The majority of international students who are not native speakers of English come to OWU with strong English language skills and are able to navigate the language demands of their academic courses without assistance. However, some students can benefit from English language support in order to be as successful as possible in university writing and speaking tasks. For these students, OWU offers courses specifically designed to help them sharpen their language skills during their first semester of enrollment.

English language assessment

During New International Student Orientation, you may be required take an English language assessment. The assessment is required for students who have submitted English proficiency test scores as follows:

  • iBT TOEFL (internet based) score below 85
  • ITP TOEFL (paper based) score below 575
  • IELTS score below 7.0
  • SAT EBRW (reading and writing) score below 550

The English language assessment consists of a 60 item multiple-choice exam covering listening, grammar, vocabulary, and reading; a 45-minute writing sample; and a brief conversational interview.

For many students, the results of the assessment will indicate that they are ready to begin a full-schedule of academic courses without any restriction.

For others, the assessment may indicate that they are ready to undertake a full schedule of academic courses, but that care should be taken to avoid courses the first semester which involve especially heavy demands in reading and/or writing.

For some students, the results of the assessment may require that they enroll in one or two EAP (English for Academic Purposes) courses during the first semester so they can strengthen their English language skills. These courses give credit toward graduation and are taken in addition to one or more carefully-selected academic courses.

English language support -- English for Academic Purposes -- courses

The EAP courses at OWU are not ESL classes. Rather than study ESL textbooks, students discuss and practice real university-level listening, speaking, reading, and writing tasks using authentic source materials.

UC 099.1/EAP 100: Academic Success in Reading and Writing

UC 099.1 focuses on the reading, writing, and library skills and the language and cultural issues particularly relevant to success in a U.S. university for non-native speakers of English.

This course is designed to prepare you for the rigors of university-level reading and writing tasks. You will practice comprehension of challenging university-level texts and other reading sources centering on one of several themes and then employ that knowledge in various writing tasks, including summary-response papers, academic essays, and research papers. You will develop the library skills necessary to succeed in a U.S. university.

In addition to the broad skills entailed in the reading and writing assignments, you will expand your command of English vocabulary through focused study and you will review elements of grammar, style, and punctuation.

UC 099.2/EAP 110: Academic Success in Spoken Communication

UC 099.2 focuses on the listening, speaking, and classroom participation skills and the language and cultural issues particularly relevant to success in a U.S. university for non- native speakers of English.

This course is designed to prepare you for the rigors of university-level listening and speaking tasks. You will practice the English skills needed to better understand lectures and take effective notes, to participate confidently in classroom discussions, small group conferences, and one-on-one conversations, and to speak effectively as you make individual and group presentations.

Additionally, the course will focus on understanding various cultural issues that can improve your university experience as you begin undergraduate study at Ohio Wesleyan, including classroom and course expectations, student life in the U.S., and idiomatic language.

Additional available support courses

OWU also offers focused classes in reading, writing, listening & speaking, grammar, and special topics for students who need support beyond that provided in the EAP courses. Such courses do not count toward graduation and are offered only on an “as-needed” basis.