Open menu button Close menu button

ESL students

Additional Navigation
Close

Academic ESL:  An Overview

With its diverse student body, The College of Staten Island (CSI) is a university where many students come from all parts of the world and speak two or more languages—English oftentimes the second language. 

The English Department offers courses designed for English speakers whose first language is not English.  ESL, or English as a Second Language, courses are designed specifically to help ESL students develop their English language proficiency as they work to meet the required English composition courses that all students must take (English 111 and English 151).  All ESL courses are taught by dedicated faculty who have training in utilizing pedagogies that focus on the needs of students who are still working on their English language proficiency.  For more information about first-year writing courses at CSI, please visit the Writing Program website which is forthcoming.

Why Academic ESL?

Unlike other programs in CUNY which may often target teaching general English language skills, Academic ESL courses in the English Department strive to help students develop the important reading and writing skills that are crucial for success in college.  In the Academic ESL classes, students develop their English literacy skills as well as become acquainted with course subject matter that is encountered in the college general curriculum (for example, psychology, sociology, history) and in the world.  In the Academic ESL classes, students begin to develop and hone important general education competencies such as information synthesis, critical analysis, and problem-solving.  Furthermore, students learn the important tacit rules of the American classroom.  The English Department is dedicated to providing a curriculum that helps ESL students experience these learning opportunities and foster these important foundational skills so that students may be successful in developing not only their English language reading and writing proficiency but also so that they may be successful in their academic career overall.

English 8 and English 37

English 8 and English 37 are pre-college academic ESL writing courses that are designed for ESL students who do not qualify for English 111 (the first-semester composition course) when they are initially accepted at CSI.  English 8 and English 37 both work to strengthen the fundamental reading and writing skills that all students need as they proceed through their academic career; however, English 8 and English 37 focus on the needs of students who are working on their English language proficiency.

English 111 ESL and English 111P ESL

There are two versions of English 111 for ESL students. 

  • English 111 ESL is a 4-hour, 3-credit composition course. 
  • English 111P ESL is a 6-hour, 3-credit composition course. The additional time spent in English 111P ESL provides ESL students more opportunity for instructor interaction and skill development with a focus on the rules, conventions, and rhetorical standards of Standard American English as well as vocabulary and even academic culture in the American University.

The CSI Writing Center and ESL Students 

CSI also has a wonderful Writing Center that offers writing workshops, ESL Conversation Groups, and individualized tutoring for ESL students who need help with their writing. Please see the Writing Center schedule for more information.

Interested in ESL at CSI?

If you are an ESL student who is thinking about applying to CSI or if you are an ESL student who has been accepted to CSI for matriculation and you have a question regarding the ESL courses offered by the Department of English, you are most welcomed to contact Dr. Sloane von Wertz, ESL Coordinator, at Sloane.vonWertz@csi.cuny.edu

Students who enter the City University of New York are placed in classes based on a student’s proficiency in reading, writing, and math.  For a more informed overview of CUNY’s placement procedures, please visit the academic testing website

The policies regarding ESL students and placement are below: 

Applicants who have spent at least six months or more in an institution where English is not the primary language of instruction are flagged as potential ESL via the CUNY admissions process.  ESL students who meet the CUNY benchmark scores on the New York State Regents will be deemed proficient in English and/or math, regardless of where they attended high school.  ESL students who do not meet the benchmark scores in math will be assessed via the proficiency index in math; for English proficiency, ESL students will be evaluated in the following way:

  • ESL students who do not have a New York State English Regents score will not be assessed via the English proficiency index. Students will be required to take the ESL Diagnostic (ESLD) to determine reading and writing proficiency and appropriate course placement.
  • ESL students who have a New York State English Regents score will be assessed via the English proficiency index. Students who do not meet the English proficiency index benchmark score will be required to take the ESL Diagnostic (ESLD) to determine appropriate course placement.

