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ESL for Credit Program


The ESL Program provides credit courses for bilingual and non-native English speaking graduate and undergraduate students at Georgia State University.

ESL for Graduate Students

Various graduate courses for non-native speakers of English are offered. Each course is 3 credit hours. Students earn a “satisfactory” (S) or “unsatisfactory” (U) grade, which does not affect their grade point average. An average course grade of 80% or higher is required to successfully complete the courses with an “S.”

ESL 7250: Academic Listening & Speaking for Graduate Students.
This course is designed to improve the aural/oral communication skills of ESL graduate students. Students develop skills that help them (a) give presentations on topics in their disciplines, (b) participate in small group and whole class discussions, (c) listen to and take notes from academic lectures, and (d) improve pronunciation and fluency.

ESL 7350. Academic Writing for Graduate Students.
This course focuses on improving graduate-level writing, including (a) developing research writing skills, (b) gaining a clearer understanding of writing conventions in students’ disciplines, (c) writing extended definitions, problem-solution analyses, summaries, critiques, and data commentary. In addition, (d) students develop an understanding of the use of text organization, academic language structures, and editing skills. Grammar review is incorporated as needed.

ESL 7500: Teaching at the University for International Teaching Assistants.
This course prepares non-native English speakers to teach in an undergraduate university classroom. The course covers the culture of the U.S. classroom, classroom communication, and practical aspects of teaching. Students complete microteaching on topics in their field and observe other faculty teaching undergraduate courses in their discipline.

ESL Graduate Placement

The Orientation GSTEP (Georgia State Test of English Proficiency) is given to international graduate students at the beginning of each semester at the university’s new international student orientation. There is no cost for this test. The test includes the following components:

  1. A reading/writing section, including short answers and one essay
  2. A multiple choice listening section
  3. A multiple choice reading section
  4. An oral interview

Based on the results of the Orientation GSTEP, students may be placed into one or more ESL graduate course. Results are given to departments and individual students.

In addition, students can voluntarily register for any ESL graduate course. Authorization is not required to register.

Departments and advisors concerned about the placement of particular students can consult with the ESL Testing Coordinator, Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL (404-413-5200,

ESL for Undergraduate Students

The Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL offers English Composition 1101 and 1102 for undergraduate bilingual and non-native English speakers every semester, including the summer 7-week term.

ENGL 1101. English Composition for Bilingual/Non-native Speakers of English I
This course offers bilingual and ESL students the opportunity to develop their academic writing skills while acknowledging and incorporating their unique backgrounds. Instructors are trained in ESL and second language writing. They can offer effective strategies to help bilingual/ESL writers develop their academic writing abilities, including organization and development of ideas, paraphrasing and summarizing of reading selections, use of academic language structures, and basic research skills. Revision and editing skills are stressed, and grammar review is provided as necessary.

ENGL 1102. English Composition for Bilingual/Non-native Speakers of English II
Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in ENGL 1101. This course is taught by instructors trained in ESL and second language writing. The course is designed to increase bilingual/ESL students' academic writing abilities beyond the level of proficiency required by ENGL 1102. Paraphrasing and summarizing, revision and editing, and research skills are stressed. Grammar review is provided as necessary.

  1. English Composition I and II are credit-bearing 3 hour courses. Students must earn a course grade of “C” or above to successfully complete the courses.
  2. The courses have similar learning outcomes as the sections taught through the Department of English.
  3. The courses fulfill the university's English Composition requirements.
  4. There is no indication on students' transcripts that they completed a section offered for non-native English speakers.
  5. Students self-select the courses. No authorization is required to register.
  6. Students can locate the courses by looking at the "Comments" column on GoSolar when they register. The comment indicates that the sections are "reserved for bilingual/non-native English speakers".

This is an example from GoSolar of a special section of English 1101 for non-native speakers of English:

ENGL 1101   > A 3.000 ENGLISH COMPOSITION I TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm 20 20 0 0 0 0 Restricted to bilingual or non-native speakers of English. S. Cavusgil 08/22-12/16 Sparks Hall 131

ESL Undergraduate Placement

To register for these courses, a student must be a non-native speaker of English. A non-native speaker is someone whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Placement or authorization to register is not required. That is, students voluntarily register for these courses designed for non-native speakers.

Students who are enrolled in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Georgia State University must complete IEP 0650 and IEP 0950 before registering for ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1102.

Contact Information

For more information about courses in the ESL for Credit Program, contact:
Sarah Kegley, ESL Director
Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL
One Park Tower, 34 Peachtree Street
Suite 1200