Wilkes University

Intensive English Program


The mission of Intensive English Program (IEP) at Wilkes is to provide quality instruction in English as a second language (ESL) to English language learning students planning to pursue university studies in America. To this end, the program provides students with curricula, classroom materials, and teaching methods well-grounded in the latest theory, research, and practice of second language learning and teaching.

We aim to:

  • Provide high quality English language instruction;
  • Prepare students for further academic study in the U.S. through a well-articulated curricula;
  • Provide English language instruction for personal growth;
  • Provide students with the guidance they need to successfully reach their academic or professional goals;
  • Provide highly qualified faculty who encourage academic success and provide leadership in the areas of intercultural understanding and cooperation;
  • Provide learner-centered instruction to meet student academic needs;
  • Provide services relating to admission, counseling, academic

The IEP's classes are divided into six levels: beginning, low intermediate, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, and high advanced. Across the six levels, all students are required to take reading, writing, listening/speaking, grammar, and computer lab. Other courses offered at certain levels include conversation skills, vocabulary, and IELTS or TOEFL test prep. Students enjoy small classes and individual attention from certified ESL instructors.

Reading - The intensive reading curriculum is divided into six levels: beginner, high beginner, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, and high 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 levels, 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 six 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 in the advanced levels.

Listening and Speaking- These courses provide instruction in listening and speaking for all levels. Thematic topics relevant to university students formulate the basis for intellectually stimulating listening, speaking and critical thinking tasks. The courses aim to prepare students for successful receptive and productive communication in social and academic environments. Students begin by learning basic survival vocabulary and simple conversational strategies and 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.

Grammar - These courses provide students 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 1-2

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.

IELTS/TOEFL - We also offer IELTS and TOEFL iBT preparation depending on student needs. These classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays and are available only to level 3, 4, 5 and 6 students.