International student success is Finlandia's goal
Each semester, International students enrolled in the one-year ESL Certificate program complete four ESL courses. Students will receive 20 contact hours of ESL instruction per week.
Coursework in reading, grammar, writing, and oral communication is integrated with computer learning, one-on-one tutoring, conversation partners, and cultural and recreational experiences. ESL students may also receive help studying for the TOEFL exam.
A sample student schedule:
ESL students must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above in ESL courses to receive the ESL certificate. Students will take a placement test at the beginning of the program, and placed in a section of students at a similar language level. Successful ESL international students will receive a certificate at one of three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.
Reading I & II: Students read a broad range of texts from simple stories and articles with basic vocabulary to more advanced readings from newspaper and magazines. During the second semester, fiction and more challenging academic texts will be introduced. Emphasis is on building vocabulary and refining a student's understanding of written English through reading, writing, and talking about various texts.
Grammar I & II: Vocabulary and grammatical structures are taught in context, and students will apply what they learn in essays and other writing assignments.
Writing I & II: These classes help students write more clearly and fluently in English. Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be taught in context, and students can apply what they learn in their essays and other written assignments. During the second semester, more emphasis is placed on academic and business writing, with practice in summarizing, creating arguments, and documenting sources. Readings and writing assignments improve the student's understanding of American culture, history and politics.
Oral Communication/Academic Listening & Speaking: These classes are designed to improve the student's speaking skills and listening comprehension. The first semester, emphasis is on gaining confidence to speak English in public for a wide variety of purposes. Students go on field trips to local stores, businesses, schools and organizations, where they learn to communicate effectively with local residents. Additionally, students will interview Finlandia faculty members and other American students. During the second semester, emphasis is on academic listening and speaking. Students make short oral presentations and get practice taking notes in English from lectures, video-taped recordings, and other sources.
Open Electives: Each semester, a student may enroll in one regular, university-level course with the permission of the International Student Advisor. Many students take classes such as music, art, drama, or mathematics to supplement their ESL courses.