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ESL Program at the De La Salle Language Institute

The Intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) Program offers students the opportunity to improve English language skills while participating fully in the life of a North American university. In addition, students study the history, traditions, culture, and customs of the United States. All coursework is based on an integrated skills approach with listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar components. All instructors are experienced ESL specialists with advanced degrees. No graduate students are utilized as instructors.

***All courses listed are offered at various levels, beginning through advanced. Students will be tested at the university (TOEFL) before being placed in the appropriate level.

***After completing one semester of the ESL curriculum, students, with the approval of the Program Director, may take up to 2 university courses at no additional cost.

Pronunciation & Listening Skills
This course is designed to help the learner with critical listening skills, while also stressing speaking and pronunciation. This course will use the phonetic alphabet and mouth maps to guide students in their production of phonemes. The course will begin with a review of problematic vowel sounds and progress to word stress, sentence stress, rhythm groups, linking, and intonation.

This course is designed to help students improve TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores by familiarizing them with the format of the test, providing tips for test taking, and offering numerous opportunities to practice TOEFL exercises and actual TOEFL tests. This course will focus on the most up-to-date TOEFL, the iBT (internet based TOEFL).

Customs & Culture of the United States
The emphasis of this course centers around the introduction and explanation of various aspects of North American culture that international students may not have experienced or understood before. The course will provide an overview of the history, geography and political structure of the United States. In addition, students will examine the lifestyles, attitudes, customs, and traditions of the people in the United States. The objectives of this course will be accomplished both in the classroom and outside the classroom. Students will be required to attend several field trips into Winona and the surrounding community.

Public Speaking
This course will introduce ESL students to all aspects and types of public speaking. Students will learn how to plan a speech, research a topic, and use visual aids to enhance the delivery. Style, tone and delivery as well as the importance of body language, humor and impromptu speaking will be stressed. An emphasis on correct American pronunciation will be a major part of the course.

The premise of this course is that reading and writing are interwoven and inextricable skills. Good readers write well and good writers read well. Therefore, integrated reading and writing skills will be the focus of this course.

Students will focus on grammatical structures and techniques necessary to the production of academic writing. Students will concentrate on the creation of effective paragraphs and academic essays. Students will actively participate in the process of figuring out how the English language works through exposure to a wide variety of oral and written examples and through the creation of original oral and written projects.

This course is designed to give the student a familiarity with conversational American English as well as an integration of the common grammatical structures of colloquial English in writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

Research Writing
This course is designed to prepare students for academic success in U.S. college degree programs, or more specifically, with academic written work. The writing strategies presented will focus on confidence building and step-by-step, easy-to-learn processes for academic writing.

Through the reading and discussion of various short works of fiction, the student will develop higher level reading skills, advanced critical thinking, an improved vocabulary, and a more complete understanding of academic writing. In addition to learning about literature, an integral part of this course is the development of English language skills necessary for advancement in higher education.