Resources for English as a Second Language

Lawrence University and the Center for Academic Success provide multiple avenues for second language speakers of English to continue to improve their English proficiency at the highest levels. ESL students may choose to develop English skills through tutoring, ESL courses, individual consultations, and self-study using the ESL resource library. Students can also seek assistance arranging for extra time on examinations.

ESL Courses

ESL courses are offered each term in order to support students' study at Lawrence. A list of courses open to all ESL students is available under Courses & Workshops. In addition, a limited number of directed study and tutorial courses are offered each term for students interested in pursuing a specific goal in a one-on-one or small group class. Contact Cecile Despres-Berry for details.

ESL Tutoring

ESL tutoring is available to students seeking assistance with English language skills. The Center for Academic Success offers ESL tutoring in writing and oral communication.

All writing tutors have been trained to assist ESL writers. Let your tutor know if you have any areas of concern that you would like to focus on in your session, for example, argument and organization, word choice, or problems with English articles.

Oral communication tutors work with ESL students on pronunciation, fluency, discussion skills, and listening skills.  Fill out a request for an oral communications tutor, noting which skills you would like to develop. The skills inventory can help you and your tutor determine which skills to focus on: ESL Communication Tutoring Inventory (PDF)

Individual Consultations

Students who would like help with a specific English concern, whether an ongoing issue or a single question, should contact Cecile Despres-Berry for an individual consultation. Cecile can help students understand their current English proficiency level, set goals and make plans for improvement, develop strategies for writing in English or improving discussion skills, or just answer questions about why English is the way it is! Email Cecile for an appointment.

ESL Resource Library

The Center for Academic Success houses a collection of ESL books for self-study or to use with a tutor. The collection includes writing guides, grammar references, pronunciation texts and CDs, listening and notetaking materials, and vocabulary books. In addition, there are a number of popular DVDs, including TV series, movies, and documentaries, that are useful for improving listening skills. Any of these items may be checked out at the CAS desk.

Extended Time for Testing

Even for proficient speakers, reading in a second language can take up to 70% more time than reading in our native language (Grabe 2009). Likewise, writing in a second language takes more time. Students who feel disadvantaged by taking exams in their second language should contact Cecile Despres-Berry to discuss the possibility of requesting additional testing time.