Upper Iowa University - Intensive English Program

605 Washington Street - Fayette

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Located in Northeastern Iowa, Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited university that offers undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs in over 40 subjects for over 6,200 students worldwide. Since 1857, UIU has been preparing students to succeed—in the classroom and in the world. That rich history, coupled with a student-centered mission, has created a catalyst for UIU to become a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through multiple, flexible delivery systems.

UIU's Intensive English Program (IEP) is a comprehensive program which includes courses in reading, grammar, writing, listening/speaking, and American
culture, three levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), and 20 hours of in-class
study per week.


The American culture course encourages students to
participate in university events, clubs, and campus life. Also, students participate in frequent field trips and
service learning opportunities to expand their understanding of American
culture, the English language, and global citizenship.

As part of the Listening/Speaking course, students have the chance to
visit undergraduate classes in order to self-assess their language
readiness for undergraduate studies.


  • Football/Soccer
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • On campus
  • Shared Apartment
  • Further academic studies available on campus
  • Literature
  • Cultural tourism (theater, museum, etc.)
  • Hiking
  • Historical sightseeing
  • Volunteering
  • University student social events
  • Culture Shock presentation


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This course is for students aged: 16-70
Levels: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate
Class Sizes: Medium, 6-10 students
Weekly Hours: General 15-25 hrs/wk

Beginner Level Courses


ESL011 Reading I - Reading skills development is the
focus for this course. Students have short readings on a variety of
topics to work on finding meaning in context, reading comprehension,
identifying main ideas and significant details, retelling stories, and
scanning for specific information. As students read out loud, they
practice sounding out words and using correct pronunciation. Through
vocabulary instruction and academic reading, students begin building
high frequency vocabulary necessary at the undergraduate level. Through
the act of extensive reading, students improve reading fluency. An
introduction to both the university and community library is made.


ESL012 Grammar I - This course will help students
become familiar with and comfortably use basic grammatical concepts like
parts of speech, verb tenses, modals, count and non-count nouns,
coordinating conjunctions, and quantity and degree words. The basic idea
of comparatives and superlatives and gerunds and infinitives are
introduced.


ESL013 Writing I - Because students are at the
initial stage of English writing, they first develop solid sentence
structure and then move to paragraph writing. As students are introduced
to the paragraph and the process of writing (brainstorming, preparing a
first draft, revising, editing, and publishing the final product), they
are also introduced to graphic organizers that help them organize their
ideas for writing. Students learn and practice writing a paragraph with
its different parts: a topic sentence, supporting details, and a
concluding statement. Students learn the importance of good punctuation
in writing. To enhance students' writing, students learn the different
spelling rules. This course will prepare students for the intermediate
Intensive English writing course.


ESL014 Listening/Speaking I - This course is
designed to help students begin speaking in different scenarios, feel
more comfortable while speaking, and speak more often. Students are
given speech patterns as a foundation for their speaking. Listening is a
large component to dialogue, so students will practice listening
comprehension through identification of significant details. They will
also be given strategies for checking understanding. Distinguishing
close sounds will be practiced such as with numbers and contractions.
Body language is studied as a way for students to potentially determine
meaning in conversation. To improve pronunciation, students work with
American Speechsounds software on individual phonetic sounds. The
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is introduced to assist with
pronunciation learning. The connection between pronunciation and
intonation is introduced.


ESL015 American Culture I - This course will assist
Intensive English students in improving their listening, speaking,
reading, and writing skills through the exploration of American culture.
Students gain an understanding of how Americans interact and do things.
They learn how to effectively communicate around town and on campus.
Culturally appropriate behavior within the context of an American
community and university is learned. Service learning is conducted at
local destinations such as convalescent homes and public schools to
better understand culture within these places and increase students'
sense of global citizenship. Field trips focused on American culture and
history are frequently taken to give students practical exposure and
experience. Involvement in campus life is encouraged to help students
begin using their English outside of the classroom in natural settings.


Intermediate Level Courses


ESL021 Reading II - This reading course complements
ESL023 Writing II with emphasis on recognizing and detecting the writing
devices and grammar that make text understandable for readers. The
students learn such strategies and skills for recognizing main ideas and
supporting details; getting meaning from context; skimming for main
ideas; summarizing; drawing conclusions; and building vocabulary.
Pronunciation, intonation, and decoding are focused on in the context of
reading. Students begin putting ideas together from readings, and
sharing them with the class. The students do extensive reading to build
reading fluency. An introduction to undergraduate textbooks is made to
begin helping with adaptation to undergraduate studies and the advanced
reading course (ESL031).


ESL022 Grammar II - Students will begin examining
grammar academically in relationship to speaking, reading, and writing.
After reviewing present and past verb tenses, perfect tenses are
practiced. Previously learned grammar concepts such as count and
non-count nouns, the definite article, modals, the future, prepositions,
comparatives and superlatives, and gerunds and infinitives will be
looked at more thoroughly. Students become familiar with and comfortable
using new grammar concepts related to pronouns, adverbs, and phrasal
verbs. The dependent clause is introduced on a sentence structure level.
Students begin looking for patterns in grammar.


