The Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) program offers English language courses in all of the skill areas, focusing on English for academic purposes. Below is more information for students enrolled in IESL classes:
Students in IESL are registered for courses by the IESL Director. At the end of each semester, students have a conference with their teachers and the IESL director. At that conference, students are provided with a copy of their official TOEFL-ITP score report, an assessment of their performance and progress, and are informed of the classes they will be taking the following semester. When students complete their language study, their status is changed to degree-seeking. During the final semester of their language study, students will also meet with an academic advisor in their area of study and be shown the registration protocol.
Students are responsible for making sure that all holds on their accounts are settled promptly; otherwise, registration will be delayed.
The advisor for all IESL students is the IESL director. Students may make appointments for advising via email or in person at the ELI office (Douglass Houghton Hall G044). To make an appointment by email, send a request to the Administrative Assistant at email@example.com. At the end of the semester, students meet with the director to discuss courses for the following semester. Students in Transitional level classes will also meet with their academic advisor before the end of the semester. Placement for Engineering (Spatial/Visual) or math must be are arranged by the IESL director at this time.
The program’s curriculum has six proficiency levels:
- High Beginning
- Intermediate I (Low) or Intermediate II
- Advanced I (Low) or Advanced II
The classrooms can be found at various locations across campus. Students will receive detailed schedules after they have been registered. Each level is made up of core courses in Reading, Writing, and Listening. These courses are taught every day and each is taught for a total of five hours a week. Each core course, with the exception of transitional-level courses, has a laboratory course that goes with it. High-beginning, intermediate, and advanced-level students attend at least four to six hours of classes each day and all classes meet for the whole semester.
Upon arrival, placement testing information is provided to students when they check in with International Programs and Services (IPS).
There are four main stages to testing and placement into IESL:
Placement Test TOEFL ITP (115 minutes)
Listening comprehension, structure and written expression, and reading comprehension
Writing test: Test of Written English (TWE)
Timed writing sample on a given topic (30 minutes)
Faculty interview each student for 8-10 minutes
Stage II: Placement into level and courses based on test results.
Stage III: In-course diagnostic assessment during the first week to collect data on student placement.
Listening/Speaking and Pronunciation
Reading and Vocabulary
Writing and Grammar
Stage IV: Placement changes
IESL faculty members use the first week of instruction to find out if students are accurately placed. Courses provide students with the opportunity to perform language tasks that enable faculty to judge student proficiency levels. Faculty meet the first Friday of the semester to present and discuss diagnostic data. If it is decided that a student has been misplaced, the student is contacted by the director and moved to the appropriate level.
Placement and Level Change
Students who are not attending classes may not request placement changes. A student who is on probation is not eligible for a level change. If a student requests a level change, that student must provide language-performance evidence that his/her proficiency in English is higher than his/her current level.
IESL Exit Requirements
Exit decisions are based on pieces of data such as IESL course grades, academic course grades, and TOEFL-ITP scores. Exit decisions are made only after all grades have been posted at the end of the semester. Students receive an email notification and are informed that International Programs and Services (IPS) will process their status change and issue an I-20 reflecting the change. At this time, all scholarships are released to students and the registrar removes the IESL block on registration so that students are able to register themselves. Any further relevant exit information is provided to students at this time.
Students who score lower or higher than the range:
- 432 and lower on the TOEFL ITP: Arrange for transfer or contract language study program or enroll in our Foundational English courses (if available)
- 550 and higher on the TOEFL ITP: Interview and writing sample to determine whether they exit completely with UN1012 or take ESL0491, 0492, 0493, or 0490 depending on sub-scores
*Test of Written English (TWE) and interviews are additional placement measures
Textbook and Course Materials
Students are required to have their own copy of all the assigned textbooks for each class and cannot borrow or photocopy a friend’s book. Here are some points to remember when purchasing a textbook:
Buy the right edition. If you buy the wrong version of the textbook, you may have to pay more money to get the right book.
Buy new, not used books. Used books may have lots of writing in them. As a second-language learner, this will be distracting for you, and you won’t be able to learn as easily.
