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Intensive English Language Program

The English Language Is Alive And Well!

We look forward to your application and to meeting you in class. You can also stop by our office, Room 110 in Gardiner Hall. Our goal is to provide the language skills and cultural knowledge for students to succeed in an American university and beyond. Our highly qualified and experienced instructors will ensure that your experience at Shepherd is a productive and pleasant one.

The IELP offers intensive academic instruction in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar-in-use to advanced nonnative speakers of English. Our courses are listed at both the pre-undergraduate and pre-graduate level, where the pre-graduate focus is on research-based written and oral presentation style and methods required in studies at that advanced level.Shepherd University’s Intensive English Language Program (IELP) is designed for students needing Advanced English language skills for university-level studies. Eligible students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 490, IELTS score of 6.0, or equivalent.

We hope you will enjoy working with all of the intricacies the English language has to offer!

Maria Skowronski, Director  

Programs of Study

Shepherd University’s Intensive English Language Program (IELP) offers courses in Advanced English as a preparation for university-level studies. These are specifically designed for non-native English language speakers who have diagnosed proficiency equivalent to at least 490 TOEFL or 6.0 IELTS or who have a specific technical language area that needs additional proficiency for university studies. Courses are credit bearing, but do not count toward an academic degree or in a student’s degree program grade point average.

Each is offered at two levels: basic preparation for undergraduate studies and advanced preparation for graduate studies. The primary difference is that the focus at the pre-graduate level is on research-based written and oral presentation style and methods.

Students in full-time intensive English language study should expect to spend at least 18 hours per week in formal instruction and at least that amount in personal study, homework and preparation. Formal instruction includes required enrollment in all four courses, each of which meets for one hour on four days in the week, and active involvement in co-curricular programs. These programs are extensions of the classroom and are designed to support whole language development and cultural competence. Co-curricular programs include participation in book club weekly meetings and discussions, participation in weekly conversation groups, involvement in at least one student club or organization, attendance at selected university athletic events, and participation in offered cultural excursions (e.g., trips to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York, historical sites, festivals, etc.).

Upon successful completion of the program and oral and written assessments, students will receive a letter attesting to their English language proficiency. This letter also fulfills the English language proficiency requirement for international students desiring admission into Shepherd University for either undergraduate or graduate studies.

IELP Courses

IELP 96 – English for Non-Native Speakers

(3 credits, non-degree) This high-intermediate class is a whole language based course in which students are assigned speaking, reading, and writing assignments of various genres and lengths. The course is designed to help students develop the fluency, focus, analytical skills needed to become successful college students.

This course focuses on sharpening the language skills involved in writing at the college level. These include those necessary for preparatory reading and research, comprehension and critical thinking, organization and presentation of main and supporting thoughts, and correct use of technical language. Course content is aimed at ESL students who are at the intermediate level of developmental work. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to draft and revise coherent, well-developed and well-organized essays and presentations for entry into a regular university degree program.

IELP 97 – Societal and Cultural Issues for Non-Native Speakers

(3 credits, non-degree) This high-intermediate/advanced class is a portfolio-based course in which students are given reading and discussion assignments of various genres and lengths.

The course is aimed at ESL students who are at or above the intermediate level of developmental work and is designed to help students develop spoken fluency in English and the technical skills needed to prepare and deliver coherent, well-developed and well-organized oral presentations for class assignments and university entrance exams.

IELP 98 – Basic Written English for Non-Native Speakers

(3 credits, non-degree) This course will focus on English sentence structure and verb forms, including instruction in mechanics, punctuation, and usage. Throughout the course, students will practice writing sentences and phrases correctly, paying attention to verb agreement, conjugation and sentence structure. The course is designed to help students improve their writing skills to further idea development and coherence.

IELP 99/IELP 5FD96 – Writing Seminar

(3 credits IELP 98; 4 credits IELP 5FD97, non-degree) This course introduces students to the idea of writing as both a course of study and as a social practice and helps students become flexible writers in a world with increasingly diverse means of communication. Students will study and practice the writing process of academic and public genres and will gain a range of experiences as they learn to write for different audiences. They will not only read the works of published writers but will also read and examine each other’s writing. The course centers on writing as a process and stresses revision, allowing for ample opportunities for students to draft and revise their essays and valuing writing activities such as peer review and conferences.

Come spend your summer with the IELP!

Dramatically improve your English language and writing skills while experiencing all that an American summer has to offer!

Teachers of English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language or Other Language (TESOL) Program: Part of the Intensive English Language Program

As English continues to expand as a medium for global communication, the demand for qualified English language instructors has increased. In addition, as non-native English-speaking immigrant populations increase in this country, teachers of English as a Second Language are needed to provide linguistic and cultural training. These developments have raised the awareness of the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) here at Shepherd University.

Many job opportunities and graduate-level programs are dependent on TESOL certification, and even though students often have the necessary knowledge and skills for these opportunities, without a certificate, these students struggle to compete with other applicants whose institutions provide this certification. The Shepherd University TESOL program provides students with the knowledge and certification to help them meet the needs of English language learners.

The following intended student outcomes are specifically related to the curricular component of the program but involve all other features of the program as well. The TESOL Program at Shepherd University is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to:

Shepherd University TESOL Program Course Offerings

ESL Methods                                           3 credits

Teaching writing and grammar           3 credits

ESL testing and assessments                3 credits

Language and culture                             3 credits

Second language acquisition                 3 credits

For more information, contact Maria Skowronski at