English as a
Second Language

English as a <br>Second Language


Tell me about the ESL program at Canisius.

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Canisius College is a semi-intensive, part-time program designed to be combined with an academic major. In this way, the ESL program is suitable for students pursuing some other major area of study or degree program. Students can participate in our program by choosing to either solely focus on developing their English language skills, by taking 3 ESL classes per week, or by taking ESL courses in combination with in their major coursework.


What is the purpose of the ESL courses at Canisius College?

ESL courses assist students with the development of the English language skills they will need in both academic and social settings.


Who should take ESL courses?

Our placement exam will help determine which ESL courses would be helpful to each student’s academic and social success. International students other than native English speaking students will complete a language assessment test during International Student Orientation to determine whether ESL courses are necessary for academic success at the college. Students who demonstrate proficiency in English will place out of ESL courses.


Am I required to take any tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS?

TOEFL/IELTS scores are strongly recommended, but not required for admissions purposes. Once your admission materials are submitted, we will screen your application for any TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT scores and review your transcript to see if you have taken any English courses at other institutions. Depending on your prior education as well as the quality of your scores on any of the official language tests, you may be required to participate in a language assessment test (ESL Placement Exam) when you arrive at the college. This exam will assess your English language abilities in the areas of writing, reading comprehension, speaking, and listening.


How will I know which ESL course(s) I need to take?

Your results on the ESL placement exam will determine the appropriate ESL courses for you to take.


How many ESL courses do I have to take?

ESL professors and Associate Deans will determine how many courses you should take, in what order, and whether or not you have completed enough ESL courses.


What can I expect from my ESL classes?

ESL classes provide students with the opportunity to further develop their English-language skills in a socially supportive environment. ESL classes include courses that focus on reading and writing skills, as well as classes that work on speaking and listening. Small class sizes help to ensure maximum opportunities for students to engage the instructor and one another.


What happens after I complete the required number of ESL courses?

If you are an international freshman or transfer student seeking a degree, you can enroll in English 101 (ENG 101) following the completion of your required number of ESL courses and First Year Seminar (FYS101),


Why do I have to take ESL courses, FYS (First Year Seminar) courses, and ENG (English) courses?

ESL courses are necessary stepping-stones for your academic success at Canisius College. They will help to instill the necessary English language skills that will be required and expected of you in higher-level courses. If you are an international freshman or transfer student, both FYS and ENG 101 are required for your degree.


How many classes are required for a baccalaureate degree from Canisius College?

Most baccalaureate degree programs are 120 credits. That is 40 courses at three credits each. To graduate in four years, students are required to take about five classes, or 15 credits per semester.


What types of course must I take to obtain a baccalaureate degree?

To obtain a Canisius College baccalaureate degree you must take core curriculum courses (Foundations, Fields of Knowledge, Knowledge and Skills Attributes), major courses, and free electives.


Do ESL courses count toward graduation or for credit and will my performance in these classes effect my grades?

All ESL courses are credit-bearing courses and therefore count towards your degree progress and your grade point average (GPA). Exchange students who need ESL courses will use those courses to transfer back to their home institution. International students seeking a degree will consult with their academic advisor to determine how their ESL courses will count for their degree.


Who is my academic advisor?

International exchange students are advised by the appropriate Associate Dean or by an advisor designated by the Associate Dean. International students seeking a degree will have an advisor in their major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not have one already.