working on her Phd in Estudios Portugueses y Brasileños at the Universidad de Salamanca.

To learn more about studying Portuguese at SLU-Madrid, contact Rejane Queiroz, Ph.D., at rejane.queiroz@slu.edu

Language Exchanges 

The language exchange bulletin board is located on the first floor of Padre Rubio Hall next to the Modern Languages and ESL department office. If you don’t find an exchange advertised for the language that you want to learn, fill out a form and post it.

Most of the exchange forms on the board are filled out by SLU students, but people in the outside community may also participate. To ensure that your exchange partner is who she or he says, we advise you to meet for the first exchange on campus.

Faculty