Regarding placement and the CUNY ESL Diagnostic Test (ESLD)

Students who are designated as ESL when they apply to the college will receive an email that invites them to fill out a survey about their English language experiences and to take the CUNY ESL Diagnostic Test.  The ESLD presents a short reading and requires an essay response.  All instructions are provided for students.  (NOTE:  The ESLD will soon be replaced by the Accuplacer.)

Completed ESLDs are graded by the ESLD Committee and students are placed in one of the following ESL Groups which determine what class a student is eligible to take:

  • ESL-L = English 7 or English 8
  • ESL-I = English 8
  • ESL-H = ESL 37
  • ESL-C = English 111P ESL
  • ESL-A = English 111 ESL (or a student may self-place into English 111)

Students who have questions or concerns about placement may contact Sloane von Wertz, ESL Coordinator, at Sloane.vonWertz@csi.cuny.edu.

Academic ESL Course Offerings

Students are placed in to the appropriate level writing course based on a combination of factors.  Please see Regarding Placement.  (HOT BUTTON?)

 

PRE-COLLEGE ESL WRITING COURSES

English 8:  DEVELOPMENTAL WRITING FOR NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

The prerequisite for this class is a Placement Test Assessment. 

This class meets 4 hours weekly, earns 0 credit, but 4 equated credits.

 

English 8 is a preparatory writing course that is designed to help non-native speakers of English to begin to work on their critical reading and writing effectiveness in Standard Academic American English.  In this course, students will practice the fundamentals of effective academic writing while working to advance their skills regarding the active reading of and writing about cross-disciplinary texts written in English.   By the end of this semester, students should have expanded their knowledge about and skill in constructing writings that reflect structural and grammatical/mechanical competence in standard academic American English. Further, students should have a basic understanding of the writing process (including prewriting, drafting, revising, etcetera) as well as how to complete impromptu writing assignments with minimal global and local errors.

 

 

English 037: Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English

The prerequisite for this class is a Placement Test Assessment. 

This class meets 4 hours weekly, earns 0 credit, but 4 equated credits.

 

English 37 is a preparatory writing course that is designed to help non-native speakers of English improve their critical reading and writing effectiveness in Standard Academic American English.  In this course, students will practice what they already know about the fundamentals of effective academic writing while working to advance their skills regarding the active reading of and writing about cross-disciplinary texts written in English.   By the end of this semester,  students should have learned to work through the writing process (including prewriting, drafting, revising, etcetera) as well as impromptu writing culminating in writings that reflect structural and grammatical/mechanical competence in Standard Academic American English.

 

COLLEGE-LEVEL ESL WRITING COURSES

  • English 111 ESL:  Please see the Writing Program website which is forthcoming
  • English 111P ESL:  Please see the Writing Program website which is forthcoming.
  • English 151 ESL:  Please see the Writing Program website which is forthcoming.

         

Placement Guidelines

When students apply to The College of Staten Island, there are guidelines utilized as prescribed by The City University of New York overall to determine if a student will be deemed ESL and placed in the ESL Student Group on CUNYFirst.  Currently, all incoming and transferring students deemed ESL must take the CUNY ESL Diagnostic Test (ESLD), which is a placement exam, before they can enroll in the College. (NOTE: The exam is scheduled to change to the Accuplacer soon.)  The ESLD Committee scores the exams and forwards the placement results to the Testing Office which inputs the placement designations into CUNYFirst.

The ESL placement groups in CUNYFirst and relevant course(s) are as follows:

  • ESL-L = English 7 or English 8
  • ESL-I  = English 8
  • ESL H = English 37
  • ESL-C = English 111P ESL
  • ESL-A = English 111 ESL (or a student may self-place into ESL 111)

If there are any questions or concerns regarding an ESL student’s placement, please feel free to contact the ESL Coordinator, Sloane von Wertz at Sloane.vonWertz@csi.cuny.edu.

Additional Navigation
Close