The ESL program is open to international students learning English as a second language. This program is designed for English language learners; however, students entering the program must already have some mastery of the language, as our introductory ESL classes presume an intermediate level of English proficiency.
The goal of the program is to prepare students for and support them through the rigors of mainstream coursework by teaching skills and covering material that will accelerate their English language learning. Our hope is that by providing international students with special classes in addition to their mainstream courses, they will develop the skills and the confidence to express themselves effectively in English and will thereby acquire the means to become fully engaged in all aspects of community life here at Masters.
Two levels of ESL classes are offered by the English Department. The literature and writing courses correspond to mainstream English classes. The Language Arts courses are offered to support and improve upon students’ academic English skills; credits for these courses are applied toward fulfilling the School’s foreign language requirement. Students who are mainstreamed by junior year are required to begin study of a foreign language unless another year of Language Arts is required.
Placement decisions for ESL courses are based on the student’s academic record and the results of a placement test that the English Department administers when students arrive on campus. On rare occasions and on a case-by-case basis, after a student has been placed in a given ESL course, he or she may be promoted midyear to a higher-level ESL course with the recommendation of the present ESL teacher and with the approval of the English Department. In no case is promotion to a higher level ESL course or to a mainstream course automatic; students must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the English Department a mastery of skills at one level before they are eligible for promotion to another.