English as an International Language

Policies and Procedures

All EIL classes, from the Beginning to the Academic level, are worth academic credit. This means several things. One, all your EIL classes count towards the 120 credits needed to graduate, as well as fulfilling your Modern Language requirement. Two, they cost the same as any other class; and, like every other class, grades achieved in EIL classes contribute to your GPA (Grade Point Average). Three, the focus in EIL classes is on giving you the linguistic and academic skills that are essential for your success as a student. Much will be required of you. Each class is important. If you fail an EIL class, you may be required to retake it.

The program as outlined below is different from most English as a Second Language programs in other universities. Most ESL programs do not give academic credit. Many programs charge more than the cost of academic credit. Most keep students in the program until they test out, without allowing students to take other classes outside of their ESL classes. At Park, our philosophy is that a student’s English may improve more rapidly if they must use it in a regular class; however, we also believe that placing a student in regular classes too early can be very stressful and counter-productive. We make every attempt to give students opportunities to “spread their wings”; but we also reserve the right to restrict access to other classes, if we do not judge a student ready.

What will happen when I arrive on campus at Park?

1. You will take the Compass-ESL test.
As an F1 student, and/or someone whose first language is not English, you will first write the Compass-ESL test. This is required of every new student who fits the above criteria, regardless of whether you are a first-time freshman, transfer, undergraduate or graduate student. The Compass-ESL is a test taken on the computer, which consists of three parts: a section on reading, a section on grammar and usage, and finally a writing assignment. You will do this test either in the Academic Support Center or the Testing Center in the Underground, on campus in Parkville. On average, the test takes approximately 1 – 1.5 hours, but may take more or less time depending on your level.

There is no way to prepare for this test. In any case, its purpose is to help reveal your level of competence in English, so we prefer that you not prepare in any special way. Remember, your results on the Compass-ESL give us a ‘snapshot’ of your English skills; you do not “pass” or “fail” this test.

2. You will see either Dr. Osborne or Mr. Cunningham.
After the test, you will be given an appointment with either Dr. Deborah Osborne, Coordinator of the program, or Mr. Joe Cunningham, Instructor. Dr. Osborne or Mr. Cunningham will interview you. We will place you in EIL classes according to your score on the test and your performance during the interview. If your scores on the test are very high, and if you give evidence in the interview that your speaking and listening skills are sufficiently advanced that we judge you able to perform well in regular classes with native speakers of English, we will test you out of the program. Otherwise, we will place you in EIL classes, according to the policies set out below.

3a. If you test out of the program:
You will be given a letter stating that you do not need EIL classes. One copy of this letter will be scanned into your permanent files. This will result in a notation on your Degree Audit that your Modern Language requirement has been fulfilled. This means that you do not have to take any EIL classes OR any language classes whatsoever, unless you wish to take them as electives. (However, you will still have to take English 105, 106, and 306, as well as the WCT test, as these are campus-wide requirements for graduation). You will be assigned another advisor, in your chosen major. Good luck!!

3b. If you place in the EIL program:
Dr. Osborne or Mr. Cunningham will place you into the classes that best fit your level. The following policies are followed.

Class Sequencing by Level
100 level: At either Beginning I or II, students will take four EIL classes for 12 credits. These classes run four hours per day, five days per week. The schedule is as follows:

Curriculum (2013-2014 Catalog) Hours
Beginner I (20 hours of instruction per week)
EI 101 Beginning Reading and Writing I
EI 111 Beginning Listening and Speaking I 3
EI 121 Beginning Grammar I 3
EI 130 Beginning Integrated Skills I 3
Beginner II (20 hours of instruction per week)
EI 102 Beginning Reading and Writing II
EI 112 Beginning Listening and Speaking II 3
EI 122 Beginning Grammar II 3
EI 140 Beginning Integrated Skills II 3

200 level: At the Intermediate I level, students take four classes in EIL. At the Intermediate II level, students take four or possibly three EIL classes; depending on evaluation of a student’s abilities, one non-EIL class may be allowed as well. We will make this decision based on test and interview results, as well as (once the student has taken classes in the program) course grades, instructor recommendation, and availability of suitable classes.

Curriculum (2013-2014 Catalog) Hours
Intermediate I (12 hours of instruction per week)
EI 201 Intermediate Reading and Writing I
EI 210 Intermediate Listening and Speaking I 3
EI 221 Intermediate Grammar I 3
EI 230 Intermediate Integrated Skills I 3
Intermediate II (12 hours of instruction per week)
EI 202 Intermediate Reading and Writing II
EI 211 Intermediate Listening and Speaking II 3
EI 222 Intermediate Grammar II 3
EI 245 Advanced American Culture 3
Possibly: one other class, from the following list (for a total of 15 hours of instruction per week):
CS 140 Introduction to Computers 3
MA 125/135 Intermediate or College Algebra 3
LS 100 First Year Seminar 3

300 level: At the Academic level, the number of classes assigned depends on a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Generally speaking, the longer a student has spent in the EIL program, the fewer the EIL classes that must be taken at this level, but this is not always the case. Students may take from 1 – 3 EIL classes, along with 3 – 4 other classes. The following are the classes available at this level:

Curriculum (2013-2014 Catalog) Hours
EI 301 Academic Writing I
EI 310 Academic Listening and Speaking I 3
EI 321 Academic Reading I 3
EI 330 Academic Integrated Skills
EI 302 Academic Writing II
EI 311 Academic Listening and Speaking II 3
EI 322 Academic Reading II 3
EI 340 Academic Study Skills 3

Now I am in the EIL program. What happens next? How do I leave the program?

First, study hard! The harder you work, the sooner you will test out of the program. Also, if you apply yourself to your studies, you will be able to take classes outside of the EIL program as well.

In evaluating a student’s readiness to take classes outside of the EIL program, or test out of the program, several factors are taken into account.
  • Compass-ESL and interview scores (students repeat the Compass-ESL at the end of each semester)
  • Grades in EIL classes
  • Grades in other classes, if relevant
  • EIL instructors’ observations
  • Testimonials from other professors of classes taken outside the program, if relevant
  • Your EIL portfolio (see below)

The EIL portfolio
Beginning with the spring semester of 2011, every student who is a candidate for leaving the program will bring a portfolio to their advising session with either Dr. Osborne or Mr. Cunningham. This portfolio will consist of samples of the student’s best work from EIL classes at every level. So, for instance, if the student began in the Intermediate I level, then we expect to see work from Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and Academic levels; in addition, if relevant, items from classes other than EIL classes may be included. What do we mean by “sample work”? By this we mean essays, written assignments, quizzes, journal entries, etc. The items should be organized by level and neatly presented in a binder or folder. Please do not include anything but academic work; for example, do not ask instructors or work supervisors, etc. for letters of recommendation. Your EIL instructors can help you compile this portfolio.


We make our advising and registration decisions carefully. Each student is considered individually and separately. Language acquisition is very complex; it is often the case that individuals progress at different rates from others, and may have varying levels of ability. It is not unusual, for example, for a student’s oral abilities to be better than his or her reading or writing skills.

Mr. Cunningham and Dr. Osborne draw upon many years of experience, as well as extensive training, when deciding which classes a student should take.

While we make every effort to take each student’s wishes into account, in the end, our decision must be made using the information available to us, and our professional expertise, and in accordance with our mission.

All advising decisions are final.