ESL023 Writing II - In ESL023 Writing II, students
move from paragraph writing to short essays of different genres. They
learn how to present information into a well-organized format according
to U.S. academics, which puts emphasis on the thesis statement and
transitional expressions. Graphic organizers and concept maps are used
to help students brainstorm and organize their thoughts. In order to
help the students navigate the writing process; they prewrite, prepare
first drafts, revise, edit, and publish their work. Through this
process, students begin applying their grammar knowledge, enhance
vocabulary, focus on mechanics, and improve spelling. Students move from
primarily using simple sentences to predominantly using compound and
complex sentences. This course will prepare students for the advanced
Intensive English writing course.


ESL024 Listening/Speaking II - ESL
Listening/Speaking II will assist Intensive English students in
improving their academic listening and speaking skills through the
observation and exposure to a variety of authentic listening and
speaking situations - radio programs, songs, discussions, role play,
real life occurrences, and speeches. Students have the opportunity to
observe undergraduate courses in order to begin self-assessing their
academic listening skills and gain exposure to the undergraduate
classroom. To improve pronunciation, students work with American
Speechsounds software on phonetic sounds at word level. The
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is reviewed to assist with
pronunciation learning. The study of intonation complements the
students' study of pronunciation.


ESL025 American Culture II - Students will explore
the foundation of the United States' history, government, and culture
through the integration of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
This foundation will prepare students for a deeper study of American
culture and values in ESL035 American Culture III. Service learning is
conducted at local destinations such as convalescent homes and public
schools to better understand culture within these places and increase
students' sense of global citizenship. Field trips focused on American
culture and history are frequently taken to give students practical
exposure and experience. Students begin to be kept accountable for
getting involved in campus events and clubs to gain an improved
understanding of campus life and more thoroughly enjoy it.


Advanced Level Courses


ESL031 Reading III - This course prepares the
students for undergraduate academic reading. The students learn how to
write longer summaries, critically analyze text, and develop context
specific vocabulary. Students will also be taught such skills as
recognizing topic sentences, supporting details, and the outline used in
paragraphs and essays, as well as getting meaning from context, the
significance of punctuation, and the importance of parts of speech.
Students begin reading with natural intonation. Students participate in
class discussion about what they have read. The students do extensive
reading to build reading fluency. A deeper interaction with
undergraduate textbooks is conducted in preparation for undergraduate
studies. The different parts of an academic journal are learned so
students are more prepared for academic research, and they will also
learn how to navigate the library for such research.


ESL032 Grammar III - This course prepares students
for grammar necessary in the undergraduate classroom. The final past
time verb tenses are studied, and a comparison of verb tenses is
conducted. There is a more in depth look at modals, pronouns, dependent
clauses, and infinitives and gerunds. The new grammatical concept
learned in this course is the passive voice. Emphasis is put on the
importance of grammar function for academic writing purposes. Students
use an online corpus to find grammatical patterns.


ESL033 Writing III - ESL033 Writing III assists
students in getting ready for undergraduate writing through application
of grammar knowledge, integration of credible sources, development of
writing fluency, and discovery of identity as an English writer.
Students are exposed to different kinds of writing styles and genres,
but will primarily focus on essay production.


ESL034 Listening/Speaking III - Students focus on
preparing their listening and speaking skills for the undergraduate
classroom through participation in a variety of authentic listening and
speaking situations— academic lectures, note taking, class discussions,
debates, role play, real life occurrences, presentations and speeches.
Students have the opportunity to observe undergraduate courses in order
to do a final self-assessment of their academic listening skills and
readiness for the undergraduate classroom. To improve pronunciation,
students work with American Speechsounds software on phonetic sounds at
the phrase and sentence level. To become a more natural and fluent
listener and speaker; linking, reductions, and emotional expression are
studied within the framework of intonation.    


ESL035 American Culture III - A higher level of
language production is expected of the students as they explore themes
of American culture. Students give presentations related to pieces of
American culture using pertinent technology. Service learning is
conducted at local destinations such as convalescent homes and public
schools to better understand culture within these places and increase
students' sense of global citizenship, and students in this course take a
leadership role on these service learning trips. Field trips focused on
American culture and history are frequently taken to give students
practical exposure and experience. Students are required to participate
in at least one club for full involvement and integration into campus
life. At times, guest speakers visit the classroom to shed light on any
given topic related to American culture and history.

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This course is for students aged: 16-70
Levels: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate
Class Sizes: Large, 11-20 students, Medium, 6-10 students, One-to-One, Small, 2-5 students
Weekly Hours: Relaxed 10-15 hrs/wk, General 15-25 hrs/wk, Intensive 25+ hrs/wk
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