Structure and Cost

Core curriculum

Levels 1-6 use the Cambridge series Grammar and Beyond, which is modern and uses all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) to support grammar and vocabulary development and academic skill development. Our Curriculum Developer was a teacher herself and she created more than 100 different activities to use in the classroom with these books!

We also offer a true beginner class, ESL 001, and an advanced academic skills course, ESL 070, as well as elective course in giving presentations, improving pronunciation, mindful leadership, accent training, and more!

Course Listing

Core Courses

Elective Courses

ESL 001 BASIC ENGLISH

This core course develops four primary skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. No prior English is necessary. Students who successfully complete this course are able to form letters, spell, read basic words, identify objects in the classroom, describe their families, identify and count money, communicate the personal information necessary for registration or application forms, use numbers, tell time, exchange greetings, use simple action verbs, and discuss the weather. Prerequisites: TOEFL iBT score of 0-19 or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL 010 Level 1

This core course is the first step towards fluency. Oral and written sentences are starting to be formed systematically. Students who successfully complete this course are able to make statements; ask questions; discuss nouns; clarify and ask about possessions; describe objects and people; explain locations using relevant prepositions; describe things found in immediate surroundings; discuss daily life and schedules; infuse writing and speaking with nuances such as time clauses, conjunctions, and quantifiers; and describe past events and actions. Prerequisites: Oxford Online Placement Test score of 1-19, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL 020 Level 2

This core course expands upon the student’s English in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students who successfully complete this course are able to discuss risks; use appropriate articles in their writing; identify patterns and lexical chunks; give commands; discuss options and abilities; make polite requests; ask for permission; explain and ask about actions in progress; share preferences, likes, and dislikes; make plans; predict the future surrounding certain situations; make offers and promises; give suggestions; advise peers; communicate obligations and necessities; address mannerisms; make comparisons; and discuss the best and worst of various categories. Prerequisites: ESL010, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 20-29, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL 030 Level 3

This core course emphasizes accuracy in communication. Students move from simply being understood to speaking with correct grammar and more specific vocabulary. The writing assignments adhere to academic models and standards. Students who successfully complete this course are able to write and talk about certain conditions of the present time; discuss action in progress; make schedules; make suggestions with let’s; discuss events that happened once in the past; communicate recurring past events; tell stories from childhood; demonstrate academic writing ability; determine and measure amounts and quantities; use objects and pronouns with ease; relay actions that began in the past and are true or continuing in the present; describe people, places, things, ideas in detail; contrast how different people perform actions; explain frequency of actions; give directions; and explain locations in detail. Prerequisites: ESL020, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 30-39, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL 040 Level 4

This core course provides the opportunity to expand written and oral communication into a wider range of styles and situations. While topics vary, students are encouraged to express personal ideas and present convincing arguments supported by facts and research. Students who successfully complete this course are able to discuss the future in detail; make schedules; predict possibilities and outcomes; connect the present to actions progressing at a certain time in the future; show abilities; make kind requests and offers; give suggestions; prohibit certain actions; claim necessary actions; explain preferences; note what is possible and impossible in the future; explain ideas by speaking actively about complex situations; use prepositions in speaking with lexical chunks; compare actions and people; articulate equality and inequality; describe challenges surrounding terrible situations (e.g. natural disasters); and improve writing through use of complex sentence structure, descriptive clauses, and conjunctions. Prerequisites: ESL030, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 40-49, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL 050 Level 5

This core course is an extension of the intermediate language levels. The assignments target each skill to continue to move toward accuracy in speaking and writing. Students who successfully complete this course are able to use all the tenses of the English language in writing and speaking; identify uses of English tenses; recognize tenses in select readings and texts; select correct tenses for conversation and writing; write about intentions that were not carried out; express regret, obligation, and probability; employ precise adjectives and nouns to enhance writing; use multiple adjectives naturally to describe a noun; quantify amounts; and recognize situational differences requiring specific grammatical choices. Prerequisites: ESL040, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 50-59, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL 060 Level 6

This core course emphasizes formal speaking skills and writing as well as idioms and expressions. Students who successfully complete this course are able to ask varied and complex questions; speculate about what they think to be true; ask direct and indirect questions; report information or commands previously given; distinguish between active and passive voice and correctly use both; write complex adjective descriptions; describe conditions that are real or unreal in the present, future, or past; coordinate ideas using conjunctions; tighten and clarify writing by excluding unnecessary words; expand and improve use of adverbs; connect related information; argue points of view; and write and speak academically, using varied and complex tenses, clauses, and grammatical forms. Prerequisites: ESL050, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 60-69, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL063 Advanced Conversation and Culture

