About IESL

The intensive English for academic purposes curriculum focuses on general academic English and is designed for students who meet every Michigan Technological University admission requirement except for language. The rigorous curriculum is designed to help students improve their English language proficiency for academic and personal purposes. The IESL program offers a full-time curriculum of 18-24 hours per week. See the Courses page for more information.  IESL does not serve Beginners.

Why Enroll in Michigan Technological University’s IESL program?

As an IESL student you will

  1. develop strong English and intercultural skills for academic study at Michigan Tech
  2. have well-designed English courses and careful attention from teachers
  3. have excellent teachers with strong professional training and experience
  4. have small classes
  5. have access to Michigan Tech facilities
  6. have access to social events both within the IESL program and across the university, and you will
  7. live and learn in a friendly small college town community.

Program Description

The IESL Program offers intensive English instruction for academic purposes to prepare students for academic study. Applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score to be considered. Conditional admission is offered to students interested in undergraduate study at the university but do not have the required English language test score.

  • IESL courses are offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. The Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters are 14 weeks long. IESL courses follow the university calendar.
  • IESL classes meet 18-24 hours per week and meet in university classrooms on campus. Instruction includes reading, vocabulary, writing, grammar, listening, speaking, and pronunciation.
  • Placement tests include listening, vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. Interviews are conducted to judge speaking fluency.
  • Course levels are Intermediate I & II, Advanced I & II, Transitional, and Academic Support. At the Advanced level, students may enroll in English for math, science, engineering, or business. Advising for students is provided by both the IESL program and the academic departments.
  • Attendance is mandatory as required by Michigan Tech and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Students register for courses as Michigan Tech students.
  • Students receive evaluations of their progress at mid-term and at the end of the semester. Evaluation is based on quizzes, tests, reports, projects, and presentations.
  • Students participate in a Conversation Partner program.
  • Orientation and advising are provided.
  • Student housing is available on campus.
  • Michigan Tech provides transportation for students from the Hancock, CMX airport to student housing on campus at designated times before the beginning of each semester.

Exit Competencies and Learning Outcomes

Oral/Aural Communication
  1. Students will be able to deliver a comprehensible oral presentation to an academic audience.
  2. Students will be able to identify main ideas and supporting details of academic lectures.
  3. Students will be able to formulate and respond to peer and faculty questions.
  4. Students will be able to participate actively and mediate communication breakdown in academic classroom discussions and small group settings.
  5. Students will be able to monitor speech features that contribute to comprehensibility.
Written Communication
  1. Students will be able to compose texts appropriate to various academic contexts
  2. Students will be able to craft research papers of appropriate length (2000-3000 words)
  3. Students will be able to develop complex rhetorical modes coherently and cohesively
  4. Students will be able to demonstrate language formality and conventions
  5. Students will be able to demonstrate a variety of syntactical structures and correct syntax and mechanics errors
Reading Comprehension
  1. Students will be able to read and comprehend academic texts by applying text processing strategies.
  2. Students will be able to produce summaries that mirror the structure of texts and be able to paraphrase the main ideas of a text.
  3. Students will be able to read critically by identifying common types of support in arguments, common logical fallacies and opposing points of view.
  4. Students will be able to identify implied main ideas, author’s purpose, tone and targeted audience.
  5. Students will be able to infer the meaning of new vocabulary and figurative language using word forms, grammar, affixes, and contextual clues.
Academic Research
  1. Students will be able to locate relevant and reliable sources using library resources, online tools, and academic databases.
  2. Students will be able to incorporate and synthesize sources into writing and oral presentations by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing and documenting them in APA style to avoid plagiarism.
  • Intensive English as a Second Language Program
    Walker Arts & Humanities Center
    Michigan Technological University
    1400 Townsend Drive
    Houghton, MI 49931-1295 USA
  • Telephone: 906-487-3229
    Fax: 906-487-3559
    Email: iesl@mtu.edu