Get it by the end of Week 1. It might be tempting to get a cheap book online and have it shipped to you, but you need to have a copy by the end of the first week of classes. If your book takes too long to ship, you might not be able to do your work. Books are available at the Michigan Tech Bookstore in the MUB.
How much study time is needed?
- Study daily (for every hour of class, devote one hour of class to study time and homework preparation)
- Attend cultural events and lectures on campus
Your classes will teach you how to outline and create study guides. Use that skill to help you understand concepts. At the end of each day, review your notes and reorganize them. If you don’t understand what you did in class, ask your instructor.
|0210||Reading||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0211||Vocabulary||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0220||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0230||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0231||Pronunciation||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0240||Grammar||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0310||Reading||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0311||Vocabulary||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0320||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0330||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0331||Pronunciation||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0340||Grammar||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0350||Reading||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0351||Vocabulary||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0360||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0370||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0371||Pronunciation||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0380||Grammar||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0410||Reading||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0411||Vocabulary||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0420||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0430||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0431||Pronunciation||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0440||Grammar||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0450||Reading||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0451||Vocabulary||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||>3 Hours|
|0460||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0470||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0471||Pronunciation||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0480||Grammar||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
Advanced English for Specific Purposes
|0412||English for Business||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0413||English for Engineering||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0414||English for Math||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0416||English for Science||1 Credit Hour||0 Hours||3 Hours|
|0491||Writing||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0492||Listening and Speaking||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
|0493||Reading and Vocabulary||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
Research Writing I
|0560||Research Writing I||3 Credit Hours||2 Hours||3 Hours|
Research Writing II
|0580||Research Writing II||3 Credit Hours>||2 Hours||3 Hours|
Midterm Progress Report
At midterm, your progress will be calculated based on your work for the first seven weeks of the semester. You will also be provided information on your attendance and performance on homework. If you are failing, you will be required to meet the IESL director to develop a plan for improving by the end of the semester.
Final End of Semester Evaluation
All IESL courses are pass-fail courses. Credits will be given, but the grade in this class will not be used in computing your university grade point average (GPA). See description below:
S (satisfactory)—credit given, not included in student’s GPA.
E (effort unsatisfactory)—no credit, not included in student’s GPA.
|S||80% and above||Pass|
|E||79% and below||Fail|
The proficiency scale below describes what a student can do at the end of each level.
IESL Proficiency Scale**
“Can Do” statements are roughly mapped onto the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) scale with some differences.
|Transitional Academic Support B2/C1 CEFR||
IESL Proficiency Scale**
Can Do statements are roughly mapped onto the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale with some differences.
|Transitional Academic Support B2/C1 CEFR||
Listening & Speaking / Pronunciation
The proficiency scale below describes what a student can do at the end of each level.
IESL Proficiency Scale**
“Can Do” statements are roughly mapped onto the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale with some differences. Refer to TOEFL ITP data for more information.
|Listening & Speaking/Pronunciation|
|Transitional Academic Support B2/C1 CEFR||
|High Beginning A1/A2||
Attendance is required in every class. Students need to be in class and to be engaged in order to benefit from instruction. If you need to miss class, email your teacher before the class. If it is an excused absence, give your teacher proof of the reason in writing (e.g., a doctor’s note). University attendance policy is available to view online.
If you have more than three unexcused absences, you will be reported to the International Programs and Services (IPS) office. This is because United States immigration rules require students to attend classes. Not attending classes regularly may result in the loss of your Michigan Tech student status, which would cause you to lose your F-1 visa status.
What is an Excused Absence :
Excused absences include:
- Being sick and bringing a doctor’s note to your teacher;
- Participating in a university-sponsored event such as an athletic competition; or
- Events that you cannot control, such as car accidents, etc.
Probation and Suspension
Students may receive two different types of contracts: Learning Contracts and Behavior Contracts.
Signing a contract is the same as being on academic probation. Students are informed by the IESL director of their probationary status when they sign a Learning or Behavior Contract. Student contracts are signed with the IESL program. However, copies of signed contracts are kept in the student’s file at the office of the Dean of Students. This means that the Dean of Students receives a copy of all contracts. Students who fail a class will be required to sign a Learning Contract. Learning contracts place failing students on probation and this ensures that the student has a plan for passing the class the second time. Any student who fails the same class three times will be placed on academic suspension. Students with classroom behavior issues will first be sent to the IESL program director to discuss the concern. If the issue is not resolved, the student will be required to sign a Behavior Contract.