This core course helps advanced ESL students develop an understanding of American culture through reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities. Students develop skills in the areas of fluency, visual literacy, critical thinking, and media fluency. Through reading the news, students reinforce grammar skills and gain new vocabulary and awareness of idiomatic expressions while discussing world events and asking questions about objectivity and the role of media in shaping public opinion. Students move from being consumers of news to producers of news by creating individual and group projects based upon online research, interviews, and interactive field trips. Speaking and writing skills are evaluated on a weekly basis. Students produce original reports in forms that might include blog posts, recorded interviews, audio reports, and photo essays with live or recorded narration. Prerequisites: ESL050, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 60-69, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL070 Academic Research and Presentations

This core course is equivalent to a college-level freshman English class. Students who successfully complete this course produce essays and reports that replicate university-level coursework, learn to deliver presentations, and learn to apply critical-thinking techniques necessary for success on standardized tests and in the university classroom. Prerequisites: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.
Note: Successful completion of this course with a score of 5 or more on the ACCUPlacer WritePlacer test receives credit for ENG111.

ESL071 TOEFL Preparation

This core course is meant to familiarize and prepare students for the TOEFL exam. Students who successfully complete this course learn strategies to improve their scores on the iBT TOEFL test. Using materials that simulate real iBT TOEFL exams, students learn and practice proven test-taking strategies for each TOEFL subject area. Students also take full-length TOEFL-type exams under realistic testing conditions in order to develop the time-management skills and self-confidence necessary to increase their TOEFL scores and receive regular feedback through guided individual and group activities. Prerequisites: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5

ESL072 IELTS Preparation

This core course is meant to familiarize and prepare students for the IELTS exam. Students who complete this course learn test-taking strategies that help them reach their desired score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Through the use of authentic IELTS test materials published by Cambridge University Press, students develop their listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in preparation for the IELTS exam and receive targeted help in areas needing improvement. One authentic IELTS test is used in class each week (ten tests total). Prerequisites: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL074 Advanced Communication: Newsroom

This core course develops valuable presentation, research, and interpersonal skills, to include the following: public speaking, skillful listening, planning and time management, and collaboration, as they work to create original content for blog and video. Students decide, with the teacher’s guidance, on current news stories to cover. They are involved in all parts of the process of creating news, including researching topics, writing relevant interview questions, conducting interviews, and presenting stories orally and in writing. Prerequisite: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL080 Business English II

This core course continues to cover an understanding of the vocabulary of American business culture through reading, writing, speaking and listening activities. Students who successfully complete this course are better positioned to be competitive in today’s tough job market. The course targets the written, oral, and nonverbal communication skills essential for success in the American workplace. Students learn to sit for a professional interview, present themselves professionally in terms of attire and body language, and pitch their strengths and discuss challenges in a positive way. They gain insight into U.S. office and workplace culture and get practice answering behavioral interview questions, socializing in business situations, solving problems over the telephone, giving professional presentations, and networking. Additional topics are available depending on the specific goals and interests of the class. Prerequisites: ESL070, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 80-100, TOEFL iBT score of 96-109, or IELTS Band 7-9.

ESL008 Spelling and Vocabulary

This elective teaches students the words they need to develop sentences. They learn vocabulary to identify their surroundings in the classroom, at home, and around town; adjectives to describe themselves and others; verbs to discuss simple actions; and emotions to differentiate their states of being. They also create and ask simplistic questions, which are used to elicit the vocabulary they have learned. Finally, spelling is a crucial element in this elective, so that students can create successful written work. Prerequisites: TOEFL iBT score of 0-34 or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL018 Clear Speech

Upon completing the Clear Speech elective, students are able to speak more clearly, listen to other people more efficiently, guess the pronunciation of written words, identify syllables of words, correctly spell words pronounced by an English speaker, distinguish keywords in every sentence, enunciate using correct intonation, manipulate the stress in sentences to create different meanings, construct oral sentences more easily and rapidly, and create and perform a final conversation project. Prerequisites: ESL001, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 1-19, TOEFL iBT score of 0-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL019 Grammar Fundamentals

This elective course focuses on practicing grammar in context within the four main language skills. Students listen to authentic conversations, read texts, and review and practice specific grammar (including present tenses, adjectives, prepositions, possessives, articles, and count and non-count nouns) in order to understand authentic English. Prerequisites: ESL001, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 1-19, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL021 Emerging Skills

This elective course comes at a point where students are learning to describe abstract concepts and ideas. Upon completing this course, students are able to read paragraphs for meaning, infer the meaning of words and phrases, rely less on translation, improve their vocabulary, speak casually about both familiar and unfamiliar topics, incorporate idioms into their everyday speech, listen critically, paraphrase passages, support their responses from text, reproduce in writing what is heard orally, differentiate sounds for spelling, improve handwriting, and enhance comprehension of word order and sentence construction. Prerequisites: ESL010, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 20-29, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL022 Elementary Writing

