English as an International Language
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do I have to take EIL classes, when a) I studied in English in my native country, b) I already took ESL classes in another institution, c) my friend doesn’t have to?
a) The English that you spoke may be a different dialect (e.g. British English, or Malaysian English). Dialects can vary quite widely, in terms of vocabulary, grammar and usage- and particularly accent! In EIL classes we will introduce you to academic American English, and accustom you to its use.
b) We mean no disrespect to your earlier efforts or to your former teachers. However, your test results, essay, and interview indicate to us that your level of English is not high enough to ensure success in Park mainstream academic classes.
c) Every individual is different. Even if you come from the same country, the same background, even the same school, it is often the case that people’s language skills and rate of progress are not the same. It is not a negative reflection on you.
- How long will I stay in the EIL program?
There is no exact answer. This depends on your progress, as determined by your results on the Compass-ESL test (including writing sample), your classwork and grades, your teacher’s evaluation, your portfolio, and the Coordinator’s assessment.
When can I take classes in my major?
This depends on your level. Generally speaking, students at the Beginning I and II and Intermediate I levels take only EIL classes, students at the Intermediate II level may take one or possibly two ‘other’ classes, and students at the Academic Level may take up to 4 ‘other’ classes. The decision is made according to your individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
Why did my friend test out, while I did not?
Each decision is made individually. Our duty is to prepare you for the academic classroom. We perceived that one or another skill still needed work and time.
I live off campus for financial reasons. Will I be penalized if I arrive late or miss class due to traffic, weather, missed rides, and so on?
Yes. It is your personal responsibility and obligation to make the necessary arrangements, and solve any problems that arise.
Will EIL classes slow me down, as far as graduating is concerned?
You require 120-122 credit hours (depending on your degree) to graduate. Depending on your major, an average of 40-80 hours will be spent on your subject area. The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work both have a Modern Language requirement of 3-8 credits, which your EIL classes fulfill. Other graduation requirements such as EN 105 and 106, LE 100, and EN 306 take up 12 hours; Liberal Education requirements total 37 hours. The remainder making up the 120-122 credit hours is elective credit, which our credit-bearing EIL classes fulfill. So, depending, again, on your chosen major, EIL classes should not delay you much, if at all. Please reflect that in many cases (for instance, if you start at the Beginner or Intermediate I level) it is perhaps unreasonable to expect to graduate in 4 years, the same period of time as a native speaker of English, in a ‘foreign’ system. Imagine if an American student were to go to your country to complete a degree. Would you expect them to graduate at the same time as a native speaker of your language, in an educational system strange to them?
If I transfer, will my EIL credits transfer with me?
That depends upon the policies of the school you transfer to. Some institutions may accept some ESL credit, while others will not. Generally it depends on the nature of the institution’s ESOL program: if their program is noncredit, usually they will not grant credit for EIL classes.