The academic year includes two semesters, designated as the Fall and Spring semesters. The ESL Institute follows the same academic calendar as APSU’s main campus programs. Summer courses may be offered as needed.
The ESL program’s intensive English courses are offered through the Extended Education program and are not taken for credit. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are awarded and noted on the student’s transcripts. A basic knowledge of English is desirable in order to benefit from the intensive level of study in the ESL program.
Class size will be small in order to provide students with more personalized attention and opportunities to improve their learning skills. Depending on enrollment, classes may be divided into different levels, such as beginning, intermediate or advanced.
Instructors at the ESL Institute have taught English in the U.S. and abroad. They all have strong backgrounds in education – most with Master’s degrees and concentrations in English, language and/or education – and extensive experience in teaching English to non-English speakers. In addition, some instructors have also experienced the learning of a language other than English.
Students have access to university computer labs as well as state-of-the-art SmartBoard technology utilized by trained instructors in the classroom. In addition, full-time F-1 students who have paid the optional Program Services Fee (PSF) will receive an APSU student ID card which provides access to other University facilities and services such as athletic events and the recreation center.
Our students experience American culture daily in many ways, and the Institute organizes at least one cultural activity trip each semester. Past excursions have included the Nashville Zoo, Country Music Hall of Fame, Graceland (in Memphis TN), and several regional destinations which highlight the history of Clarksville and the surrounding area.
ESL students will also have the opportunity to participate in campus activities provided by APSU’s International Education department and the International Student Organization (ISO).
Our course program is designed to ensure students are prepared for the rigors of a college classroom experience, such as strong writing skills and the comprehension of lectures and reading materials. These same skills are also essential for developing greater career opportunities in the professional world.
Although many students strive only to meet TOEFL exam requirements for admission to a university program, research shows that a strong background in ESL courses is even more effective for success because it allows the student to reinforce their skills in an English-language classroom setting. Our courses include Grammar, Speaking & Listening, Writing, Reading, Vocabulary and TOEFL Preparation. In addition, other courses such as American Culture and concept/practice classes may be offered. Some classes will be divided according to skill level, depending on enrollment. Click here for course descriptions.
All students take a placement test just before the start of a semester. This test measures your general English language skills. It is just one tool which the ESL coordinator and instructors use to gauge your ability at the beginning of each course.
The Michigan Test is used as our final semester exam. It also measures your general English language skills, but more importantly looks at your skills in academic English, which may help you determine your readiness for full-time university study.
Many ESL students study to improve their English skills for admission to Austin Peay or another university and therefore must meet a minimum requirement on the TOEFL test. Our ESL program incorporates preparation for the TOEFL test on various levels depending on the needs of the students. More information is available at www.ets.org/toefl.
APSU’s ESL Institute also works with local businesses and individuals to provide tutoring for their employees, customizing a course of study to accommodate work schedules and desired language and life skills. Click here for details on private classes or contact the ESL Coordinator.