ESL Writing Courses
The ESL Writing Courses at the University of Illinois include classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. All of these courses are designed to improve student's English usage for both professional and academic purposes. Follow the links in the table below for additional information about the courses, including any prerequisites.
|ESL Writing Courses||Required Courses||Elective Courses|
ESL writing is for you if…
- you are a new international student, and your notice of admission said you must take the English Placement Test (EPT).
- you take the EPT, and are given a placement into an ESL Writing Course
ESL writing may also be for you if…
- you wish to improve your English academic writing skills even if it is not a graduation requirement. If so, you must take the EPT before you can registers for an ESL Writing course.
PLEASE NOTE: You must take the EPT before you can enroll in the required ESL Service Courses. For more information on the EPT, click here.
How to Register
You may register as soon as soon as Enterprise Applications Student Self-Service allows. Check your assigned time ticket dates here.
Register for the course directly through UI Enterprise services. ESL writing seats will be released over the course of the registration period.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do you decide who gets a seat in a course?
Seats are given according to priority. Read more on Priority Seating.
- Can students who take their EPT after the first day of classes register for ESL that term?
Generally the answer is no, since classes are usually full by then.
- Can I register or change sections via email?
No, but you can register and/or change sections online via UI Enterprise services.
- What happens if I enroll in the wrong level or have not taken the EPT and attempt to register?
In this case you will be told to drop the course and must change to the correct level. You may not register if you have not taken the EPT.
- What if I don't get a seat!?
- Check back regularly. Remember that we will be adding seats to sections throughout the registration period.
- You can take it next semester! We encourage students to take their ESL courses as early as possible because it helps you be successful in your other academic medium courses. However, we understand that scheduling might prevent this your first semester. DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG! You risk delaying your graduation should you not get into ESL early enough or if you don't pass the class.
- Can I audit an ESL writing course?
NO. You can enroll in the course, but no one is allowed to audit ESL writing service courses. If your status does not allow enrollment, please go to the "English Language Opportunities" page to see what is available for you. Visiting Scholars may be eligible for ESL 502/503 (read more about 502/503).
- If I take ESL 115, will it fulfill my freshman composition requirement?
YES. ESL 115 is the equivalent of RHET 105. You will, however, need to take the EPT and place into 115. If you place into 113 or 114, you will need to complete the sequence before enrolling in 115.
- What if I have questions about my EPT score?
Much more information about the EPT may be found here
- I heard that if I do well on the diagnostic, I won't have to take the class. What's that about?
During the first week of ESL 113, 114, 115, 500 and 501, there is an in-class diagnostic test. The diagnostic is NOT a pass/fail test. The diagnostic is also NOT a placment test. The primary purpose of the diagnostic for teachers to get a general idea of the students' strengths and weaknesses so that they can shape the curriculum based on students' needs. Occasionally...rarely, A student's diagnostic exceeds the benchmarks and goals for that course and will earn them a proficiency (with the exception of ESL 115). This is VERY rare, however (about 0.05%). You should NOT count on being proficiencied via the diagnostic. The instructor does not make the final decision about proficiencies, and students may not request to be proficiencied.
- What ESL courses are typically offered in the summer?
ESL 505 and one section of ESL 501 are usually offered in the summer--as long as there is student interest/need for the courses.
- May I take two ESL courses in the same semester?
NO. Our courses are sequential. You must complete 500 before you can take 501. The same goes for 113, 114 and 115. Under special circumstances, and with permission from the instructor, ESL 502 and 503 may be taken concurrently.
- Do I have to take my ESL graduation requirement during my first year at UIUC?
We strongly encourage students to take their ESL requirements as EARLY as possible in their course-work. The courses are designed to help the student function successfully in an English-medium academic environment and to train students how to communicate in spoken and written English in a way that conforms to the conventions of academic discourse. Moreover, our classes often fill up, so students may not be able to get a seat if they wait until their last semester or two! If you wait to fulfill this requirement and cannot fit it in your schedule, you risk postponing your graduation.
Do the ESL courses count for credit?
If you are an undergrad, the ESL courses (114, 115) are worth 3 hours each. Students who proficiency ESL 114 via the EPT or diagnostic receive 3 proficiency credits for 114 fter they complete 115. If you are a graduate student, ESL classes (500, 501) are worth 4 contact hours each. This means that while you are enrolled in the class, it's like being enrolled for credit hours for your visa status or enrolled hours. At the end of the semester, you will not earn any credit hours for the course. Instead you will receive a pass or fail grade. Therefore, graduate courses are 0 credit; 4 contact hours.
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