It is very important to note that the Dean of Students Office may, on the recommendation of the department chair, require students to withdraw from any course or courses in which their preparation, progress, effort, or conduct is deemed unsatisfactory.
- The student will be informed of the contract violation and have the opportunity to explain to the IESL program director why the contract was broken.
- The IESL program director may recommend that the Dean of Students withdraw the student from classes, and the student will not be allowed to take classes at Michigan Tech for a designated period of time.
Students on academic suspension may not enroll in any classes at Michigan Tech for the length of their suspension. Upon receiving notice of suspension, a student must sit out for at least one semester, plus a summer. That is, a student suspended at the end of a fall semester will become eligible to request reinstatement the following fall, and a student suspended at the end of a spring semester will become eligible to request reinstatement the following spring.
A student who is suspended at the end of summer semester will be permitted to request reinstatement the following spring. A student who is suspended a second time will be dismissed from the IESL program.
Appeals of Academic Suspension/Dismissal: Appeals of academic suspension/dismissal will be considered if students can document that there are unusual or extenuating circumstances surrounding their recent academic performance. They must also be confident that they will be able to show significant academic progress. Students wishing to make such an appeal must do so in writing.
Reinstatement: A student suspended for unsatisfactory
Probation and Suspension
Students having academic difficulty may be asked to withdraw from or be required to enroll in specific courses, be placed on academic probation, be academically suspended, or be dismissed from the IESL Program and/or the University.
- Any student who fails an ESL course once or twice will be placed on academic probation.
- Students are informed by the IESL director of their probationary status and then meet with the IESL director to discuss support services and develop a learning plan. The learning plan may include meeting with the Dean of Students if needed.
- Students who are on probation may not exit IESL.
- Any student who fails the same class three times or fails additional courses during his/her second term of academic probation will be placed on academic suspension.
- Students on academic suspension may not enroll in any classes at Michigan Tech for the length of their suspension. Upon receiving notice of suspension, a student must sit out for at least one semester, plus a summer after their first suspension. Following a second suspension, students must sit out for at least 2 semesters plus a summer.
- A student who is suspended a third time will be dismissed from the IESL program and from the University.
Appeals of Academic Suspension/Dismissal: Appeals of academic suspension/dismissal will be considered if students can document that there are unusual or extenuating circumstances surrounding their recent academic performance. They must also be confident that they will be able to show significant academic progress. Students wishing to make such an appeal must do so in writing by the due date. (See https://www.mtu.edu/deanofstudents/academic-policies/suspension/ for information regarding the appeals process and timeline.)
Reinstatement: A student suspended for unsatisfactory academic progress may apply for reinstatement through a written request to the Dean of Students Office after a period of no enrollment. The deadline for such a request is six weeks prior to the first day of the semester for which a student is requesting reinstatement. A student who is reinstated after academic suspension will be reinstated on academic probation. Upon reinstatement, failure to achieve good academic standing or show substantial academic progress by the end of one semester may result in another academic suspension. A student who fails to achieve good academic standing after reinstatement following a second suspension will be academically dismissed. There is no opportunity for reinstatement after academic dismissal.
For academic classes, see https://www.mtu.edu/deanofstudents/academic-policies/probation/ for information on probation and https://www.mtu.edu/deanofstudents/academic-policies/suspension/ for information on suspension.
Complaints and Grievances
If there is a problem, there are certain steps a student may follow to address the
A student may make an appointment with the IESL program director to discuss it informally, which usually leads to a solution. If the problem persists, the IESL program assistant will provide the student with information on how to file a formal complaint under the student grievance procedure process: see https://www.mtu.edu/deanofstudents/academic-policies/grievance/.