This elective course is specifically designed for English language learners at the lower-intermediate level. It emphasizes competency in the skill of writing as associated with intermediate grammar, vocabulary, and common expressions. With a focus on the process of writing paragraphs, students learn organizational principles and step-by-step writing. Collaborative writing and peer feedback are part of each chapter. Prerequisites: ESL010, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 20-29, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL027 U.S. Survival Skills

This elective course is designed primarily for new students to Stratford University and the Washington, D.C. metro area. The course covers such tasks as getting a drivers’ license in Virginia, using WMATA, acquiring discount cards and memberships at local businesses, as well as finding and attending fun and interesting activities for the weekend. Some of the classes take place outside of the classroom at specific community places. Students have at least an elementary understanding of English. Prerequisites: ESL010, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 20-29, TOEFL iBT score of 20-34, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL031 Read to Discuss

This elective course is ultimately meant to encourage reading outside of school texts alone. Upon completing this course, students are able to read short stories, read chapter books, summarize a story, follow a plot, gain vocabulary meaning from context, identify and discuss basic literacy concepts, learn and recite from memory, appreciate nuances in writing, understand irony, discern between British and American English, explain coincidences, examine phrasal connectivity, have intonation while reading aloud, act natural while reading aloud, recognize the importance of adjectives in effective writing, and follow models to write their own stories. Prerequisites: ESL020, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 30-39, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL032 Pre-Intermediate Writing

This elective course is specifically designed for English language learners at the intermediate to upper-intermediate level. This course emphasizes competency in the skill of writing as associated with intermediate grammar, vocabulary, and common expressions. Prerequisites: ESL020, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 30-39, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 0-3.5.

ESL041 Improving Pronunciation

This elective course is intended to help students express themselves well and with academic confidence. Upon completing this course, students are able to speak with better diction, better pronunciation, and better voice inflection in everyday verbal communication as well as in plays, presentations, and storytelling situations. Using several different approaches to storytelling, students learn effective techniques for verbally telling story jokes, retelling stories from noted authors, and effectively delivering lines in a stage performance. They learn how to assess their own and others’ performances and to offer helpful critiques and suggestions to improve performance through skill-based rubrics, written criticism, and reflective writing assignments. Prerequisites: ESL030, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 40-49, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL042 Intermediate Writing

This elective course is designed for English language learners at the intermediate level. It focuses on the process of writing paragraphs to essays step by step and helps students explore and organize their ideas in writing. Prerequisites: ESL030, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 40-49, TOEFL iBT score of 35-54, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL052 College Composition

This elective course focuses on reviewing grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, skills, and style points required for effective communication. Materials include textbooks, journals, and writing portfolios. The student is guided along the writing process. Emphasis includes understanding the audience and purpose, exploring ideas, composing, revising, and editing. Prerequisites: ESL040, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 50-59, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL053 Presentations

This elective course is meant to show students the process of presenting ideas from start to finish. Upon completing this course, students are able to converse about familiar topics, relay personal anecdotes, express their opinions regarding the topic at hand, recognize and respect foreign cultures and their customs, perform successful research using computers and databases, write a five-minute presentation, give a five-minute presentation, answer questions regarding their chosen topic, and effectively engage and adapt to different audiences. Prerequisites: ESL040, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 50-59, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 4-5.

ESL062 Advanced Reading and Writing

This elective course challenges students to absorb and produce with clarity and purpose. Students who successfully complete this course are able to read, evaluate, and discuss academic texts critically; demonstrate note-taking and study techniques appropriate for success in a university classroom; write papers in which they present and defend their ideas in an academic style, and select applicable methods to prepare for exams. This course is designed to help students study any subject matter in English at the university level. Authentic academic readings, grammar, and vocabulary development tasks using the Academic Word List prepare students to take tests, to write papers, and to increase reading speed and comprehension. Prerequisites: ESL050, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 60-69, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL067 Business English I

This course covers an understanding of the vocabulary of American business culture through reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities. This course develops informal discussion skills, formal speaking skills, ability to work in groups, and university-level writing, as well as common idioms and expressions. Prerequisites: ESL050, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 60-69, TOEFL iBT score of 55-74, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL073 Accent Training

This elective course educates students about how American English sounds are created and used. Students who successfully complete this course are able to speak with more natural American intonation and rhythm and better understand the speech of native English speakers. Students feel comfortable practicing intonation, linking sounds, and performing rhythm exercises. Prerequisites: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.

ESL075 Mindful Leadership

This elective course introduces students to the “soft skills” of interpersonal communication, which are increasingly necessary to achieve success on a personal and professional level. Topics may include, but are not limited to, introductory topics in learning, memory, motivation, emotion, states of consciousness, psychological assessment, mental health, psychology of personality, and creativity. Prerequisites: ESL060, Oxford Online Placement Test score of 70-79, TOEFL iBT score of 75-95, or IELTS Band 5-6.5.