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IEP Course Descriptions

Max Roth Center• 570-408-4170 (T) • 570-408-3626 (F) • Email

Versión en español

IEP Program structure and course descriptions

Structure of Wilkes IEP program

13 1/2- week program in the Fall.
13 1/2-week program in the Spring.
13 1/2-week program in Summer.   

Student progress one level each semester

Level 1:  Beginner
Level 2:  Low Beginner
Level 3:  Intermediate
Level 4: High Intermediate
Level 5:  Advanced   

Reading - The intensive reading curriculum is divided into five levels: beginner, high beginner, intermediate, high intermediate, and advanced. At the beginning levels, students develop their ability to read and write words, phrases, and sentences. They also learn basic skills and strategies designed to improve decoding, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension. The intermediate levels build upon these skills and focus more on developing literal comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, and critical thinking skills. At the advanced level, students become proficient in the skills required for academic studies with a continued emphasis on vocabulary development and analytical comprehension. Literature and critical analysis of readings also serve as sources for refining and expanding students’ critical and academic reading skills.

Writing - Students undergo intensive courses in writing. Throughout the five levels, the focus remains on the academic language skills needed for entrance into English 101 and for university studies. The courses focus on academic writing, beginning at the sentence level in level one and expanding to the writing of expository and argumentative essays, summaries of academic readings and current events, critical analysis of readings in literature, research and documentation by level five.

Listening and Speaking - These courses provide instruction in listening and speaking for all five levels. Thematic topics relevant to current events formulate the basis for intellectually stimulating listening, speaking and critical thinking tasks. The course aims to prepare students for successful oral communication in social and academic environments. Students begin by learning simple conversational strategies and progress to extrapolating key points to prepare presentations, debates, conversations and other activities that demonstrate understanding of material covered and preparedness for university studies.

Grammar - These courses provide students with a thorough and systematic review of grammatical structures and their use in authentic language situations. The emphasis of the grammar course in Levels 1 and 2, is on the correct formation of sentences and paragraphs, orally and in writing. Levels 1 and 2 also include a component focusing on vocabulary / study skills. In Levels 3 and 4, the grammar course takes a highly communicative approach and provides extensive grammar practice using a multimedia program and a variety of interactive tools. The primary focus is on application of the rules of grammar to oral and written language production, building on the skills gained in Levels 1 and 2. A wide variety of exercise types are provided, including extensive pair work and group work. Level 5 focuses on advanced grammar instruction. The objectives for this class are needs-based and are driven by the grammar errors common among advanced level students.

Vocabulary 1-5
Students will take academic vocabulary courses. All classes focus on the University Word List (UWL) and utilize tasks to assist students in acquisition of these words. A skills based approach is utilized to learn vocabulary while reading, writing, listening and speaking.

We also offer IELTS and TOEFL iBT preparation. These classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays and are available only to level 4 and 5 students.

Computer Lab - Levels 1, 2 and 3 have an instructor work with them in the language lab, using language learning software to improve skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Levels 4 and 5 have use TOEFL iBT or IELTS test preparation software to help improve skill areas and success on the exams.


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  • Wilkes University |
  • 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 |
  • 1-800-WILKES-U
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