Au Pair Language Courses

The Wilkes University English Language Center offers you different opportunities to obtain the 60 hours or 72 hours/6 credits au pairs need. You may take courses in either our Intensive English Program or University Preparatory Program.

Enjoy our challenging programming and demanding and fun curriculum.

Develop critical thinking and academic and professional skills as you learn from teachers who are well trained, highly experienced and truly dedicated to their students.

Advance your skills and learn to succeed in an English-speaking and multicultural world. 

Immersive Program Experiences

You will study among other international students on a campus that is small, safe and filled with exceptional opportunity.

Work closely with other students from the English Language Center to enjoy active learning in and out of the classroom.

In addition to classes, you can enjoy trips to whitewater rafting excursions, hiking adventures and other activities northeastern Pennsylvania has to offer. You can also take a daytrip to sightsee in Philadelphia or New York City, located just two hours away. 

Tuition | $500


  • Fall and Spring Courses (August – December and January – May sessions)
  • Summer Courses (June – August sessions)

Intensive English Program

As an au pair, you can study in the Intensive English Program at a special discounted rate.

Classes are divided into six levels:

  • beginning
  • low intermediate
  • intermediate
  • high intermediate
  • advanced
  • high advanced

Like all of our new students, you will take placement tests to determine your level of proficiency.


The intensive reading curriculum is divided into six levels:

  • beginner
  • high beginner
  • intermediate
  • high intermediate
  • advanced
  • high advanced

In the beginning levels, you will develop your ability to read and write words, phrases and sentences. You will also learn basic skills and strategies designed to improve decoding, vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension.

The intermediate levels build upon your skills and focus more on developing literal comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development and critical thinking skills.

In the advanced levels, you will become proficient in the skills needed 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 your critical and academic reading skills. 


You will undergo intensive writing courses.

Throughout the six levels, you will work on the academic language skills needed for English 101 and university studies.

The courses focus on academic writing beginning at the sentence level. Coursework will expand to include the writing of expository and argumentative essays, summaries of academic readings and current events, critical analysis of readings in literature, research and documentation in the advanced levels. 

Listening and Speaking

These courses provide instruction in listening and speaking for all levels.

Thematic topics relevant to university students form the basis for intellectually stimulating listening, speaking and critical thinking tasks.

The courses aim to prepare you for successful receptive and productive communication in social and academic environments.

You will begin by learning basic survival vocabulary and simple conversational strategies.

You will progress to extrapolating key points from lectures and readings to prepare presentations, debates, conversations and other activities that demonstrate understanding of material covered and preparedness for university studies. 


These courses provide you with a thorough and systematic review of grammatical structures and their use in authentic language situations.

The emphasis in the beginning and intermediate levels is on the basic mechanics of the language and the correct formation of complete sentences. This is taught primarily via a communicative approach.

The beginner level uses a multimedia program and a variety of interactive tools to engage students in learning. 

Intermediate levels use a variety of pair and group work, media clips and exercises to learn and reinforce grammar rules through oral and written language production. 

Advanced levels focus more on the structures necessary for academic English writing and speaking, including more complex sentence and verb structures. 

The objectives for these classes are needs-based and are driven by the grammar errors common among our student population.

Vocabulary 1-5

You 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.

We use a skills-based approach to teach vocabulary through reading, writing, listening and speaking. 


We also offer IELTS and TOEFL iBT preparation depending on student needs. These classes are offered on Mondays/Wednesdays and Tuesdays/Thursdays and are available only to level 4, 5 and 6 students.

University Preparatory Program (4.5 IELTS or 50 TOEFL iBT required)

The mission of the University Preparatory Program (UPP) is to provide international students with the necessary skills and strategies required to effectively transition to and succeed in an academic, collegiate environment.

The program offers you the ability to expand upon and refine your core set of academic skills, while fostering an appreciation of educational growth and diversity necessary to contribute to the global learning community.

