Learn about the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at JWU:


What is the ESL Program Placement test?

The ESL program placement test is to determine what level a student will be placed into at the start of each new academic term. After you have been accepted, you will be emailed an online voucher for you to take the test online from ACCUPLACER.  If you do not take the test online prior to your enrollment, you will be required to take the test during the international orientation week program. 

After the test you will be placed into one of three different proficiency levels: 

  • Beginner 
  • Intermediate 
  • Advanced

JWU will schedule you for a class in each of the four skill areas: 

  • Oral Communications 
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Writing

Students who do not take the ESL program placement test are automatically placed at the Beginner level. 



How can I qualify for English as a Second Language (ESL) exemption? 

To qualify for ESL exemption, you must submit one of the following acceptable English language exams; meeting minimum scores and sub-scores. If sub-scores do not meet our minimum requirements, you will have to take an ESL class in that skill area. 



Must I Take this Test?

Check your acceptance letter to see if you are required to take the ESL program placement test.


Ask an Advisor

If you have submitted your proof of English proficiency after you were accepted - or are still not sure if you need to take the ESL program placement test - talk to the ESL advisor when you arrive on campus.



What Happens After the Test?

If you obtain a qualifying ESL program placement test score, you will go on to take our Institutional Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) during the week of international arrival services.  Information on testing location and time will be shared with you.



How can I exit ESL and enter JWU degree programs?

You must successfully complete advanced level ESL courses with at least an “S” comparable to a “C” grade in each advanced level ESL course for undergraduate student and at least an “S” comparable to a “B” grade in each advanced level course for graduate student. You may repeat ESL courses until you qualify to exit the program. 



Can I schedule my own ESL course?

ESL program courses are scheduled by Student Academic Services (SAS) and cannot be changed unless a student has an extenuating circumstance. 



Can I see my professors outside class times?

Your professors all have office hours, or time allocated for students. It is necessary that you organize to meet with them during these times. If the times are not suited for your schedule, it is your responsibility to work with your professors to find a time that woks for both of you. Your professors’ office hours will be listed on the syllabus they give you on the first day of classes. 



What is the language culture in an American Classroom?

You are in an American classroom, so even if you and your classmates are not American, it is very important that the language spoken in class is English. It is difficult if there are a dominant number of students from one country speaking their native language while others don't speak that language. People are left out and feel as if they are not included. Please be thoughtful of this situation - everyone can speak English, so please do so.



What is the ESL Seminar?

The ESL Seminar is a required 0-credit course that runs on Friday’s during the academic year.  Students can work on assignments, work together in groups, practice speaking English, or meet with their instructors for additional support.  In addition, the ESL Seminar will sometimes host workshops or programs that are an essential part of your acculturation to JWU and the United States.