Michigan Technological University recognizes the need to assure that student grievances about faculty actions are evaluated fairly and equitably and, for this purpose, establishes the procedures outlined below. Student complaints that are related to academic integrity or alleged discrimination and/or harassment are not covered under this policy or procedure. In such cases, to proceed with their complaints, students are directed to the following sites:
o Research Misconduct Policy (http://www.mtu.edu/research/administration/integrity-compliance/misconduct/)
o Academic Integrity Policy (https://www.mtu.edu/deanofstudents/academic-policies/integrity/)
o Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion (https://www.mtu.edu/equity/)
Likewise, complaints about University policy and procedure should be directed to the responsible office or unit.
• Preparing the Grievance: Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor or other trusted mentors to clarify the grievance, discuss appropriate approaches to the resolution of the issue, and ensure their understanding of the procedures outlined below.
• Making the Grievance: Students should first present their grievance in an informal discussion with the faculty member involved. If the student does not feel that a satisfactory explanation or resolution has been reached, he or she may initiate a review of the grievance by the faculty member’s supervisor in the following order: (1) The student should make an appointment with the supervisor for an informal discussion of the grievance. (2) If the grievance cannot be resolved at that time, the student will be advised to prepare and file a written grievance. (3) A written grievance will be submitted to the faculty member’s supervisor with attached documentation (e.g., syllabi, relevant assignments, relevant teacher responses to the assignments, grading criteria, papers, tests, quizzes, portfolios).
• Resolving the Grievance: The supervisor will review the complaint in a timely manner with the faculty member concerned. The supervisor may also seek review by appropriate faculty or a faculty committee within the program/department/school. If consultation is necessary, the supervisor must summarize each consultation in writing to the student, the faculty member concerned, and the consultant. The supervisor will wait a reasonable time for a response from these individuals before making a decision.The supervisor provides a written decision to the student with copies to the faculty member involved, the provost, and the vice president for student affairs.
• Appealing the Decision: The student complainant may wish to appeal the decision of the faculty member’s supervisor. If so, the appeal must be made in writing to the ELI Director within five working days of the original decision. The scope of the appeal is limited to one of the following: The student may have new information not available at the time the supervisor reviewed the case that would significantly affect the evaluation of the grievance. The student may be able to demonstrate that the procedural guidelines established in this document were breached and that such departure from established procedure significantly affected the outcome of the case. It should be understood by students that faculty also have a right to appeal a decision rendered by their supervisor, in accordance with the Faculty Grievance Policy outlined in Appendix C of the Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Handbook. The ELI Director will provide a written response to the student—with copies to the faculty member involved, the supervisor who made the initial decision, and the vice president for student affairs.
• Ombuds Office: Prior to filing a formal academic grievance, students may seek informal resolution of a University-related concern or dispute by contacting the University Ombuds Office (http://www.mtu.edu/ombuds/). The ombuds officer will evaluate whether the concern or conflict can likely be resolved through informal mediation efforts. The ombuds officer provides confidential, impartial conflict resolution services to students, staff, and faculty members. Consultation with the ombuds officer will not preclude or impair other avenues of grievance investigation or adjudication available to students. A complaint has to be in writing in order for it to be considered formal. In such cases, the program director or the appropriate supervisor will provide a written response to the complaint. A copy of the formal response will be provided to the ELI Director and the Provost and the student will have five days within which to appeal.
Level Skipping Policy
Students who are not attending classes may not request placement changes. A student who is on probation is not eligible for a level change. If a student requests a level change, the student must provide language-performance evidence that his/her proficiency in English is higher than his/her current level. A student should have achieved 95% or better in a course (Core and Lab) and should have a composite score on the TOEFL ITP that places the student into the proposed level. (Exception: High Beginner students may not skip Intermediate-level courses.)
For information on tuition policies and the refund timeline, see https://www.mtu.edu/student-billing/services/refunds/
All students are strongly encouraged to sign up for tutoring in their area of study as soon as possible every semester.The Wahtera Center for Student Success is also available to all students seeking help with the academic transition to Michigan Tech. Professional and student staff are available to meet with students to discuss a variety of areas including time management, goal setting, study skills, utilizing campus resources, talking to professors, and adjusting to a new academic environment.
Faculty office hours are times to get help from professors. Office hours are listed on your course syllabi. Syllabi are provided to students on the first day of classes. Course information, including a professor's office hours, are usually also listed on Canvas. Students may ask if they can record lectures, so they can go over them after each class.
