FAQ for students | St. Lawrence University Modern Languages

FAQ for students


1- What English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are offered at SLU?


SLU offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in English language learning. Through ESOL 201 and 202, students will improve academic English, learn American and academic culture, and connect with other students from all backgrounds. Students may be mandated to take ESOL 201 or 202 through admissions documents and a language assessment or they can elect to enroll in one of the courses to improve academic English. Even when a student has a high TOEFL score (Test of English as a Foreign Language), he/she may struggle with academic expectations in an American University. ESOL courses support these students as they work towards success in the academic and professional world.

ESOL 201: Introduction to American Culture, DIV13 designation

In this course, students will focus on English for academic purposes through the study of American culture. This course will address language used in academic assignments and class discussions, expand academic vocabulary, and practice the authentic use of the English language. Students will study the authentic use of language and culture through TED Talks, newspaper articles, and readings and work to develop critical thinking skills through assigned papers, talks, and discussions. Students will also be asked to reflect on their own culture. Fall semester only.

Course Objectives

     By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Determine central ideas or themes in spoken and written texts
  • Write multi-paragraph text (e.g., organizes and develops ideas with clear introduction, body, and conclusion), using some complex grammar and sentence structure
  • Develop a summary response paper with relevant details, concepts, examples, analysis, and information 
  • Summarize key points from oral and written texts
  • Determine the meaning of general academic and content specific words and phrases
  • Produce and expand simple, compound, and complex sentences
  • Practice strategies for critical reading
  • Expand vocabulary and collocation use
  • Employ class and group discussion skills 

ESOL 202: Advanced Stylistics, LANG designation

In this course, students will refine skills related to academic English and will have an intensive study of academic vocabulary. Students will study the authentic use of the English language in both the written and spoken form and will examine advanced concepts related to academic English. Students will work to develop arguments and master complex academic skills through more complex papers, presentations, and discussions.  This course works as a support for other courses and will help prepare students to be successful in their academic careers. Offered fall and spring semesters.

Course Objectives

  • Increase academic vocabulary and an understanding of collocations and word use in written form
  • Practice and refine strategies for critical reading
  • Practice and refine steps in the writing process
  • Read and engage with a variety of academic texts to examine vocabulary use, writing structure, tone, and audience
  • Engage with authentic texts such as The New York Times and TED Talks to learn effective rhetorical moves and study grammar points
  • Practice grammar skills necessary for effective academic writing.


2- Are there tutors to help with English writing and other projects?


ESOL WORD Studio Tutors: The WORD Studio (writing center) has two tutors with specialization in multilingual writing and are able to provide ongoing individual support and tutoring to students whose first language is not English. Students can make appointments with these tutors by contacting rcrowell@stlawu.edu or visiting the WORD Studio in ODY Library and asking about the multilingual/ESOL tutors.


3- Can I get help with spoken English and meet new friends?


One goal of the ESOL program is to build bridges between international and domestic students. To this end, we off the opportunity to be part of the multilingual digital story map and enroll in the Language and Cultural Exchange Program (LCEP). Through the LCEP program, a student can either meet with a native/near native English speaker for weekly conversation or meet weekly with a language student to teach their own first language. We will have a new link and open the program and map soon, but if you are interested in more information now, email rcrowell@stlawu.edu.


Language and Cultural Exchange Program     

The Language and Cultural Exchange Program gives all faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to have a conversation partner in a variety of languages. Students can meet with a native/near native speaker to improve conversational language. For example, if a student needs help with English, he/she can request an English speaking partner. If a staff member wants to learn French, he/she can request a French speaking partner. This program places high value on all languages and the resources on campus to promote multilingualism. Participants can sign up to teach or learn a language. In addition, anyone can meet with students from a select country to learn more about the culture of a country prior to traveling. The LCEP is a great opportunity for anyone to practice listening and speaking skills in a safe and fun way as conversation teams meet once a week for hourly conversation. Many conversation teams meet for fun activities such as walks, sports games, visiting restaurants in town, hiking, and campus events.