English as a Second Language


English Language Requirements

For admission to SLU-Madrid, you need a good academic record as well as a solid command of academic English. Certain school English exams – such as Selectividad – may be valid for admission to the university, but ARE NOT VALID for placement in our programs.

For placement, all applicants need to submit one of the following official academic English exams if they have not been admitted using an SAT, an ACT, the IB Diploma (especially English A) or A-level results.

  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test)

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)

  • PTE (Pearson Test of English)

Please submit scores to admissions-madrid@slu.edu as soon as possible. Students taking a TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) can have their results sent directly to SLU-MADRID using our TOEFL Code, 7763.

If you do not have a result from any one of these tests, you may take the institutional TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) at SLU-Madrid. To register for these exams, please contact admissions-madrid@slu.edu.

The Institutional TOEFL PBT test dates are:

May 4, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. - TOEFL PBT
May 8, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. - SLUWE (The SLU Test of Written English)

August 31, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. - TWE
August 31, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. - TOEFL PBT

December 15, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. - TOEFL PBT
December 19, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. - SLUWE (The SLU Test of Written English)


The Purpose of ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes provide essential support to students by teaching them academic English and the study skills necessary to succeed in the U.S. university system and to compete on an equal level with other students in the classroom.

If students’ academic English level is too low, they may suffer frustration and find their GPA (grade-point average) affected.

We cannot accept exams such as the Cambridge First Certificate, Advanced or Proficiency for proof of university success because they test everyday English as opposed to the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) required in higher education.


Interpreting Scores in Terms of Class Placement

Students may take a maximum of six classes (18 credits) per semester. According to their language test scores, they may have to take a number of ESL classes, ranging from six (full-time ESL) to none (if their EAP level is sufficiently high).

Class Placement TOEFL PBT TOEFL IBT* IELTS* PTE*
Full-time ESL 1010
(6 ESL classes)
420
(minimum 2.5 on TWE)
45 5.0
(no band below 4.0)
39
Part-time ESL 1010
(5 ESL classes)
480
(min. 3.0 TWE)
55 5.5
(no band below 4.5)
42
Part-time ESL 1110
(4 ESL classes)
500
(3.0 TWE)
62 5.5
(no band below 5.0)
44
Part-time ESL 1110
(3 ESL classes)
515
(min. 3.5 TWE)
68 6.0
(no band below 5.0)
46
Part-time ESL 1110
(2 ESL classes)
530
(min. 3.5 TWE)
74 6.0
 (no band below 5.5)
50
ENGL 1500 550
(min. 4.0 TWE)
79
(minimum 19 on reading and writing)
6.5
(no band below 6.0)
54
ENGL 1900/1920** 610
(min. 5.0 TWE)
96
(no band below 24)
7.5
(no band below 7.5)
70

* These test scores will only be accepted by the University if accompanied by an official certificate, a record of which will be kept in the student's file in the Office of the Registrar.
** Students can only be placed in ENGL 1900/1920 if they have permission from an academic advisor.

 

ESL and ENGL Levels

ESL 1010* – Advanced-Intermediate Level English as a Second Language
Students with a TOEFL PBT score of between 420 and 500 are required to take:

  1. ESL 1010 M01 
  2. ESL 1020 M01 and
  3. Between 2 and 4 ESL focus classes, depending on their score.

Students with scores above 480 may take non-ESL classes that are not language-based (for example, MATH 1200, ITM 2000, and CMM 2550). Moreover, Spanish speakers may choose to take one of the courses that we offer in that language.
The ESL 1010 level is more or less equivalent to a high A2 or low B1 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

ESL 1110* – Advanced Level English as a Second Language
Students with TOEFL PBT scores of between 500 and 550 are required to take:

  1. ESL 1110 M01 
  2. ESL 1120 M01 and
  3. Between 0 and 3 ESL focus classes, depending on each student’s level and needs.

Students should consult their advisor to see which non-ESL courses they may take.
The ESL 1110 level is more or less equivalent to a high B1 or low B2 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

ENGL 1500 – The Process of Composition
This course is mandatory for all students, regardless of their native language. It focuses on the development of academic writing skills.

ENGL 1900/ 1920 – Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research

This course is a core requirement in all majors, and teaches students how to research and write effective academic essays, developing their rhetorical skills of argumentation, with an emphasis on analytical reading, critical thinking and techniques of research methodology.


*ESL Classes

The ESL 1010/1110 integrated-skills classes are obligatory for all students in the ESL program, and provide specific preparation for the TOEFL exam.

The ESL 1020/1120 written-expression courses are obligatory for all students in the ESL program, and provide specific preparation for the TWE essay (and the SLU Written Exam).

The ESL Focus Classes are designed to provide specific skills for ESL students, and may be subject-based (English through nature, English through business and communications etc.) or skill-based (intensive grammar, English through reading etc.).

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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