You will earn 12 credits towards your undergraduate degree while obtaining the English language skills needed to succeed at University.

Academic Component Program Outcomes

You will:

  1. demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in written and oral communication.
  2. demonstrate understanding of academic vocabulary and content.
  3. produce advanced grammatical structures in spoken and written academic discourse.
  4. demonstrate ability to properly format academic writing.
  5. effectively analyze, paraphrase and synthesize information.
  6. formulate ideas, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and collaboratively.


ESL-100 Reading and Writing | 3 Credits
This course focuses on the connection between critical thinking and academic reading and writing skills necessary to analyze academic texts and produce collegiate level compositions. It emphasizes the utilization of reading comprehension strategies and writing process skills to respond to various readings and to develop vocabulary expansion. This course also requires a research paper which utilizes the basic formatting and referencing of sources using MLA style documentation.

ESL-102 Listening and Speaking | 3 Credits 
This course is a cohesive, integrated, and structured approach to developing and expanding upon key listening and speaking skills of transitioning, English language learners (ELLs), as to ensure successful matriculation to a collegiate, academic environment. Therein, students will address defined, critical abilities, as a way in which to increase their capacities to engage in academic processes that include and demand superior listening and speaking skills within higher educational institutions and curricula.

ESL-103 Test Prep | 3 Credits
This course has been designed to serve as an integrated and structured approach to providing and expanding upon critical test preparation strategies and study skills for transitioning, English language learners (ELLs), as to ensure successful matriculation to a collegiate, academic environment. Utilizing a multifaceted configuration of classroom instruction and independent, online study, students will be provided with extensive practice of the most key academic skills and methodologies, as a way in which to increase their capacities to engage in academic processes that include and demand a superior skill set within higher educational institutions and curricula.

FYF-101 First-Year Foundations | Credits: 3
The mission of the First-Year Foundations Program is to provide rigorous learning experiences that challenge first-year students to develop the strategies essential for a successful transition into the Wilkes campus community. Each section of FYF is unique in content and constitutes a special topics course in which faculty members are encouraged to explore topics that are of special interest to them. All sections of FYF, regardless of specific topic, share a common core of objectives that facilitate significant learning experiences (inside and beyond the classroom) by which first-year students develop self-knowledge as learners and members of an academic community, intellectual curiosity, openness to diversity, and a capacity for lifelong learning and civic responsibility. Activities designed to foster and develop effective writing, critical thinking and information literacy skills are integral components of all FYF courses. In addition, the FYF Program connects students to a wide variety of University resources, including the advising and tutoring services of University College, the extensive holdings and services of the Farley Library and the rich array of cultural events sponsored by the University.

Undergraduate Education courses (5.5 IELTS or 60 TOEFL iBT score required)

ED-263 Child Development and Cognition | 3 credits

This course is designed for students to understand developmental patterns of change and physical cognitive and psychosocial areas for each stage of development (birth to age 5). Multiple influences on the development and learning will be studied including biological, psychological and sociological, cultural, familial, environmental, gender, family and community, language differences, brain development, and health, nutrition, and safety. Students will observe and record children’s behavior in their 15-hour field experience. Departmental permission is required.

ED-264 Child Development and Cognition -- Classroom Application | 3 credits

Through this course, students must learn and be able to apply major concepts and theories related to the development of young children and they must be able to develop, implement, assess, and modify curriculum and lessons. Students must demonstrate understanding of the way in which classroom environments influence children’s learning. Students must demonstrate proficiency with Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Learning Standards. A 30-hour field experience accompanies this course. Departmental permission is required.

ED-363 Family, School, and Community | 3 credits

This course focuses on current research and best practices in developing skills, techniques, and attitudes needed to form successful collaboration with diverse family systems and communities in an early childhood education setting.

For more information, contact: 
Dr. Kimberly Niezgoda
Program Director
1 (570) 408-4170