There are 3 ways to meet with your professor:
1. Approach them after class
2. Visit their office hours (usually listed on the syllabus)
3. Email them, or set up a Google Calendar invitation for a time to meet
If you are not sure about something, look through the course syllabus. If you still have questions, be sure to ask your professor.
IESL students can receive free tutoring sessions at the English Language Institute. To set up tutoring sessions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
Every week, SSR sessions are held in the English Language Institute offices. Attending SSR regularly helps IESL student increase their reading comprehension and speed.
Students in Listening/Speaking classes have regular opportunities to get extra listening, speaking, and pronunciation practice outside of class through technological and/or in-person exchanges.
Eligibility for Services
Michigan Tech is committed to ensuring that all qualified individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to take part in educational programs and services on an equal basis. The aim is to provide this opportunity in an integrated setting that fosters independence and meets the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
To be eligible for services, students with disabilities must identify themselves and present professional documentation to the Dean of Students Office, Coordinator for Student Disability Services. Until appropriate documentation is provided, support for the student’s disability may not be provided.
Below is a list of approved accommodations offered. A student must provide supporting documentation in order to receive :
- Extended time for work done in class and on tests
- A quiet or non-distracting environment for testing
- Consideration for spelling errors during class when spell-checking is not available
- A volunteer note-taker
- Instructor provided course material (syllabus, test) in large print or online
- Seating near the front of the class
- Test reader and/or scribe
- Tape recording of lectures (with instructor permission
- Assistance in lab
- Alternative textbooks (example RFB&D)
- Kurzweil reader
- Priority registration
Promotion and Exit Criteria
[Out of IESL or into Academic Support]
- Fail: Failed the course (79% or lower)
- Promotion to Academic Support: Pass the course (80% or higher) scored lower than 550 on TOEFL ITP
- Exit IESL: Pass the course (80% or higher); tested 550 or higher on TOEFL ITP
Intensive English as a Second Language
- Students will be able to deliver a comprehensible oral presentation to an academic audience.
- Students will be able to identify main ideas and supporting details of academic lectures.
- Students will be able to formulate and respond to peer and faculty questions.
- Students will be able to participate actively and mediate communication breakdown in academic classroom discussions and small group settings.
- Students will be able to monitor speech features that contribute to comprehensibility.
- Students will be able to compose texts appropriate to various academic contexts.
- Students will be able to craft research papers of appropriate length (2000-3000 words).
- Students will be able to develop complex rhetorical modes coherently and cohesively.
- Students will be able to demonstrate language formality and conventions.
- Students will be able to demonstrate a variety of syntactical structures and correct syntax and mechanics errors.
- Students will be able to read and comprehend academic texts by applying text processing strategies.
- Students will be able to produce summaries that mirror the structure of texts and be able to paraphrase the main ideas of a text.
- Students will be able to read critically by identifying common types of support in arguments, common logical fallacies and opposing points of view.
- Students will be able to identify implied main ideas, author’s purpose, tone and targeted audience.
- Students will be able to infer the meaning of new vocabulary and figurative language using word forms, grammar, affixes, and contextual clues.
- Students will be able to locate relevant and reliable sources using library resources, online tools, and academic databases.
- 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.
Academic Life Beyond IESL
Towards the end of students’ language study, the IESL program begins easing students into degree-seeking academic life at Michigan Tech. During their final IESL conference, students are provided information on their strengths and as well as skills they need to continue to improve. They are given information and learning resources to promote their success beyond IESL classes. It is really important to follow guidelines provided by IESL faculty.
Remember that as a Michigan Tech student, you must have a GPA of 2.0 or better to avoid being put on probation or being suspended. Understand the consequences and make smart choices about using learning centers and learning resources. Understand the academic standard expectations at Michigan Tech in order to manage your time, to ask for help and to continue to improve your language skills in order to be successful at the university.
Language support after IESL
Once you have exited the IESL program, the English Language Institute does offer continued tutoring at a low cost for international students who want to continue working on specific areas of their English.
Another option is to visit the Multiliteracies Center (MTMC) on campus. This is a free tutoring service that aims to help all students at Michigan Tech with their overall communication skills and research strategies.