ADC - College-Level ESL

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ESL classes?

ESL classes are classes which teach English language skills to people whose native language is not English.

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Who should take College-level ESL classes?

Any student who wants to study at the College of Southern Idaho and whose skills in academic English are limited should complete recommended courses in the College-level ESL Program before continuing on to full-time study in mainstream college courses.

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How are the courses in the CSI College-level ESL Program different from courses in non-credit ESL programs?

Courses in the CSI College-level ESL Program focus on academic language skills important for success in college courses, while courses in most non-credit programs focus on basic communication skills important for work and everyday life.  The Adult Education ESL Program, CSI's non-credit ESL program, offers transitional classes to bridge the gap between basic communications skills and preparation for academic language skills.

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I am not a native speaker of English, but I live in the United States.  Do I have to take the TOEFL to be admitted to the CSI College-level ESL Program?

No.  Any prospective student who can come to CSI and take our ESL Assessment before being admitted to the college does not have to take the TOEFL.  Only those students who cannot come to CSI before they know if they have been admitted (for example, international students who must receive an I-20 form in order to get a student visa, or US residents who live a great distance from Twin Falls and cannot travel here until they know if they have been admitted) need to submit TOEFL scores.

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English is not my native language and I live outside the United States.  I feel that I speak English very well. Is it possible for me to be admitted to CSI without taking the TOEFL?

No.  In order for CSI to issue you an I-20 form so you can get a student visa, we must have on file evidence of your English proficiency.  The US Immigration and Naturalization Service accepts TOEFL scores as that evidence. 

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How and where do I take the TOEFL?

The TOEFL is offered at many locations throughout the world.  Information about where and when the test is offered, and how much it costs, is available from Educational Testing Service.

Arrangements to take the TOEFL must be made by the prospective student through Educational Testing Service, and not through CSI, and in sufficient time for CSI to receive an official score report from ETS in order to make a decision regarding the student's admission to CSI and the CSI College-level ESL Program.

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English is not my native language, but I graduated from high school in the United States.  Doesn't that mean that I don't have to take ESL classes at CSI?

Not necessarily.  It depends on your proficiency in academic English.  If your scores on the college's placement test (COMPASS) indicate that you are not ready to take ENGL 090 (Developmental English) or ENGL 101 (English Composition 1), you will be asked to take the CSI ESL Assessment.  Your scores on both tests will be evaluated to determine whether remedial English or ESL courses will best meet your needs, and you will be advised accordingly.

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English is not my native language, but I completed my GED in the United States.  Do I need to take ESL?

That depends on your proficiency in academic English.  Like incoming students at CSI who graduated from US high schools, you will take the college's placement test (COMPASS.)  If your writing scores indicate that you are not ready to take ENGL 090 (Developmental English) or ENGL 101 (English Composition 1), you will be asked to take the CSI ESL Assessment.  Your scores on both tests will be evaluated to determine whether remedial English or ESL courses will best meet your needs, and you will be advised accordingly.                                                                

If you completed your GED in a language other than English, it is very likely that you will need further instruction in a non-credit ESL program before you are ready to begin the CSI College-level ESL Program.

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Do courses in the CSI College-level ESL Program apply to graduation?

Courses in the CSI College-level ESL Program earn college credit and apply as elective credit toward graduation.  Please be aware, however, that the decision as to whether credits from any of these courses can be transferred to another college or university rests with that college or university.

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What should ESL students do before registering for the first time at CSI?

International students:

Before they arrive at CSI, international students will have completed the following steps:

  • Complete an International Student Application at: http://www.csi.edu/international_/prospectiveStudents/application.asp
  • Submit all required documents:
      • International applicants are required to submit the following items:
      • International Application.
      • Copy of passport or national identification card.
      • Official transcripts from high school and colleges. High school transcripts not in English, will need to be translated before accepted. The College of Southern Idaho does not provide in-house evaluation of foreign college transcripts (translation is NOT an equivalent to evaluation). Thus, transcripts must be evaluated through credential evaluation services. Only evaluation agencies that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) are accepted..
      • Certificate of Financial Responsibility for one full academic year.
      • Official bank statement from bank declaring six months of appropriate funds in US Dollars. This must be sent directly from the bank to The College of Southern Idaho. Students on a sponsoring scholarship program must submit an official financial guarantee before registering for classes.
      • International applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate acceptable levels of English proficiency through an approved examination or institutional review in order to be admitted. Examples of approved examinations include a TOEFL composite score of 45 with no sub-score lower than 10; an IELTS score of 4.5, or demonstration of acceptable proficiency on the CSI ESL Placement exam. Additionally, students falling below levels of examination-defined proficiency or who are unable to provide placement information, may request a case-by-case institutional review, on the recommendation of an institutional faculty or staff member.
      • Students transferring from a college or university in the United States are required to submit a transfer clearance form along with a copy of their current I-20.
      • All required documents must be received and approved prior to the deadline in order for the issuance of an I-20. Failure to submit documents by the deadline may defer the application to the following semester.

Transfer-In Student Process:

The term "transfer" for immigration purposes applies to students who come to CSI from another U.S. college, university, ESL program, or high school. If you are a transfer student, follow the directions below.

  • You must have been maintaining lawful F-1 status throughout your program of study;
  • You must request that your SEVIS record be transferred to CSI within the 60-day period following your last date of attendance, Optional Practical Training, or authorized vacation at your previous/current school; and
  • You must enroll full-time at CSI within 5 months of your last attendance at the previous school.

If you have violated the terms of your current F-1 status, you will need to depart the U.S. to make a new entry with an initial attendance I-20. Immigration reinstatement is only possible if your failure to maintain status resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Contact Keith Quatraro at 208-732-6383 for assistance.

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ESL students who are residents of the United States:

Students who are studying in the Adult Education ESL Program at CSI who wish to go on to college study should let their teacher know of their interest.  The teacher will then work with the Coordinator of the CSI College-level ESL Program to arrange for students to take the necessary placement tests at an appropriate time.  If students have not previously completed an application for admission to CSI, they will be asked to do so at that time.  After placement tests have been evaluated, the ESL Advisor will counsel students as to whether they should continue to study in the Adult Education ESL Program or move on to the College-level ESL Program.  When students enter the College-level ESL Program, the ESL Advisor advises them as to what courses they need to take, and students complete registration.

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I'm a native speaker of English, but I want to learn to teach ESL.  What should I do?

CSI does not have courses to prepare teachers to teach ESL, but Boise State University does, and some of them are taught on the CSI campus in Twin Falls.  If you want further information, contact BSU.  Most other universities in the area also offer such courses and would probably be happy to provide you with information.

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